Kano, Nigeria - Despite all the obstacles against him, Ahmad Abba Dangata, a 28-year-old student of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria contested for the office of the national youth leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He ran an impressive campaign, especially on social media, and shared with Legit.ng's Nurudeen Lawal his plans for the youths if he won the seat.
Dangata lost the seat to Dayo Israel who emerged through a consensus arrangement.
Weeks after the convention, Dangata in a brief chat with Legit.ng spoke about the loss, his plans for 2023, and the fate of his party in the forthcoming general elections.
"I lost the office of the National APC youth leader due to the zoning arrangements," he told Legit.ng.
Do you have a groundbreaking story you would like us to publish? Please reach us through email@example.com!
True. Dangata is from Kano state in the northwest but the APC zoned the national youth leader position to the southwest.
APC national youth leader: What next after the loss?
The optimistic Dangata said he is now "consulting" his people on the 2023 general elections.
He said his "constituents" are calling him to contest for the member of the State House of Assembly or the House of Representatives.
However, Dangata said he's yet to decide.
"But definitely I will contest in this forthcoming 2023 general election," he said assuredly.
Here comes another obstacle: The cost of APC's nomination forms
Ahead of its primaries, the APC has begun the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms for various positions.
The fees include N100 million for presidential aspirants; N30 million for the expression of interest form and N70 million for the nomination form.
The party also fixed N50 million for governorship aspirants, N20 million and N10 million for senatorial and House of Representatives aspirants respectively, and N2 million for state House of Assembly aspirants.
However, aspirants under 40 years will get a 50% discount on the fees while women and persons living with disabilities will pay only for the expression of interest forms.
"Honestly, the money is too much because some of us (the youths) can not afford the forms," Dangata said.
The young APC member said the forms are still expensive, even with the 50% discount for the youths.
"N100 million for the form is not easy. How can a youth like me use N50 million to purchase the (governorship) form," Dangata queried.
2023 election: the zoning argument
In March, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state said the APC presidential candidate for the 2023 election is expected to come from the south.
At the same time, Senator Ali Ndume also told the ruling party to zone its presidential ticket to the south, noting that it would be unfair to the south if APC zones the ticket to the north after President Buhari's two terms in office.
However, the newly elected national chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said recently that the party had not taken any decision on zoning.
Adamu's statement has sparked outrage from various groups, especially those rooting for the southern presidency.
Speaking on the development, Dangata aligns himself with Senator Ndume's view. He said the APC should zone the presidential ticket to the south.
Tinubu, Osinbajo, Umahi, others: Any favourite aspirant?
Ahead of the APC's presidential primaries, prominent APC chieftains have obtained the N100 million form.
Among them are the former Lagos governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, and former Imo governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
While many APC supporters have pitched their tents with some of the aspirants, Dangata said he has no favourite aspirant.
"Party's candidate is my candidate. But I wish that the party would provide a very nice and qualified candidate," he told Legit.ng.
2023: After Buhari's exit, will APC remain the ruling party?
He said only an election that is not free and fair will deny the party victory at the polls.
However, Dangata said he is "very sure" that the APC will still retain the presidency in 2023 after President Buhari leaves office.
Why are you so sure of the APC's victory? Legit.ng asked.
Dangata said APC will win because all the promises made by President Muhammadu Buhari have been "achieved".
"In terms of security, job creation, and empowerment, APC has done a lot," he said.
The young APC member said he is very sure his party will win the general elections, "from the president to councilor" if it gives the tickets to the right candidates.