Ahead of the 2019 elections, the son of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential candidate (Alhaji Atiku Abubakar), Mr. Shehu Atiku Abubakar has joined a political support group, Cross River Youths for Ayade and Atiku, CRYFAA, to hold town hall meeting on Thursday in Calabar, the state capital.
The event had in attendance Mr Shehu Atiku Abubakar, and Dr Ahmed Adamu, Special Adviser to Atiku Abubakar on Youth and Strategy; both representatives of the Waziri Adamawa, who took turns to addressed issues and questions raised by the audience.
While expressing appreciation to CRYFAA for the massive support it is mobilising for the election of his father as Nigeria’s president, Mr Shehu Atiku, described Alhaji Abubakar Atiku as “the right person to lead Nigeria at a time like this”, adding that, “the people need to elect a leader who can guarantee their future.”
Describing the youth as the future, Mr Atiku assured that his father’s government would engaged the youths to make necessary inputs that would help in building the country. “Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a man dedicated to rebuild Nigeria. Since he left government in 2007, he has continued to be part of the process for building a better Nigeria,” he said.
Also addressing the audience, the special adviser to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Youths and Strategy, Dr Ahmed Adamu, said he is impressed by CRYFAA’s activities which are geared toward ensuring that PDP’s presidential and governorship candidates have landslide victories in the forthcoming elections. He described the group as “being unique from all others in the country.”
Dr Adamu agreed that “elections cannot be won without the sacrifices and commitments of groups such as CRYFAA.”
Using himself as an example, the presidential candidate’s aide said he is optimistic that his principal will be a youth-friendly president if elected. He explained that if the incoming government is to run a 40 member cabinet, 15 of the members would be youths. Dr Adamu stated that Atiku Abubakar’s government would invest massively in ICT, agriculture, micro, small and medium scale enterprise development, security, education and health. He said these sectors are critical in employment generation. Adamu also said Atiku would carry everyone along in restructuring the Nigerian political system in a way which would make it possible for states to benefit maximally from their resources.
Adamu who disclosed that he is 34, urged the people to “protect and ensure that their votes count,” saying their vote is their right. He however appealed to the youths to turnout en masse and vote on the day of voting, even as he pleaded that they should do the right thing by collecting their PVCs to enable them vote.
Earlier speaking, CRYFAA’s chief executive, Arch. Eric Akpo, said Cross River youths have demonstrated their zeal to participate in the forthcoming elections by turning out en masse to collect their voter’s cards. This he however stated, is in readiness towards ensuring that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and governor Ben Ayade secure the greatest number of votes in the state. The group’s Chief assured that Cross River youths are ready to mobilize and queque behind Atiku and Ayade.
Continuing, Arch. Akpo said that CRYFAA has put in place adequate structures on ground to ensure that the PDP presidential flag bearer does not lose any polling unit in the state, adding that as a way to make sure People’s votes count, CRYFAA intends to register as an NGO so as to secure observer status to enable it mobilize and deploy persons to monitor, track and communicate results in real time to its work station.
Akpo, who is also the special adviser to Cross River State governor on technical matters, disclosed that CRYFAA has facilitated the decamping of 25,000 APC members to PDP in the state. He equally hinted that as a campaign group, CRYFAA, would soon embarked on door-to-door campaign as mandated by governor Ben Ayade, while also setting a 1.5 million vote mark for Atiku Abubakar in the state.
“We have agreed that we are going to get our PVCs and that we would come out to vote. And on that day, you are assured 100 per cent that we are voting for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Prof. Ben Ayade. These youths have come as far as Ogoja, Obudu and Ikom on their own resources without hoping to collect anything in return. And anytime we call on them they respond. They are ready to queue behind Atiku in any part of the country.
“You have our assurance that in Cross River State, you are not going to loose even one vote in any polling unit. CRYFAA has a structure down to every polling unit. We have polling unit coordinators. We hope to register CRYFAA as an NGO so we can have an observer status. And then every unit coordinator would have a camera phone so as to collate results directly from the polling unit. Every information we gathered at polling units will be sent to our work station directly online.
“Through CRYFAA, we have had well over 25,000 decampees from APC in Cross River State. From next week we will be doing more of our work in the rural areas. We will be doing door-to-door campaign. In CRYFAA we want to ensure that we return 1.5 million votes to the PDP,” Akpo assured.
In his brief speech, the Director-General of CRYFAA, Comrade Esuong Uwase, said youths would vote massively for Atiku Abubakar in view of the fact that he has done so much for youths in the area of job creation, empowerment and capacity development.
Admonishing youths not to always sit on the fence, but show interest in sensitive national issues, CRYFAA’s BOT chairman, Dr Gabriel Odey Awuna, said the issue of voting Ayade and Atiku is guaranteed, and that CRYFAA has already worked on it from bottom to top. He charged youths to be vigilant and to always stand up and support course that would benefit the nation.
Dr Odey however appealed to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar not to forget the youths should he be elected into power, suggesting the incoming government should pursue conscious policy for youth inclusiveness in government.
In their separate remarks, the commissioners for Information, Barr.(Mrs) Rosemary Archibong, Health, Dr Inyang Asibong and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth Mobilisation, Mr Noel Ugbong, said voting Ayade and Atiku is synonymous with voting for job creation, massive industrialisation, economic development and lots more.
High point of the event was the presentation of CRYFAA branded T-shirt to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar by CRYFAA’S Chief, Arch. Eric Akpo.
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