APYF Kwara Commends Senate President Saraki For #OpenNass

he Kwara State Chapter of the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF) received with utmost joy the news of a fulfilment of a near decade yearnings of the Nigerian public for transparency in the National Assembly. We are extremely delighted that the public demand for openness in the legislative arm of government has now been met under the current leadership led by the amiable President of the Senate, Sen. (Dr.) Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

The APYF would like to reaffirm that the achievement recorded with #OpenNass under Dr. Saraki is even more significant when considered against the background that the National Assembly budget has been shrouded in secrecy for the past eight years. The fact that Dr. Saraki, as President of the Senate, fulfilled a promise that has remained unfulfilled throughout the tenure of his predecessors is a glaring indication of his commitment to the survival of democracy in Nigeria

With this feat, Dr. Saraki has no doubt proven that if the ideals of democracy were to be lost, the people could rediscover it in the minds of progressive minded people like himself. We are very proud of Dr. Saraki, and as young people within the party closely observing and learning from front line political leaders; we are confident that the President of the Senate remains a towering example and role model to all of us aspiring for future leadership.

It is our prayer that this singular act of transparency by the Dr. Bukola Saraki-led Senate will deepen democratic values and advance the development agenda of the current administration under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. We, the progressive youths, are very proud of our dear Senate President and commend him for this singular achievement.

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APYF Expresses Shock and Sadness Over Death Of James Ocholi, Wife And Son

The All Progessives Congress Youth Forum (APYF), wishes to express our deepest shock and sadness on the death of Mr. James Ocholi (SAN), the Minister of State for Labour and productivity, his wife and son in a ghastly motor accident along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.
James Ocholi was a great man who will be remembered as not only a passionate advocate for the quest to attain a new Nigeria under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, but also as a charismatic supporter of youth-centered policies and initiatives, and a man those who knew him could count on to “get things done” in the proper manner.
As we mourn his death, let us celebrate his life of public service to his immediate community, his State and his country.
Rest in peace Barrister, you served your country well.
For APYF
Olu W. Onemola
National Public Relations Officer?
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The Youth Group for the Nation: A Brief History of the APYF By Alwan Hassan

Fresh-off the boat from the 2011 General Elections, it all started as a joke. A young political novice by the name of Ismaeel Ahmed, joined forces with two young men in Kano to start an organisation whose sole aim was to re-orient Northern Youths politically — in preparation for the 2015 elections. This organisation was called Rindinan Changi, and its key members were Ismaeel Ahmed – the eloquent and charismatic Barrister, Salihu Tanko Yakassai – a spirited man of the pen, and Nasir Adhama – the energetic organiser who would later become President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Youth and Students.

As I said, they were fresh off the boat from the Congress for Progress Change’s (CPC) electoral defeat of 2011, yet, these young men started planning ahead against 2015 in order to ensure that we – as Nigerians – got it right the next time.

In this regard, in 2012, Ismaeel Ahmed, paid a visit to Buhari to tell him about their newly-constituted pressure group. However, having seen that a national spread was necessary to wrestle power from the centre, Buhari advised the young man to make their group a “Youth Group for the Nation” – informing them that there would soon be a political merger.

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On hearing this, Barrister Ahmed set out to Abuja to begin the work of recruiting and convincing young people that were disgruntled with the inept political and governance status quo. In Abuja, he gathered a group of young men – some of whom he knew, some of whom he was introduced to – and they sat in a room for hours debating what the merger would mean for Nigeria, wondering what role they would be given to play as young people in the merger, and discussing what the objectives of this “Youth Group for the Nation” would be.

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The Ten young men in the room on that day were: Ismaeel Ahmed, Abubakar A. Jibrin. Aj – the cerebral economic analyst; Barrister Oscar Obi – who would later become the Senate President’s Special Assistant on Youth; Mohammed Edota – who was deliberate and meticulous in all things; Barrister Aliyu – the boisterous lawyer; Auwal Musa, Abu Sadiq, our first media guy and our best among our bloggers, Aminu Datti, Aminu Baba Ahmed who introduced Ismaeel to me, and myself, Alwan Hassan.

At the end of the meeting, in a tiny office in a oft-overlooked garden in Garki 2, Abuja, the young men in the room agreed that the sole prerogative of the “Youth Group for the Nation” would be to “Take Part to Take Charge.” They also agreed on one more thing, to name the group: The All Progressive Youth Forum, otherwise known as ‘APYF.’

