A coalition of Nigerian Youths and Students has urged the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum, (SMBL) to change their decision on the nomination Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, as the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 general election.
The regional groups – Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), had described Okowa as a betrayer and a traitor for accepting the vice president position.
Led by the leader of the SMBLF and Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, they described the governor’s action as treacherous and tantamount to a despicable pawning of the political future of the people of Southern Nigeria.
But speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, president of the Nigerian Youth Union, Comrade Chinonso Obasi who spoke on behalf of the groups, stressed the need for the southern leaders to support the aspiration of the governor.
Members of the coalition include, Oodua Youth Parliament, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) South-South and South-East, National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Southern Youth Forum, Northern Youth Initiative for Good Governance and African Students Education Support Initiative (ASESI).
Obasi described Okowa as the most qualified candidate for the VP job, adding that the governor was appointed because he has the legislative and executive experiences, administrative and governance experiences required to run for the office of the vice president.
“The choice of the PDP leaders is right and they won’t regret it as predicted by the regional leaders in the statement they released on Friday,” Obasi said.
“At this point, there must not be confusion in PDP which is preparing to rescue Nigeria from the hands of the All Progressives Congress, APC government that have succeeded in achieving one thing in the last seven years, which is more pains and hardship in the country.
“As the umbrella body of Nigerian youths, I can assure the regional leaders that Nigerian youths are with the PDP Presidential candidate and his Vice, Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa, respectively, and they would work for their victory in the forthcoming elections.
“We also encourages the PDP flag bearers to reach out to Nigerians: with their policies and programs designed to restore the lost glory and battered image of the Country.”