Director-General, Coalition of Progressive Youth Groups in Nigeria and the Diaspora (COPY-ND), a group within the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Aminu Isyaku has debunked insinuations that the party is factionalised.
Reacting to a communique earlier issued by the Progressive Youth Movement (PYM), another group within the APC, Isyaku told a news conference on Sunday in Abuja, that there were no factions in the party.
The PYM had purportedly dissolved the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and constituted a new one.
“We want to set the records straight and calm the anxiety of APC youths, and declare that there are no factions or leadership crises in the APC.
“We are the ruling party and we have one caretaker party leadership in place, led by Gov. Buni and appointed unanimously by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
“We are a volunteer coalition that is driven by the concern that we have for the need to correct the negative impression created by the careless actions of the so- called PYM.
“Accordingly, we have painstakingly analysed the political events in the last few days in the youth constituency of the party.
“We, therefore, wish to state without ambiguity, that the COPY-ND is not part of this grand plot to destabilise the party under the leadership of Buni,’’ Isiyaku said.
The COPY-ND leader added that the illegal activities of the PYM had been reported to the police, the Department of State Services and other security agencies.
He described the action of the PYM as an illegality and part of a grand plot to destabilise the APC under the leadership of Gov. Buni ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Isyaku added that the so-called new leadership announced by the PYM for the APC does not represent the views of the teeming youths that formed the foundation and remained the asset of the party.
He maintained that the APC is a party of rules and due process and was too critical to the Nigerian youth.
He said the party would not be distracted by a mere press briefing and reckless announcement of new leadership arbitrarily named by a sponsored group that was alien to the COPY-ND and to the APC.
“In the party today, we have a caretaker committee that has navigated the party from the brink of rancour and steered it onto a safe ground and restored order in it.
“This was achieved through membership registration and revalidation, constitution of tripartite committee, contact and strategic committee and major election victories.
“It has also been achieved through institutionalisation of reward system in the party and defection of governors and chieftains of other political parties into the APC,’’ Isyaku said.
According to him, the Federal Government and the APC are determined to mainstream youths in all their activities, including bringing them into the National Working Committee (NWC), and the National Executive Committee (NEC).
He said it was unfortunate that rather than channel energies and votes to support the government and the party’s leadership, some youths were mortgaging these opportunities to those who were clearly manipulating them.
“While we acknowledge the democratic rights of all party members, it is our firm conviction that the focal point of any such rights should be in the interest of the country.
“It should be in the interest of the party and Nigerians and in line with laid-down processes and procedures available in the party’s structure,’’ Isyaku stressed.
He called on the APC leadership to investigate the root cause and personalities behind what he called the unconstitutional action of the PYM, adding that sanctions should be applied on it immediately.
He added that ahead of the party’s National Convention, the COPY-ND and APC’s teeming youths would continue to seek for their rightful place in the party through constructive engagement with its leadership.
This, he said, was critical to improve the promotion of youth interests and inclusion in the party’s states and national offices.
“We recommend that the party needs to know that in addressing young people, an important mechanism of promoting youths interests in the party is the use of candidate quotas.
“These serve to formally or informally determine the minimum required number of youth members within any list of candidates for various elected positions.
“We urge the party to do more for its youth constituency by moving towards genuine youth participation in decision-making and in adequate representation within and outside the party,’’ Isyaku said.