At this point, with many months to spare before February 2015 – when Nigerians were scheduled to go to the polls – and with a team to coordinate the efforts of the APYF back in Abuja, Barrister Ismaeel went wild. ‘Wild’ in and of itself might be an understatement when put in the proper context, but I will try to paint a picture. You see, the All Progressives Congress (APC), was registered in February 2013 after much wrangling amongst the constituting actors – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the CPC, and the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). However, by January 2013, the APYF already had 6 Zonal Coordinators, 20 State Coordinators and over 500 members.

By April 2013, when the APC was still in the process of finding its rhythm, the APYF already had 25 State Coordinators and thousands of members cut across the various parties that came together to form the APC.

The election season started sometime in late 2013, when political powerhouses from other parties started reading the talisman’s on the walls and decided to pitch their tents with the APC. At this time, individuals like Rinsola Abiola – who would later go on to serve as the Special Assistant on New Media to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara – became the National Public Relations Officer of the Forum. Others like Ife Adebayor and Mohammed Brimah – now Special Assistants to the Vice-President – worked on coordinating the activities of the forum in the South West, while Salihu Tanko Yakassai became the North west Zonal cordinator, and a member of the National Working Committee of the Forum.

Others like Olu Onemola, the content developer of the forum also came on board. Olu would go on to succeed Rinsola Abiola as the National PRO of the Forum, and be appointed as a Senior Legislative Aide to the Senate President after the National Assembly inauguration. Bashir Ahmed, who was recently appointed as the Personal Assistant to President Buhari, Fatima Kakuri, the Special Assistant on Gender to the Senate President and Barrister Myani Bukar, the Special Assistant on Legal Matters to the Vice-President bolstered the ranks of the forum, and augmented the efforts to give the youth a platform to air their views, debate their perspectives, and work towards a common goal at the National level.

Fully understanding that inserting pressure at the centre was insufficient to actualise positive Change, at the state level, as the National Field Director, myself and Barrister Ismaeel, who was now the Chairman of the Forum, worked on empowering our State Chapters to not only contribute to the national objectives of the party, but to re-orient young participants in the electoral process to vote with their hearts and not based on the pocket-change they were given by political actors prior to the balloting process.

At this point, the rest is history. What started out as a mandate given to one young man by the then-General Muhammadu Buhari, has evolved into a progressive pressure group with hundreds of thousands of members in basically every local government area of the Federation, Commissioners in countless states, and active policy and decision-makers in key Ministries, the Presidency, and the National Assembly.

Although we have come a long way – taking part in the political process, in order to take charge of it someday – we still have an even longer way to go. Ask any of us and we will all tell you the same thing: “We are just getting started.”

-Alwan Hassan is the National Field Director of the APYF. 

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New Year, New Expectations: APYF Felicitate With Nigerians

As Nigeria and the world said goodbye to 2015 – an eventful year that positively redefined our nation’s perspective on democracy and upgraded our country to the level of political maturity – and ushered in the second part of the first quarter of the Millennium, the Youth Forum (APYF) wish you all a Happy New Year as we begin the journey of 2016 together.

Individually, many of us mark the beginning of every new year as turning points in our lives. As a country that recently secured the change that we sought for many years by sheer determination and hard work, we must see this New Year as a collective turning point and opportunity to rally our minds and efforts towards building a New Nigeria that works for everyone.

Our consciousness and focus in 2016 must be premised on the future prosperity of Nigeria to surpass the Nigeria of the past and the present. We have our work cut out for us. All of us: everyday-citizens and duly-elected and/or appointed politicians.

And yes, although our roles in furthering the Nigerian project might differ and our methods towards achieving a better Nigeria might not always be the same, all of us must play a part in the development of our nation.

Across our political aisles we must build bridges to solve the problems of our commonwealth. Political bickering, posturing and divisive politics of exploitation should come to an end for all our sakes.

Across generations, we must begin to blur the generational divides that have often limited our country in the past. 2016 should be the year that the energy and ingenuity of our youth, must be complemented with the wisdom and maturity of our elders and vice-versa.

In 2016, we have the opportunity as a country to state collectively that although we our proud of our diversity, we our stronger in our unity. Hence, the ethnic and religious dissimilarities that exist in our nation must be seen by all as one of the greatest strengths of our nation, not a stumbling block to our united sovereignty.

This year is ours for the taking. Greatness awaits us if we work together. A bright future is on the horizon for Nigeria – but we must all play our part to actualize it.

