The All Progressives Congress has set up a task force to commence immediate registration of students and revalidation of its members across the country.
The inauguration of the task force, which took place on Wednesday at the party headquarters in Abuja, was believed to be a response to the cult following of the former Anambra State governor and Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on social media.
Obi had dumped the Peoples Democratic Party for Labour Party to keep the dream of his presidential ambition alive.
His growing profile and frugal lifestyle have ignited calls among his youthful supporters who have taken over the social media space with calls for a peaceful revolution through mass registration for permanent voters’ cards, jingles, and door-to-door campaigns ahead of the 2023 election.
Worried by the trend, the National Youth Leader of APC, Dayo Israel, on Wednesday announced the formation of a task force to immediately commence the registration and revalidation of students and youths in the country.
The task force has former Kwara State Commissioner for information, Ben Duntoye; APC Deputy National Youth Leader, Jamaldeen Kabir, and Director of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim as co-chairmen.
Others include former Member of the APC Board of Trustees, Rinsola Abiola; Commissioner of Federal Character Commission, Ginika Tor; Chief of Staff to the Minister of State, Mines and Steel, Kelechi Ekugo; Ogban Ogban, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade; Aminu Uba, Special Assistant to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; Irinoye Omolayo, Senior Legislative Aide to Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; North Central Zonal Youth Leader, Zubair Aliyu; North East Zonal Youth Leader, Jason Baba Kwaghe; North West Zonal Youth Leader, Abdulhamid Umar Mohd; South South Zonal Youth Leader, Ebimobowei Oyas; South East Zonal Youth Leader, Ikenna Anyalewechi and South West Zonal Youth Leader, Lawal Kolade Paff among others.
Israel disclosed that the task force has been mandated to coordinate the registration and revalidation exercise of students and youths-led support groups into a recognisable structure.
“The structure will be strongly aligned with the objectives and strategic imperatives of the National Working Committee under the distinguished leadership of Senator Adamu Abdullahi.
“I have assembled these respected voices and party loyalists as members of APC Youth Wing National Special Task Force on Revalidation and Registration of APC youths and focused support groups.
“The revalidation of the affiliated youths and student support groups will be opened for a period of one month starting from Friday 1 to July 31. This move would also enable effective coordination, disciplined harmonization of activities in alignment with the party’s goals, aid provision and accountability, as well as efficient management and enhanced operations,” he said.
The APC national youth leader disclosed that as part of their task, the newly inaugurated team will collect phone numbers and email address lists of registered members and groups after validation of their PVCs, party membership cards and attestation from two guarantors.
When asked by our correspondent to confirm if the recent move is to neutralise the threat of the ‘Obidient’ movement on social media, Israel said that he didn’t really consider Obi’s growing supporters as a serious threat.
“A lion is not threatened by the noise of the rat in his backyard. You must understand that as a party, we have continued to play our part as youths. The APC youth wing will always rise when the occasion demands because we are passionate about change.
“While we are not threatened, we are not sitting on our oars. We are taking responsibility because we have the structure. The future of this party belongs to us. Our own response as APC generals is to wake up all our battalions and garrison commanders in our party support groups across the nation and bring them together.
“We want to document all our support groups and create programmes, activities and empower them with skills acquisition. The ultimate aim is to mobilize Nigerian youths in states and zones for the victory of APC,” he said.