Raymond Ozoji in Awka attended and reports on an APGA screening exercise for its youth membership for purposes of social empowerment and electoral induction
As part of efforts to strengthen its membership, the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Anambra State has gone a step further to update its membership database so as to have accurate record of those who have their membership cards and voters’ cards respectively.
Part of the strategy also is to detect and weed out ghost members and all those with unverifiable claims to be party members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance. As a result of the aforesaid development, the APGA government in the state has also strengthened its youth participation in governance following the appointment of some youths into key positions of responsibility in the Willie Obiano led state government .
To this end therefore state youth leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Anambra State Hon. Peter Ozumba who spoke with a team of journalists at the party headquarters Awka recently explained in details why the party embarked on a screening exercise of all wards and local government youth leaders of APGA in the 21 local government areas of the state.
According to Ozumba the party decided to embark on screening all the ward youth leaders to ensure that they are qualified and also to ensure that they are up to date with their voters’ cards and party membership cards. He also stated that another objective of the screening was to get the database of all ward youth leaders to foster assistance in job vacancies.
Hon. Ozumba added that since the screening panel were a team of seasoned professionals, members who had exercised fear that the party was set to witch-hunt them should fear nothing of sort, “it is all about ascertaining their membership of the party.”
Explaining the concept of the exercise, he disclosed that every ward is to present 30 working committee members of the youth wing. The state youth leader however cleared the air that the screening was not only to prepare for the forthcoming local government elections in the state but also to strengthen the party to enable it extend its stronghold to other states of the federation. He also said that the screening will strengthen the youth wing of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
E x p l a i n i n g the Governor Willie Obiano’s administration youth-friendly posture, he disclosed that the youth wing of APGA has benefited a great deal from Obiano’s largesse, pointing at the about 500 youths that are being trained in different vocational skills as part of the party’s empowerment policy for the youths.
Adding his voice to the process, Hon. Fred Obinna Uduezue who is a member of the screening committee described the screening exercise as a noble cause. According to him a situation in which only the party gets only 50 out of about 500 youths who claim to be members of APGA is untenable, hence the need for the party to engage in thoroughly screening the youths to you out those who have voters’ cards and APGA membership card.
Hon. Uduezue stressed that the major essence of the screening was actually to make sure that if there are only 10 youths ; those 10 youths should be eligible to vote . According to him , “youths are lovers of the party when it comes to APGA. Governor Willie Obiano is equally youth-friendly judging from youths that are actively involved in his government.
For Oraekwe Ekene Joseph APGA youth leader in Aguata local government area of Anambra State , the screening exercise was conducted without hitches . Oraekwe stated that the screening was an avenue for youth leaders to present their work plan as it concern youth mobilisation at the local government level . He also attested to the fact that youths are solidly behind the state governor, judging from his giant strides so far but appealed that government should focus more on human capital development that enhances youths re-orientation. Hon. Ifeanyi Ibebugwu the APGA youth leader in Dunukofia local government area on his part described the screening as an avenue to ascertain youth leadership skills and capabilities in various wards across the state stressing that the screening was introduced so as to among other things facilitate the familiarization of youth leaders at the wards and local government levels respectively .
For Ibebugwu the only reason he would mobilise youths for the party in Dunukofia council area is because, in his consideration, the sterling performance of Governor Willie Obiano “ Youths in the state are ready to stand-by him.” He said. Furthermore Sunday Egenti APGA youth leader Oyi local government area lent credence to the fact that the state youth leader of the party Hon. Peter Ozumba has proved his mettle that he is capable of handling the affairs of the youth wing of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Anambra State .
Hon. Egenti therefore disclosed that he has mapped out programme for ward tour in all the 15 wards of Oyi council area beginning from the first week of November 2015 to enable him ascertain the level of preparedness for the forthcoming local government elections and other elections in the state .