Happy New Year once again. May the Almighty bless you, may He, in his infinite mercies, grace our understanding and bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Signed:

Barr. Ismaeel Ahmed

Chairman,APYF
Member, APC BoT?

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To Move Forward, We Must Move Forward Together: Independence Day Message By APYF

Message from the All Progressives (Congress) Youth Forum (APYF) on Nigeria’s 55th Independence Day Celebration

Today, as we commemorate our nation’s 55-year independence as a sovereign and self-governing nation under God Almighty, Nigerians all across the country settle to celebrate our remarkable history.

The story of our country since that faithful first day of October in the year 1960 has been one that has been marked with perseverance, hope, and the endless potential of ample possibilities.

As a country, we have journeyed through civilian rule to military eras, down to our present-day democratic dispensation. Though our Independence Day stories have varied noticeably over the years –given the current political and social climate in Nigeria today – the All Progressives (Congress) Youth Forum (APYF) is proud to be associated with Nigeria’s current push in a positive direction.

For the past few months, under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government, the steering wheel of our nation has been recovered, and steadily but surely, Nigerians can see our nation being driven to respectable heights in the comity of nations.

Additionally, our leaders from all arms of government can be seen working hard to set meaningful precedents aimed at strengthening Nigerian institutions. The long-lasting, far-reaching, and constructive-affirmative change that we all seek, the reassuring governance that we many of us voted for earlier this year is gradually coming true before our very eyes.

As we celebrate the Nigerian project today, let us remember the Nigerian story. Let us mark today in deep reflection, cognizant of the fact that we must all play our own little part to make Nigeria better. Let us also remember that the New Nigeria that we all want can only be actualized by a collective and concerted effort that cuts across our country, and our perceived ethnic, religious and political differences.

To move forward, we must move forward together. To make Nigeria a country that will once again become the voice and Giant of Africa, we must all bring forth our healthy-best. Naysaying, grandstanding, and the meaningless status quo must now be left behind.

This is a new Nigeria, and we celebrate her independence today.


Happy Independence Day to all Nigerians from the APYF.


May the Almighty continue to bless Nigeria, and May He, in his infinite strength, wisdom, and mercies, grant grace and favour upon our people, and our leaders.

God bless you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

For APYF:
Olu Wole Onemola
National Public Relations Officer
APYF

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South East APYF Passes Vote of Confidence on President Buhari

On behalf of every South-East Young Progressives in this arena and across this vast country, and on behalf of all those who want to identify with the progressive movement, I want to reassert our unflinching vote of confidence in the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

As a Youth Leader and a concerned youth, I know the beauty of democracy is you don’t have to be somebody to say something, as long as you have something to say to somebody. And this is the only political party in this country that gives the youths a voice at such a grand stage, and that gives us great hopes as to what will be obtainable in the APC.

The Youths are the energetic constituency ready to flood this party. But we are here not as servants but as partners. We are not here to work for you; we are here to work with you. We will help build this party, so that together we can rebuild this country. We are poised to take part in remaking this country, so that we may take charge in driving it.

Contrary to the belief in some quarters that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to hit the ground running four months after inauguration, the integrity quotient of Mr President and his aura phenomenon alone has so far performed creditably in the following key areas;

1.Security (Combat Boko haram)

2. Tackling corruption (Return of looted funds)

3. Improvement in the power sector

4. Foreign Aid/Support

I’m going to break down these four points for us to understand perfectly the effect Buhari’s regime has had on Nigeria so far.

It’s been about four months now since President Buhari assumed office, and I can tell you that there has been motion, and there has been movement!

SECURITY;
We all know what we have been going through with Boko haram, militants and other insecurity issues affecting the country. So far, this regime has done it’s best to invigorate the fight against Boko haram by rallying a regional and global front against the terror group. Today, the United States has pledged $5 million to the fight against Boko haram, in addition to other material support. This is apart from the support that has been pledged by the G7 to strengthen Nigeria’s efforts to quell the insurgency?.

FOREIGN AID/SUPPORT:
Through his, and that of VP, Yemi Osinbanjo’s foreign trips, he has helped in resurrecting Nigeria’s reputation as a crucial player in the African and international scene. Among Nigerians at home and the diaspora, PMB has garnered favourable reception right from by his inaugural speech, where he vowed to respect rule of law, as exemplified by his subsequent call for the protection of the rights of former officials of his predecessor’s regime. His resolve to look into issues of human right abuse as raised by Amnesty International, has adequately bolstered his global recognition as a democratic leader.

