A group, under the auspices of Akoko Youths Forum, has urged political parties not to impose candidates on the people as the bye-election to fill the vacant seat of the Akoko North-East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives comes up soon.
The seat of the federal constituency became vacant following the resignation of Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who was elected to represent the constituency in the House of Representatives but later appointed as the Minister for Interior by President Bola Tinubu.
Though the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has yet to fix a date for the bye-election, gladiators in various political parties in the federal constituency have been campaigning underground ahead of the election.
The President of the group, Ibukunoluwa Akeju, made the call in Akungba Akoko, Akoko South-West Local Government Area of the state, on Saturday.
Akeju stated, “We are a pressure group, we are not a partisan group, I would like to advise all the youths, we are not a kind of group that would impose anybody over them, but the person must be a candidate that knows what we are passing through, a candidate that have an undiluted antecedent and have the interest of the masses, we wouldn’t want to influence the election negatively, the only advice we would give is that they (political class) should give everybody an opportunity to cast his or her vote and opportunity to contest for the position.
“All the candidates right now are qualified because they are bonafide sons and daughters of the federal constituency and I believe each and every one of them is capable of doing it, the people would decide their wish among them. So there should be no imposition of candidate.”
On the activities of the group, Akeju said the major focus of the AYF was to contribute to the development of Akokoland, particularly in the area of youth employment and empowerment, adding that the association had many developmental plans.
“We all know the challenges we are facing in this country, majorly youth unemployment, and this is the time we are set to look into the resources that we have, we would use all resources judiciously for the interest of the masses, especially the youth. Talking about human resources, especially the good people God has blessed us with in Akoko, we have the philanthropists, traditional rulers, political leaders, we are coming up with proposals, programs that these people would look into and be able to invest in.
“I said during manifestoes that we have graduates, but not all graduates are employable. We are coming up with programs that will equip our graduates, that would make them employable, we would give them a soft landing, that would bring opportunities to them.
“Akoko Youth Forum is a formidable group that, in one way or the other helps the development of Akoko.