Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Progressives Yoruba Youth Congress (PYYC) has vowed to mobilise the South-West against voting for Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group said voting Atiku and the PDP back to power would have “grave consequences on the South-West geo-political zone”.
Kola Salawu, the PYYC National President, addressed reporters in Akure, the Ondo state capital on Tuesday.
Salawu decried that the region, which he said has the second highest number of registered voters, was denied meaningful positions in the political hierarchy during the PDP administration.
He also recalled that at some point, nobody from the South-West occupied any of the top 10 positions in the country while the PDP was in power.
“This forced the South-West, through its major political leaders, to act and they pushed for alliances with other political parties across the country to form the new All Progressives Congress (APC). They mobilised the South-West to vote, which ultimately resulted to victory for the APC at the polls, but let us not forget that the neglect by the PDP was not only political but also infrastructural,” he said.
“The PDP, for whatever reasons, barely completed or even carried out any major project in the South-West during its tenure. The Lagos–Ibadan expressway, the busiest in the country, was abandoned; the Benin-Ore expressway was also equally abandoned. Also was the Oyo-Ogbomosho road; there was barely any federal presence in the South-West.
“It is, however, a different ball game under the APC government because politically, the APC has taken care of the interest of the South-West tremendously.”
According to Salawu, when the PDP held its national convention in 2017 to pick its new party executives, the party agreed to zone the party chairmanship position to the South-West, but later gave the position to the South-South.
He continued: “Also, after their party presidential primaries where Atiku Abubakar emerged candidate, he picked Mr. Peter Obi from the South East geopolitical zone as running mate. It became obvious again that the party was not repentant and was going to treat the South-West with the same disdain it has always had.
“It was reported in the news media that the PDP has decided to give the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to the South-West. This must be very laughable and as our people say, ‘we cannot compare a man sleeping with a dead man’. That is a perfect description of both offers.
“So, South-West will not only reject the PDP and its candidate, Mr. Atiku Abubakar, it will also campaign and vote for Muhammadu Buhari of the APC. The South West will not go back to oblivion again. All good people of the South West must rise up to protect this ongoing progress and support the one who has brought development to the region.
“We urge all sons and daughters of the South-West of Nigeria to be politically awake and choose wisely in the forthcoming elections. Any decision we make will determine if the region will continue to enjoy the true benefits of good governance or we go back to the days of total neglect.”