Some youth leaders from major political parties in Kwara State has declared their exit from their various political parties to join the Young Progressives Party YPP.
In a press conference held at the State Secretariat of the YPP in Ilorin, the group led by former Presidential Aide and the Former Secretary (Youth Mobilization) of the 2019 Presidential Campaign Committee in Kwara State, Mr. Charles Folayan who is now the State Chairman of the YPP, bemoan the level of marginalization of resourceful young people in the current political system in Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole.
They are worried that the failure
of the current political leaders to sincerely involve the right calibre of youth in serious political engagement and decision making has compounded the country’s problems and triggered a huge set back to finding solutions to the many challenges facing Kwara State and Nigeria at large.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTONOMY
They also expressed concerned on what they called the aberration of true democracy, through the maladministration of the local government system in the country.
They insist that the local government which is the third tier of government has been rendered useless by the state governors. The local governments’ constitutional roles have been hijacked, and the operation of both local government and state accounts by state governors have automatically turned the local government councils to an extension of the state government. The unchecked looting that this “kidnapping” of local government permits the State Governor cannot be ignored any longer.
They said the obvious lack of separation of powers between the state government and local government council is causing extreme poverty at the grassroots level.
“It has also handicapped our royal fathers from effectively playing their roles in community development which is a contributory factor to the high level of crimes and insecurity in the country in most states,” they said.
They added, “it is obvious that most governors including our own in Kwara State are not willing to allow the local government system to function properly. They have refused to allow local government autonomy, as enshrined in the constitution and canvassed by many stakeholders, including President Muhammadu Buhari. Some of these governors have zero interest in allowing local government elections to hold, thereby impoverishing the masses even more. This has to stop. Local governments must enjoy their legitimate autonomy”.
The group is confident that if the local government is allowed to function properly, it would give a huge opportunity for the youth to participate in politics and governance as councillors and local government chairmen, thereby leading to youth empowerment and employment.
THE ÓTOGÉ REVOLUTION
They claimed that the Ótogé political liberation in Kwara State was achieved largely through the effort of many committed, dedicated, progressive and loyal young people across the 193 wards of Kwara State, who put in all they had to support the struggle for the soul of the people.
They said the Ótogé struggle has established a truly democratic leadership selection system in Kwara State, setting the standard on how the people can freely choose or reject their leaders without being coerced or financially induced by any individual or group.
“However, our dream of having an all-inclusive, transparent government with meaningful ideas has not been fulfilled,” they added.
CHALLENGES FACING NIGERIA
The group also believes that the challenges facing Nigeria and Nigerians at this moment in time cannot be solved by expired analogue ideas in a digital age.
“What we see and witness every day in our current leaders is the application of orthodox treatments to an ailment that has mutated. We need the new ideas, innovation, energy, intellectual capacity and productive skills of the youth to generate solutions. This cannot be overemphasized.
“The world is now a global village. While we note the advantages of this new world, we must not also ignore its disadvantages. The Nigerian youth are becoming busy with the search for alternative solutions to their problems and the internet is already providing them with these alternative solutions, however undesirable.
“The dangers of leaving the youth to their own devices, to “fend” for themselves, have been demonstrated in recent times. It is an invitation for anarchy and chaos to prevail. Therefore, the energy of the youth must be directed towards finding solutions,” they noted.
THE END SARS PROTESTS
They said the EndSARS protest and the violence that followed were part of the expression of anger and frustration by the young people who are tired of government fabricated poverty and unemployment, compounded by intimidation and excesses by those who are paid to protect them.
They are worried that there is no adequate response to the demands of the youth and if a credible platform is not provided for the young people to achieve their long term yearnings, their energy might be diverted to destructive activities that would not help anyone at the end.
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They said they have taken it as their mission to galvanize the energy of the youth, their strength, creativity, ideas and capabilities to drive the economy and governance of Nigeria to meet the aspirations of all.
2023 POLITICAL PERMUTATIONS
The group also expressed concern that the ongoing 2023 political permutations among the political elites do not reasonably consider the youth, and the various agitations of the youth are not given priority in their calculations. Their agreement and disagreement are never about the well-being of the people.
“However, we can not allow them to negotiate our future for us. We are the future. Any project about us, without us, is not for us. Any plan about Nigeria without the involvement of the youth is not for the youth and not for Nigeria,” they said.
WHY THE YPP BALLOT REVOLUTION
Therefore, given all of the above concerns and many more, and after wide consultation with stakeholders, especially the youth, we are standing together as young people, we are ready to move the country forward from the old order – we have decided to join our like-minds in the Young Progressives Party, YPP, to build a stronger platform that would serve the people and open doors of success for young people in particular and Nigerians in general.
YPP as you all probably know is a unique party where the issues of young people are given utmost priority. A political group where the dreams and aspirations of Nigerians would be valued and respected. Where Nigerians will be given opportunities to thrive and grow. Where the productive energy of Nigerian youth will be turned to creativity and innovation.
YPP is a party where the strengths of young men and women will be galvanized to drive the economy and governance, and where the efforts of their patriotism will not be in vain.
The Young Progressives Party is a service-oriented party that prioritizes merit and not mediocrity. It is a party that has a good reward system for all citizens. It is a party that will strive to unite and not divide. It is a party that will allow for local government autonomy. It is a party that will allow every young man and woman to participate meaningfully in politics and governance. It is a party that will address the issues of poverty and grassroots development. It is a party that is open to all people of integrity with the spirit of service.
For some of us, returning to YPP is a homecoming. I am proud to let you know that we started the Young Progressives Party together, and I have served as the pioneer National Publicity Secretary and National Youth Leader of the Party at different times before I was canvassed to join the APC to fight for the political liberation of our state in 2019. We did that successfully, but we have not yet reached the promised land. We have now decided to move forward and to serve our people better in the YPP.
Therefore, we can no longer wait endlessly. The time has come for all of us, both the young and the old, men and women of honour to join this party, YPP, to create a better place for all and sundry in order to save the future of our unborn generation.
We have decided to take our destiny in our own hands. We have decided to redirect our energy to a better cause. We have decided to reinvigorate our struggle for emancipation, awaken the populace and reignite our network to install quality leadership that will ensure a better life for our people. We resolve to allow young people to play key leadership roles in government, to use their knowledge and skills effectively to render service to our people and deliver tangible dividends of democracy to our communities.
We will not waste our energy in fighting the old guard, but rather focus on building young people for the task ahead. This is not a struggle for power but empowerment of the most numerous, and yet the most marginalized demography – the Nigerian Youth.
Therefore, we are using this opportunity to call on our colleagues out there, in all the different political parties who might still be hanging around waiting for “crumbs”, to rather take the bold step now and join this movement that would give us our rightful place in the leadership and governance structure. This is party is our own. It is worth our sacrifices. The time to start the “BALLOT REVOLUTION” is now.
We have kick-started the YPP membership registration across the wards. Intending members should also follow our Twitter account:@kwaraypp; Facebook: Kwara YPP and website http://www.ypp.ng
Let us rescue our generation from the strangulation of generational hegemony. Let us end unemployment. Let us end poverty. Let us give our parents and children a better life. Let us win the future from now.
We have faith that God is with us and He would crown our effort with success.
Thank you and God bless!
Comrade Charles Olufemi Folayan
Kwara State Chairman,
Young Progressives Party.