By Michael Oche, Abuja
Ahead of the December 9 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention, an aspirant for the party’s National Youth leader, Obianuju Kanu Ogoko has appealed to the delegates to back him up.
Ogoko in an open letter to the delegates said he has the ability to restore the confidence of Nigerian youths on the party ahead of 2019 election.
The letter reads:
My dear Comrades, Leaders and all delegates,
Since our dismal showing in the 2015 general elections, our great Party has been plunged into a leadership crisis. This crisis was abated by the Supreme Court judgement of July 12th which gave us a lifeline.
As we count down towards our December 9 elective convention, I have decided to offer myself to serve and to rebuild the Party in as National Youth leader.
My candidacy is as a result of my strong conviction and belief in shared prosperity, accountability and transparency. My greatest regret would be to sit and watch person(s) who do not understand and share in the travails of PDP Youth to gain power and plunge us into further regression or at best revert to status quo for another 4 years. This is the basis of my quest to serve as our National Youth Leader so as to bring honest and sustainable reforms and shared prosperity to our Youth directorate.
Having worked with and observed with utmost interest the problems and limitations of the PDP Youth, I can ascertain that our problems are broad and far reaching. Most are social impediments whilst others are environmental and circumstantial.
The biggest limitations to Youth political advancement in our party PDP are financial impediments. The average PDP youth is a career politician which means that many of us have no other means of livelihood outside politics. The implication thereof is that in all actions, their survivalist instinct overrules all objective reasoning. This is least surprising and very much expected in a retrogressive economy like ours.
On resumption of duty as the National Youth Leader , I shall convene a meeting of key donors and sponsors to get their buy-in into my programmes for capacity building with focus on empowering PDP Youth with the requisite knowledge and skills needed for professional electioneering, campaign consultancy and youth entrepreneurship.
I shall use my established network with Alpari online financial trading platform to provide PDP Youth with very basic commodity and financial trading skill so as to leverage their habitual use of the Internet and social media to earn a living. I have concluded negotiations with a successful commodity and financial trader to provide the training for PDP Youth. This financial liberation would give PDP Youth their first leap towards an objective and robust political engagement.
Secondly, I shall introduce young people to campaign consultancy which is one of my foremost political strength, rather than support candidates for election for meagre sums, we will create structured campaign branding portfolios where PDP Youth would approach aspirants and offer valuable campaign services in a professional way for a reasonable fee. I shall establish a permanent proposal writing desk at the youth directorate with a dedicated Human Resource officer charged with the responsibility of guiding and supporting PDP Youth on Political Proposal writing and for any other related needs.
I intend to create a lobby team whose main responsibility will be to identify party programmes ahead of time at States and National levels and we shall lobby for inclusion of PDP Youth through letters and visits to the deciding authorities. I will lead from the front, I will lobby for your inclusion until my request is considered and approved.
The second major handicap which affects our Youth directorate is financial support to contest elections. On my 2nd week of resumption to office, I shall set up a team to raise cluster funds from within our party and outside our party for the women amongst us. I shall raise elections funds for at least 10 PDP young women to contest elections in 2019 through my established network with Nigerian Women’s Trustfund and from other donors. For the men, I shall raise cluster funds for 15 of you to contest election for various seats in your States in 2019 and I shall lobby your State Leaders to give you tickets. Additionally, I shall designate young people to support your campaign and election to conclusion.
One pertinent issue that bothers me so much is the vulnerability of young people’s safety as they engage in political activities, I shall get funding from the party to provide a limited insurance cover for young people who are engaged in party assignments.
For every political engagement within States, I would ensure that young people are provided with basic accommodation and stipends whilst on party assignment. Never again, will anyone treat young people with laxity under my watch, as the saying goes, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
Last but by no means the least, PDP youths will be better branded, ranging from uniforms, memorabilia, and a total flip of the perception that the average Youth is a thug and a beggar who cannot make any meaningful contribution to nation and Party building.
One of the biggest problems PDP faces, is its inability to tell her story coherently…a typical example is its institutionalised fight against corruption through EFCC and ICPC…the trial and conviction of subsidy thieves and the creation of a most sustainable fiscal policy such as the famed Single Treasury Account. We shall create a policy platform where PDP Youth would discuss National issues monthly or bi-monthly as a means of projecting the wealth of knowledge of PDP Youth whilst projecting our party’s numerous achievements thereby reversing the negative perception of our Youth as non achievers.
Finally, we shall return to our past electoral winning ways of engaging electorates directly through door to door campaign. PDP will no longer be referred to as an elitist party where leaders sit behind and send subordinates on campaign errands.
I shall lead from the front by embarking on election campaigns with our team.
These are a few of the reforms I intend to bring to the PDP Youth Directorate if elected National Youth Leader.
MY WORD IS MY BOND.
Obianuju Kanu Ogoko