The National Youth Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Hon. Dayo Israel, has received plaudits for his strong performance at the Presidential Elections Youth Debate staged by Rubbin Minds, a youth-focused television programme. During the debate which was aired on Sunday, Israel argued for Tinubu’s readiness to pilot the affairs of the country as its next president, noting his leadership experience, including a successful two-term stint as the governor of Lagos.
Citing data and studies conducted by foreign bodies, he highlighted Tinubu’s contribution to the “upgrade of public service in the country with his outstanding performance as governor and the introduction of novel ideas responsible for reforms and re-organization which made Lagos one of the most preferred destinations for investments in Africa.”
He said Tinubu’s vision, which was laid out in a masterplan that has guided leadership in Lagos since 1999, stands him out from the crowd and explains his continued relevance, nationally and internationally, years after leaving public office.
Contrasting the candidate’s record with that of the other two major opponents, he faulted Atiku’s lack of executive leadership experience and Obi’s inability to speak to his records as governor of Anambra, even in the face of attacks from his successors, Willie Obiano and Charles Soludo, who portrayed him as a failure under whose watch poverty grew in the eastern state.
According to Israel, the Feb 25 contest is about who Nigerians can trust to midwife the country’s complete renewal and restoration at a time of great upheaval caused by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, climate change, and war in Europe. He said only Tinubu boasts of a record of delivery and performance in a similar situation, noting his well-documented transformation of Lagos from a dysfunctional den of crime to a modern mega-city.
He also highlighted plans in the candidate’s Renewed Hope manifesto to raise standards in the education sector and guarantee equitable access by providing loans to underprivileged citizens who require a university education to attain social mobility and contribute to the country’s progress.
Fending off attacks from the opponents over the candidate’s age, Israel argued that Tinubu has demonstrated his commitment to inter-generational collaboration as key to achieving sustainable progress. According to him, this is evidenced by his inclusive style of leadership as the governor of Lagos state during which he entrusted leadership opportunities to a talented pool of young Nigerians sourced from different parts of the country, some of whom continue to loom large as positive models across different fields.
He also rubbished claims that Obi’s Labour Party is the ‘party of Nigerian youths’, a claim he said lacked evidence and doesn’t reconcile with reality. He pointed out that the APC Youth Wing has a membership strength that exceeds 30 million and its campaign efforts have attracted an even larger base of young Nigerians who are ready to vote for the party on Election Day.
Israel also noted the APC’s contribution to youth inclusion in politics and governance, as well as empowerment, with feats such as the passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill, the Start-Up Bill, and a host of other legislations and government initiatives that have rapidly increased the number of young Nigerians accessing leadership and economic opportunities.