North-East APC Youths Threaten To Dump Shettima For Snubbing Members

Youths under the auspices of the North East All Progressives Congress (APC) and Stakeholders Forum have threatened to withdraw their support for the party’s vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima.

With less than two months to the general elections, the youths who were at the forefront of the agitation to zone the APC vice presidential slot to the North East region vowed to withdraw support for the former governor of Borno State, alleging that he has continually undermined their effort.

Acting chairman of the Forum, Shaibu Tilde, at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, said Shetima snubbed them immediately after he was named running mate to Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Tilde said Shettima’s action has led to the loss of some foundational members of the structure, including the zonal women leader, Amina Manga of Bauchi, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with over one million women, as well as another loyalist of Shettima and treasurer of the group, Yusuf Banki, who also dumped APC for the PDP with over 500,000 youths.

The forum stated: “We are saddened to be in the news for what others will interpret as a negative reason at this time, but we are also obligated by our love for our great party, the All Progressives Congress, to make this timely intervention before our party’s fortunes in the region sink.

“We do not need to emphasise that this is an injury time for the game because the general elections are less than two months away, leaving no room for error, but instead attention must be focused on tightening all loose ends, which is not the case with our party in the northeast.”

“The Northeast APC Youth Forum has watched with tears as its many supporters continue to defect to the PDP. Unfortunately, the trend in the Northeast zone is worsening by the day, with Sen. Kashim seemingly turning a blind eye to these heinous developments in our party in the region.

“We the youths in the Northeast have lost our Zonal Treasurer from his home state of Borno, Hon. Yusuf Shariff Banki, due to his failure to support youth in the region to launch massive mobilisation. It is worth noting, gentlemen, that Sheriff led over five hundred thousand youth to the PDP.”

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The forum further noted that its zonal organising secretary, Murtala Gamji from Taraba led over 200 youths to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Tilde said, “Of the 8 million youth votes we have already mobilized for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our presidential candidate for the presidential polls, Sen. Kashim Shettime has already plundered over 3 million through his actions with the wave of defections from our party. This is simply unacceptable!

“In light of this, we urge our party’s vice presidential candidate, Hon. Kashim Shettima, to immediately reverse his steps and correct his errors for the sake of the party, the region, and the teeming youth.”

Meanwhile, the spokesman for Tinubu-Shettima presidential campaign council and minister of state for Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN), reacting to the threat, hinted that such misunderstanding is bound to happen in the build-up to a major election, saying their grievances would be addressed.

He however faulted the alleged number of members who had dumped the party in the North East, cautioning that it would be wrong for the support group to attempt to resort to subtle blackmail to have their way.

“It is election season. Everybody is important. No doubt about that. We can assure them that whatever grievances they have will be addressed.

“However, there is a need to point out corrections on some things they said. There are so many support groups working for the party in the North East and we will try to give all equal attention. While I agree that we need everybody, we don’t recognise some people as greater than others. Everybody is important.

“If some groups think they are the most important or deserve to be pampered more than others, we will not accept it. That would be subtle blackmail. The vice presidential candidate is the one who wants to treat all of them as equal as possible. He is obviously not going to pamper some over others. All groups are important,” he said.