From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The chances of Olusegun Dada emerging the next National Youth Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) received a big boost when no fewer than 19 former youth leader aspirants zoned out of the contest, have collapsed their structures, declaring support for him.
Dada, who returned his nomination form to the APC national secretariat on Friday, was accompanied by the 19 former aspirants across the country, young women wing and many other stakeholders among the large crowd.
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Speaking with newsmen after submitting forms, the leading aspirant emphasised that his campaign to contest for the position started in 2020, noting that the show of support he has received signify manifestation of the people’s belief in his candidacy.
‘We owe the mandate to the young people of our party. We have been to all parts of the country and we believe that our manifesto, when implemented give the young people of our party the right opportunities in the All Progressives Congress and Nigeria at large.
‘We are appealing to our leaders to understand that this is a youth constituency and we as the young people deserve the right to choose those who are able to represent us in the National Working Committee (NWC) of our party and I have presented myself as the best foot forward and champion for our young people in this great party to push for everything that they deserve. I have given my word here and now that I will never ever disappoint you.
‘I will fight for your rights, I will lobby for your rights, I will negotiate for your rights. I will do everything within my power to protect the confidence you have given me,’ Dada added.
Speaking on behalf of Northern aspirants that collapsed their structures for Dada’s aspiration, Barrister Khalifa Binu Yayah, described Dada as a nationalist who should be trusted.
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‘We are using this opportunity to call on our brothers from all the 19 Northern states to endorse Dada because he is someone who has worked for this party,’ Yayah said.
Similarly speaking on behalf of Progressive Young women in the party, Kemi Asekun, revealed that young women in the APC have also endorsed Dada Olusegun.
‘We believe that he has everything it takes to carry the young women along. Dada Olusegun is one person who have not left the women behind. We are all behind him, we know that he can deliver and we will give him all our support.
‘We know that he is the person who can lead us as a youth and he is someone who sees women not as second class citizens but as as people who can contribute positively to governance especially for a party that says it is progressive. We support him, we endorse him and we believe in him,’ Asekun said.
South-South youth leader aspirant Dagogo Fubara said Dada’s endorsement is a ‘unanimous agreement. ‘We must go in line with the decision of the party that the South West should produce the National Youth Leader of the party. And in line with that, we have decided to give total support to one of our own, one of our committed faithful – Segun Dada.
‘We are in line with him and we are all going to go out there to give him full support at Eagle Square and we are calling our delegates from all wards to throw in their support for Segun dada,’ he said.