TACKLING CORRUPTION (RETURN OF LOOTED FUNDS):
One thing has always been the bane of the power sector in Nigeria and that is CORRUPTION in the system. With the billions of dollars that Jonathan’s government sunk into the power sector and with little or nothing to show for it in the long run, Nigeria has always been seen as a cursed nation as they were so blessed by GOD both in human and natural resources but misused by the greedy few to keep other Nigerians in perpetual poverty.
Below are the recently looted funds discovered by this administration;

Probe of $2.1billion illegally withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account without recourse to the National Economic Council(NEC). It was recorded that of the $2.1billion, only $1billion was paid to oil marketers as fuel subsidy and about $1billion unaccounted for.

Although, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala claimed that the ex-President approved the spending of $1billion, He (President Jonathan) had no right to do so.

?Whereabouts of $4billion taxes and dividends paid by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited between 2009 and 2014.

How the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent N3.8trillion in three years.

The implementation of the Treasury Singular Account, which will tremendously put in check the conduit pipes through which public funds are looted.

The imminent prosecution of those who have in various ways and degrees misappropriated public funds which they were meant to hold in trust for the people.

IMPROVEMENT IN THE POWER SECTOR:

Prior to the advent of the current APC government in the centre, ‘NEPA’ as it is been known and addressed has always been a disappointment to the Nigerian citizens. Which gave birth to their hitherto acronym “Never Expect Power Always”. So with the poor power supply to the Nigerian citizens, we already concluded that we will never expect power always from NEPA and as such, it was a normal thing to be left in total darkness by this company at the time.

However, when NEPA rebranded into Power Holding Company of Nigeria PHCN, again Nigerians concluded that their acronym fits very well as they were only releasing electric power to the general public at their own pace since they were HOLDING the power from the general public. So it was never a crime to be denied adequate power supply by the power holding company when it existed and Nigerians started holding their individual power too as the generator importation business boomed during their regime.

So when the power company was recently bundled by the federal government and private investors came into play in the system, Nigerians hived a sigh of relief that at last the poor power problem would be over soon. But alas, the result was the same if not worse as it has always been the case with their predecessors (NEPA and PHCN).

So, my fellow Nigerian Youths, since the government of President Buhari took over, what has been the electric power supply situation in your location? I’d let you be the judge of that as I have witnessed tremendous improvement in my zone.

In conclusion, I’d like to urge us, youths of Ndigbo and entire Nigeria to be part of the change Nigeria requires and participate actively, as we are key to making the country a better place.

We in The South-East APC YOUTH FORUM, surely most unbiased Nigerians are very proud of President Buhari and the vigour he has shown in governance, the kind of vigour we did not see in the immediate past administration that was presided over by a far younger man.

As we work to complement each other’s efforts, let’s remember that a political party must be an institution of democracy not the demonstration of a selfish ambition. So we, the young in age and at heart should be ready to plunge into the sea to rescue the country and its future?.

Thank You!

Barr Obi Mac Oscar, KSM.
National Secretary, APC YOUTH FORUM.
Leader, South-East APYF.
bmacobi@yahoo.com

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APYF Commiserates With The Govt And People of Borno State

The All Progressives Congress Youth Forum (APYF) wishes to express our deepest shock and sympathy on the news of the passing of the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Zanna Umar Mustapha.

Throughout his public service career, Alhaji Mustapha demonstrated an uncommon commitment to the development of the young people in his community – by showing that the younger generation were also stakeholders in the quest to develop his home state of Borno, and Nigeria as a whole.

In this regard, the APYF sends out our heartfelt condolences to the family that Alhaji Mustapha has left behind, and to Governor Kashim Shettima and people of Borno State.

We pray that the Almighty grant the soul of the dear and departed Deputy Governor Al Janna Firdaus, and we wish all those that join us in mourning his passing the courage and fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.

For APYF:

Olu Wole Onemola
Public Relations Officer

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Bukola Hosts APYF Leadership, Says Senate Will Be Transparent Under My Watch

Bukola Saraki, has said that the 8th Senate is committed to openness.

Saraki who spoke while receiving the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Youth Forum (APYF) in his office as part of the celebration of this year’s International Youth Day, said the Senate has nothing to hide.

He said the e-parliament being planned by the Senate is meant to give voice to Nigerians who will want to contribute to discussions on issues concerning the upper chamber of the legislature.

He told the APC youth body to disregard negative insinuations and speculations concerning the Senate as the lawmakers are committed to making a difference.

