MaiBasira: We're Confident PDP Will Win On Saturday

MaiBasira: We're Confident PDP Will Win On Saturday

Abdullahi Hussaini MaiBasira is the National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Director of Youth Mobilisation of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization. He recently talked to journalists on the youth preparation of this month’s general elections and how well the PDP’s Youth wing has prepared and galvanised support for President Jonathan's re-election nationwide. Legit.ng correspondent was there.

What is the focus of the youth wing of your party in this month's general election?

As youth leader of my party, our present focus and direction is simply that candidates of our party should emerge victorious at all levels at the polls. Our work is to mobilize and ensure the re-election of Mr. President and to principally galvanise youth support nationwide.

The Directorate of Youths have been traveling round the country galvanising the Youths for the President, What is the response of Youths based on your interactions country wide?

Yes, we held several side-line programs for the campaigns. We held town hall meetings in Sokoto, Niger, Kogi, Calabar, Owerri, Akure, Ilorin, Lagos, Kaduna and our other officers were detailed to Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau and Nasarawa. We also did stop overs in Zamfara, Kebbi and Ekiti. Some of these were youth regional meetings while some were States. We engaged youths on social media through the “PDPyouthtweetmeet” with over 2.3 million reach, We also mobilized members of the Youth Campaign Committee for all the Presidential Campaign rallies. The 2015 Youth Campaign Committee will go down in history as one with the most assembly of youth and student leaders. We liaised consistently with the youth and students movements and we also got endorsements of youth leaders from other political parties who joined us in Lagos. We convened an interactive session with youth groups and we had fruitful engagements with our peers and colleagues. Other groups too have held some programs for youths and we are satisfied that we are all on board for the same success.

READ ALSO: 300 Youth Groups Storm Abuja For Jonathan

Why do you think young people should vote for President Goodluck Jonathan?

If you take a close look at his policy initiatives and thrust, you will find out that the administration has consistently placed young people in all of its interventions. Federal Government led interventions in agricultural, ICT, education, public health, works and infrastructure, employment drive such as the Graduate Internship Scheme that allows corporate and private enterprises mentor young people and prepare them for full scale employment, and channelling funds oil subsidy funds into youWIN and SureP programs. The budgetary allocation to the education sector in particular has increased and has allowed for the creation of additional tertiary universities bringing to total one federal university in each state of the federation. All these signify a broad and concerted approach towards enhancing youth policy objectives in government. We are also confident that he would do more in this regard after his re – election so that these policies will be consolidated and strengthened.

What is your take on the recommended 30% inclusion of Youth in governance by the National Conference?

I am for it. We had advocated for it. We shall work towards its full realization. At the CONFAB, we were represented by 18 young people whom we must commend. They pushed home our call for youth inclusion in governance and it was part of the recommendations in the final report. Commendably, the Federal Executive Council chaired by Mr. President has adopted the report and that is the first step. This party, the President and our leaders will advance any genuine and constructive effort that will strengthen the involvement of young people in our democracy. This strategy will open up new gates to ensure that more young people are deliberately involved not only governance but would also expand the horizon for mentorship and leadership recruitment.

The place of useful youth in country in the next 20 years is without a doubt important, but how do you reconcile it with the fact that 60% of the thugs or miscreants are youth?

First as a party and the ideals of President Jonathan, we denounce, deplore, abhore and reject all forms of political violence. Though I have not seen any empirical evidence to concede to this assertion, I am confident that given increased awareness of the populace, improved credibility in our electoral system and the increasing involvement of young people seeking elective office, and subsequently being appointed, this tendency will be greatly reduced in the future. The fact is, this nation has no greater resource than its youth, and that is why education, youth empowerment, capacity building and promotion of self – reliance should and has been the centre piece of PDP and the present administration. It has been stated by the year 2030, Nigeria’s most important asset will not be our crude reserves, or mineral deposits or agricultural capacity, it will be in our nation’s capacity to harness the full potentials of its youthful population for economic development. By that time, I for one should have left the youth constituency by age but we presently have a responsibility to prepare for the future. That is what President Jonathan represents. That is what we shall work for and that is why the PDP should be re – elected.

