The National Youth Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dayo Israel, has said there need for the party and the incoming administration to give priority to communication and grassroots engagements.
He said this in Abuja while speaking at a conversational round table with the theme; “Electorate and Elections: The Parties, The People and The Possibilities” to mark the 43rd birthday of the former National Youth Leader of the party, Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed.
The APC chieftain decried the past practice of waiting for the election period before the party, political office holders and candidates for elective office strive to communicate and engage the people at the grassroots.
He observed that the greatest takeaway from the just concluded general elections was that the Nigerian electorate had become more conscious of their political power to choose who governed them.
“From the outcome of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections and the March 25 governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, we have come to realise that politics would never be the same in the country again.
“The truth is that the electorate had become more politically conscious,” adding that “priority should therefore be given to communication and grassroots engagements not just during elections, but across the electoral circle.
“We must continue to communicate and engage the people, I believe that by the grace of Almighty, the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will do exceptional much more than can be imagined.
“And we will have less work to do in 2027 because we would have had a government that would have done exceptionally well that Nigerians will say let’s give him a second chance,” he said.
The Youth leader also advised political leaders not to always think they can just decide for tbd people what they want, rather, he advised them to always ask what the people wanted before embarking on developmental projects, saying it was not enough to embark on a development project
According to him, “From my little experience, I found out that it is important to carry the people along in project implementation through constant communication and engagement.”
He then stressed the need for youths in the party to have a united front to speak and negotiate better deals for Nigerian youths in tbe incoming administration.
Israel described Ismaeel his predecessor in office as a great patriot and a pacesetter who had paid his dues in politics.
The former deputy governor of Anambra State, Dr Nkem Okeke, said the introduction of BVAS technology by the electoral agency changed the narrative in the just concluded elections.
He noted that if America despite its electronic voting and transmission of election results still had issues with its elections, Nigeria’s election could only get better with time
He added that those in power occupying elective offices must always do the right thing so they would be judged rightly by history.
The former Anambra Deputy Governor said the condemnation of outcome of the presidential election and Tinubu’s victory as President-elect was based on propaganda and sentiments.
Commenting, the celebrant who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the President of the National Social Investment Programme, Barr. Ismaheel Ahmed, stressed the need for youths in the party to set an agenda for themselves and work in unity.
He said it was unfortunate that rather than institutionalise power, power had been individualised, adding that there was a need for the party to be supreme.
He said the just concluded elections were a great improvement on previous elections in the country even from 1999.
“INEC has done well because as a party in government, we lost an election where we had never lost before Lagos, Yobe and some other states which had never happened before.
“A government in power had never lost the election in Kastina for example before, especially when the incumbent president is from that state.
“We lost the election in the Villa, we lost completely and was almost absent in the South-East and we didn’t have a major inroad in the South-south,” he noted.
Ahmed added that even the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)won in Osun which was supposed to be one of Tinubu’s strongholds.
He said the genuineness and transparency of the 2023 general elections could not be faulted, adding that it should be made a reference point in the country’s political history.
He said while the opposition parties had the right to go to court to challenge a few flaws noticed at the elections to test the veracity of their claims, they were not doing themselves and the country at large any good.
“We should rather look forward to how to strengthen and amend the new Electoral Act to ensure that some of the lapses noticed in the elections were addressed before the next election,” he said.
According to him, this will ensure more credibility, transparency and more citizen participation in the electoral process in the future.