Saraki said: “I want to assure you, despite all what you read in the papers, be rest assured that we are here for serious business. We are all committed to make a difference and my doors are open. Very soon, from what I am being told from the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, we are trying to move fast about the e-parliament so that everybody here can know what we are doing and they can also contribute to some of the discussions.

“We want to make this place as open as possible. There is nothing here we are hiding. What is our great motivation? Nigerians spoke at the last elections and I don’t think they spoke for things to be the same and we must not let it be the same. We must ensure that it is positively different,” he said.

He added that the present administration is committed to carrying the youths along as against the use and dump syndrome of the past.

He said the report on the proposed legislative agenda which will soon be debated on the floor of the Senate is meant to identify priority bills that will give the needed support to the executive.

He said: “For example, the issue of rebuilding the Northeast. We believe there are no schools. There are no hospitals. There are no homes. That cannot come from normal budgetary allocation or appropriations. As a country, we must make a special case for the rebuilding of the Northeast and again, that is going to come from the support of the National Assembly and that is an area of focus for us,” he said..

The National President of the APYF, Ismaeel Ahmed in his remarks commended the Senate President for being youth-friendly and for his immense contributions to the success of the APC in the 2015 elections.

He added that now that the APC is the governing party, it was time to ensure good governance which the nation lacked under the previous administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ahmed said: “We have seen an incredible move by you to include a lot of young people and give them the ladder of opportunities for them to grow in the political atmosphere and we hope that in your current position, that will continue as well. We are also here as concerned members of the APC.

“It will be disingenuous for us to leave this place without telling you as a member of this good party, that you have contributed in no small way to the success of the party. Young people, as you are quite aware, played incredible role in bringing about the success from their activities on the mainstream and social media to make sure that the information that was coming from the other side do not overwhelm us.

“What we lacked in terms of resources and authoritarian manpower, we gained in the voice of a lot of young people that did not have the comfortability of either security or money or the wherewithal but we stood by and made sure that change happened in 2015. You are aware of that. You have helped us in so many respects in achieving that.

“Now, we are here, we have won the election, we have to win the country as well. Wining the country means governing it well, governing well means having a functional National Assembly and a very functional President. We have known your track records,” he said.

 

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Why Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila Remains The Perfect Candidate For Speaker – Lagos APYF

The 2015 election has come and gone with the All Progressives Congress emerging victorious not only at the Federal Level, but now in control of more states. No doubt, the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF-Lagos) played more than a passing role in bringing about the desired Change by following the part that lesser mortals trail; combining our bold heart with a sound mind and using all platforms to campaign for CHANGE.

With President-elect Muhammadu Buhari’s victory, we therefore cannot but take interest in ensuring the emergence of a virile legislature that will effectively complement the All Progressives Congress (APC) led executive.

The House of Representatives comes to mind here, and who becomes Speaker is crucial in this regard. The APC has quite competent ranking house members but one man stands out of the pack with unparalleled vibrancy, articulate presentation, oratory prowess and uncanny ability to be the voice of the common man.

This is none other than the Minority leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, representing Surulere Federal Constituency I.

When you do well, it is then you will become acceptable. Femi Gbajabiamila needs no introduction as he has become a household name on account of his leadership of the opposition caucus and the energy with which he passionately defends the over-ridding interests of the generality of Nigerians in the house.

Apart from a cognate experience spanning 12 years, Mr Gbajabiamila has also been able to build bridges of friendship across political divides which will enhance his ability to help the APC pass its crucial reform legislation with little or no opposition.

Some crucial bills sponsored by Gbabiamila include: Nigerian Communications Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2013 with objective to track usage of communication terminals by terrorists; Central Bank of Nigeria (Amendment) Bill, 2012 with objective to strengthen the nation’s monetary policy; building and Public Infrastructures Protection Bill, 2011 with objective to enable maintenance of public buildings and infrastructure among others.

Having been a founding member of the APC that understand its vision and share its ideals, the APYF believes Hon Femi Gbajabiamila is better placed to support the President-elect to put this country back on the right track.

The independence of the legislature enhances the separation of powers which is key for the sustenance of democracy. With Gbajabiamila’s strong personality, APYF believes this will be guaranteed.

That is why we, the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF-Lagos) are throwing our weight behind Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to become the Speaker of the 8th House of Representatives.

We urge House of Rep members across the length and breadth of the country to rally round Gbajabiamila and support his emergence as Speaker.

Let’s put a “square peg in a square hole” and Nigeria will be better for it!

Mohammed Brimah

Coordinator, Lagos APYF

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