The Yoruba Youth Council (YYC) has responded to the statement credited to Babatude Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, in which he said power will return to the South-West in 2023, if they re-elect President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in the 2019 presidential poll.
At a special town hall meeting on infrastructure, organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Orientation Agency, Fashola had called on the people of the South-West to support the second term ambition of President Buhari to ensure the return of power to the region in 2023.
However, the YYC said such calls by the Minister should be disregarded.
However, a statement jointly signed by Eric Oluwole, YYC National President and Adeola Aderibigbe, the National Pubilicty Secretary, obtained by Sahara Reporters on Friday in Akure, called on the people to disregard the Minister’s statement, noting that “they would strive to ensure they resist all the mistakes of the past”.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a vague promise by a former Governor of Lagos State and current Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola during the special town hall meeting organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Orientation Agency recently, advising Yorubas especially the youth to vote for the incumbent president, Mr Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 election so as to enable power shift to the South West in 2023.
“We observe with consternation that Mr Fashola, who is a beneficiary of the social economic crisis [into] which the ruling elite has plunged the Nigerian youth, could start serving as an adviser at this critical period of our nation’s existence. Having been a beneficiary of democratic rule since 1999, we will not forget the level of corruption perpetrated by the Minister when he was Governor of Lagos State as leaked by his predecessor, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, on assumption to office.
“Yoruba youth also remember with consternation, the statements credited to Mr Fashola that Nigeria’s power problems could be fixed in six months. Three years of his reign, the Minister in charge of power has not solved our perennial power problems. We want him and his like, who are feeding Nigerians with propaganda from the seat of power, to know that the youth have learnt from history and will strive hard not to repeat the mistakes of the past in our resolve to revamp the economy of Nigeria.
“The same presidency Mr Fashola is promising Yoruba youth in 2023 is what the current Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige promised the South Easterners. Another attempt to perpetrate the ethnic division of the country? We want to say expressly that nothing can stop our collective resolve to ensure the restructuring of Nigeria in order to find solutions to myriads of problems facing our country.
“We again call on presidential candidates, who are committed to the restructuring agenda, to show commitment by signing an agreement document to ensure restructuring of Nigeria within six months of their assumption to office. Time has come to protect our future and the youths shall do all we can to decide the fate of the 2019 election without leaving a stone.”