READ ALSO: Lagos Youth Declares Support For Jonathan's Second Term

What efforts are you making to ensure that non – violent elections?

We launched the no - violence campaign during our Youth interactive session in Sokoto State. We launched it because we believe that young people should not be involved in violence, we should actively play a part in the electoral process without engaging in conflict. And we have taken this message to all the other places where we subsequently went for our various town hall meetings with youths. We also informed youth leaders at the state level and the Presidential Campaign Committee members on the need to sensitize our supporters that we believe in one Nigeria and the survival of the country is very important to us all. Our candidate, the incumbent president has vowed that no shedding of blood is worth sacrificing for his ambition; and I believe for any other politician for that matter. So we believe that we should follow suit.

How much more should Nigerian youths be willing to sacrifice for the country, given the sacrifice the Nigerian youths has done over time without results?

I believe that nation building is a continuous process. Our founding fathers have played their parts, as a country we have had our challenges, we would simply have to play our part in keeping the eagle’s flag flying. Our diversity is both a great asset but also a call to continuously rectify our fault lines. As long as humanity exists, Nigeria will continue to exist because we have responsibility to the black race and the world. All of us young or small, big or small, male or female must continue to strive to ensure that this country continues to exist. In my opinion no sacrifice is too much in keeping Nigeria one. There is no country that does not have fault lines, we have to work on ours, solidify them and know that we don't have anywhere else to go and we have to work to meet the aspirations of our people and make sure our children inherit a better country, better than how we met it. I believe that the PDP is the only true Nigerian party that cut across every segment of the country, a party that embraces all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, ethnicity, norms, cultures or religion.

What are the prospects of the youth in the PDP?

It is bright. I'm the youngest National Youth Leader the party has ever had, and currently, the youngest Governor is PDP – Ramalan Yero and the youngest Governorship candidate is PDP – Umar Nasko. We have young men like Comrades Tony Nwolo, Onofiok Luke, Bello Ahmed Agwara, Kolade, Tony Nwoye, Ben Duntoye and many contesting on our platform for legislative houses. Many more aspired. By next year or the year after that, I would leave office and definitely another young man will also emerge. This party is youth friendly. Our President youth focused. We have consolidated the youth movement in the party, our prospects for a well - defined youth wing within the context of the organs of the party will be our post - election priority so that mentorship, succession planning and leadership identification will be institutionalized, planned and monitored.

READ ALSO: PDP Youths Campaign For Jonathan In Kaduna

What informed your decision to resign as the Speaker of the Nigerian Youth Parliament?

I was elected on 14th December 2011 and I resigned on 13th December 2014. I must give credit to President Jonathan who continued with the policy of the Youth Parliament after Late President Umaru Yar'adua. It shows a leader with vision and conscious of continuity with objective government policies. I am one of the products of the Parliament.

The fact is there was no rule of the Parliament requiring me to vacate office but as I resigned for three reasons. One was my belief that I cannot be a Youth Leader and the same time Speaker because the Parliament is non – partisan in structure. Two; because I have work to do galvanizing and mobilizing youths for the re-election of President Jonathan and the success of our party. And three, because I believe another young man can fill in the space and even perform better than me in taking the Parliament to the next level. I am still a member of the Parliament though.

How would you describe the forth coming elections?

First we are confident we will win. The PDP is a truly Nigerian Party. On the election, it is an election that, in my own opinion, will consolidate our country's democracy and prepare us to face the challenges of overcoming our fault lines. This election will make Nigerians really appreciate democracy. It is about moving forward and enhancing our country’s prospects. It is about consolidating our hold on our economic growth to further translate it into full development. In our appraisal, I would rather suggest that we be objective than subjective.

We expect high turnout of voters, which is good for democracy and the confidence of our elected Leaders. Nigerians will participate in the process and appreciate the fact that democracy is here to stay and we must all work together to ensure that it stays.

What is your opinion on those calling for Change?

That is slogan of another party; the slogan and motto of my party - the PDP is “Power to the people” and I think that is what democracy signifies.

Source: Legit.ng

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