by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A former leader of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, Mr Shettima Umar, has reaffirmed his intention to contest for the All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s North East Zonal Youth Leader in the forthcoming National Convention of the Party.
Umar, who made his intentions known on Saturday at a Press Conference in Maiduguri, said the decision was made after wide and exhaustive consultations with various stakeholders and party stalwarts, especially the Youth constituency across the North East students’ union bodies, women and youth organizations.
He said that his interest to contest was born out of the desire to answer the clarion call of the young people to come over and contribute his ideal experience and God-endowed wisdom, coupled with his long-term vision for the progress of the North East.
He said, “In view of the enormous challenges and doubting task of repositioning our great party, I humbly consider myself to you as someone that is ready, able, capable and willing to offer my most sincere commitment and experience towards the upliftment of our great party, the APC.”
He noted, thus: “Having spent a substantial part of my youthful life around services to the Nigerian students’ constituency, youth developmental activism, I believe I have acquired the requisite knowledge and experience to represent the social and economic needs of the young people at the party level.
Shettima added that, “My background on students and youth activism, political relationships has given me the opportunity, rare privilege and unprivileged understanding towards the Youth constituency. As such, I strongly believe that this knowledge will assist me to serve the Youth of the North East at the party level with utmost commitment, loyalty and sincerity of purpose.
“My vision for the APC is to bring together the youth of our dear country to be part of the major decision-making body, by fostering Youth Inclusiveness in governance and the sustainability of our great party in the affairs of Government. My mission is to take our great party, the APC, to the next level of victory and greatness, by influencing our dear youth to join our party and ensure its success at the polls,” he said.
He pledged to increase the visibility of the success of the APC party, mobilize and open spaces for youth and women to join the great party, organize town hall meetings across the six states in the North East to deliberate on a future development plan for the country as well as facilitate other means of interventions for the party, upon assumption into office.
He promised to also engage youth and women on governance and decision-making processes in the region; empower youths to be self-reliant with 21st Century skills for sustainability and to collaborate with stakeholders for the establishment of standard APC Youth and Women Houses in each state in the region.
According to him, he would collaborate with all APC states across the zone for the establishment of Youth and Women development Commission Boards for the success of the party.
He commended Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, for his outstanding commitment and courage towards governance in Borno, overseeing the conduct of APC ward, LG and State Congresses successfully, coupled with providing dividends of democracy to the good people of the state by executing over 500 capital projects in virtually two years in office.
Umar described the feats as the first of its kind in the history of Nigerian political system, and prayed that Allah continued to protect the governor as he continued to pilot the affairs of the state.
“With the commitment of Governor Zulum so far, It is paramount upon us to thank our leader and mentor, Distinguished Senator Kashim Shettima, for giving us Governor Zulum. This is one of the best decisions made by Senator Shettima, our former Governor and Senator representing Borno Central at the National Assembly.
“You may also recall that, the APC held its ward, local governments and states congress, respectively. So far, it’s one of the best Congresses held by any political party in this country. As such, it is paramount for me to commend the effort of our workaholic National Chairman and Chairman APC National Convention at the same time the Executive Governor of Yobe State, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, for the steps he has taken so far to reform our great party, the APC, as we approach the National Convention and the 2023 general elections, respectively.
“It has become imperative upon me to also congratulate our leader, and a mentor per excellence, the man who has not only stood for us in this project but also endorsed our aspiration; the man who has taken our aspiration as his own personal project, the man who has made two wonderful governors in Borno State under his leadership, the man with all the required experience and capacity in leadership, in person of Hon. Ali Bukar Dalori.
“The emergence of Dalori as our APC State Chairman in the recently conducted State Congress is an assurance of many more success to our party. We congratulate him and extend our sincere loyalty to him as our leader and mentor to the youth of our great party, the APC.
“We are also grateful to him for his outstanding support and commitment towards the #TeamShettima for APC North East Zonal Youth Leader Project, and we will In sha Allah make him proud at the end.
“I wish to most sincerely thank the great Youth of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba for believing in me, while we continue to work as a team to achieve this project together. I’m glad to also inform you that it’s ‘Youth O’clock,’ and we are READY to SERVE.
“As we approach the APC Extra-ordinary National Convention, we will In sha Allah kick off our campaign tour to all the six states we have in the North East next week as part of our continued consultations strategy, to congratulate the newly elected Executives of our great party at the recently conducted congress and to further intimate them on our aspirations,” he said.
In his remarks, Comrade Mahmud Muhammad, Council Member and ICT Coordinator of Borno State University, and Secretary-General of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Borno State Chapter, urged stakeholders in the Northeast to rally round the aspirants.
He said “We rally round most of the stakeholders of the party; they support the movement, blessed the project and assured to do everything humanly possible within their capacity, as this is the only time a Borno indigene is aspiring for the position.
“We (youths) constitute the majority in the party and, I believe, what is ours should be from us. So, am calling on the entire youths of Northeast and other stakeholders to take the project to the Promise Land.
“I believe after getting the support of our party stakeholders, next is the youths, who can make it possible, who can make it happen, who can make it propel – and it’s only with the wings of youths it can fly,” he said, and urged the youths to remain united, noting that “unity gives strength and strength leads to victory.”