In response to the National Association of Igbo Youths’ (NAIY) obstinacy that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu was teaming up with the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Senator Bola Ahead Tinubu, for next month’s election, the South East Mobilizers (SEM), an APC support group for Tinubu/Shettima, has repudiated the NAIY.
When Tinubu campaigned in Enugu last week, one of his campaign spokespersons, Dr. Josef Onoh, claimed that the APC presidential candidate formed a working relationship with Governor Ugwuanyi.
However, the NAIY criticized Onoh for asserting that Ugwuanyi and Tinubu are “partners in development” on Monday, claiming that Onoh did not accurately portray what happened between Ugwuanyi and Tinubu while the APC Presidential candidate.
The SEM Publicity Secretary, Prof. Aham Ezekaude, responded to the youths by referring to the NAIY as a nameless organization that has no presence or relevance for a response.
However, SEM pointed out that in order to support Asiwaju Tinubu’s drive to create a united and wealthy nation, it was necessary to define for Tinubu what a partnership in progress with other Nigerians meant.
The Tinubu/Shettima mobilizers claimed that the Dr. Onoh-referred political alliance was a crucial component of good government, stressing that good governance necessitates creating effective
institutions, politicians, political organizations, people, groups, and networks collaborating to address issues that are now affecting a nation, state, zone, community, or organization on a global, national, or local level.
“This partnership process involves increasing more participation and interaction among government, the private sector, civil society organizations and key stakeholders to work towards mutual interests and mutual goals for all parties to achieve success and shared visions.”
Young, active citizens who will not only line up at polling places in the elections of 2023 but who are also taking to the streets and using contemporary communication technology to select, sanction, and pressure political leaders and representatives who wield power within the government, according to Ezekaude, are clearly the result of the current political participative engagements in Nigeria.
“This political engagement can function in highly nuanced ways even within the same formal institutional context and across the political spectrum, from autocracies to democracies.
“Political engagement becomes unhealthy when leaders are selected and sanctioned on the basis of their provision of private benefits rather than public goods, giving rise to a range of government failures as clearly demonstrated by the so called faceless national association of Igbo youths, whom couldn’t differentiate between the use of the word ‘our latest partner in progress’ as used by Dr. Onoh and interpreted same to mean ‘a political endorsement’ by the Enugu state Governor for Tinubu.
“This is a sad case of lack of patience and deligence, as they were quick to react to various individual unregulated blog headlines without reading the full contents of the publication which would have saved them the embarrassment as no part of the publication suggested that the Enugu state Governor endorsed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“It’s not our business to represent or speak on behalf of the Governor, especially his personal choice of endorsement which will be execercised in his polling unit on election day by casting his vote for any Presidential candidate of his choice but the so called youths were quick to hurl insults on Dr. Josef Onoh, the southeast spokesman of the BAT PCC.
“The so-called youths exposed their lack of intellectual foundation with nothing to promote in the southeast region. The solution to these failures lies in fostering healthy political engagement within any institutional context and not in circumventing or suppressing it. Access to publicly available information about the actions of those in government and the consequences of these actions can play a crucial role by nourishing political engagement rather than unguarded, uncultured, and crude attacks on individuals who only mean well for their region.
“The APC led government, despite the lack of support it got from the southeast from 2015 till date, did not stop the administration from listening to the pleas of their various state governors and executed various legacy projects in the region since 1999, yet it did not equate to endorsement of the APC- led government by the opposition southeast states, rather they were patners in progress and a partnership that has benefited the region.
According to the APC, “it is only prudent that all political leaders and stakeholders in the southeast area partner with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to usher in a new administration that will continue the advancement the Buhari-led administration has attracted to the southeast.”