The Akoko Youths Forum (AYF), a non-partisan group, has called on political parties to refrain from imposing candidates on the people as the bye-election to fill the vacant seat of the Akoko North-East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives approaches.
The constituency seat became vacant following the resignation of Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who was elected but later appointed as the Minister for Interior by President Bola Tinubu.
News About Nigeria gathered that while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to announce a date for the bye-election, political activities are already underway in the federal constituency.
The President of AYF, Engineer Ibukunoluwa Akeju, made this appeal during the inauguration of the new executive of the association in Akungba Akoko, Akoko South-West Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
Akeju emphasised that AYF is a pressure group and not a partisan one, urging political parties to allow a level playing field for all candidates.
He stated, “The only advice we would give is that they (political class) should give everybody an opportunity to cast his or her vote and an opportunity to contest for the position.
“All the candidates right now are qualified because they are bonafide sons and daughters of the federal constituency, and I believe each and every one of them is capable of doing it. The people would decide their wish among them. So there should be no imposition of a candidate.”
Speaking on the group’s objectives, Akeju highlighted that AYF aims to contribute to the development of Akokoland, particularly in the areas of youth employment and empowerment.
He outlined plans for developmental initiatives and emphasised the need to harness available resources for the benefit of the youth.
AYF, known for its involvement in community development, has previously addressed challenges such as youth empowerment, employment, and security in Akoko land.
Akeju pledged the group’s commitment to collaborating with various stakeholders to create a positive impact and ensure a secure environment for the community.
“We all know the challenges we are facing in this country, majorly youth empowerment and employment, and this is the time we are set to look into the resources that we have, we would use all resources gathered judiciously for the interest of the masses, especially the youths, talking about human resources, especially the good people God has blessed us with in Akoko, we have the philanthropists, traditional rulers, political leaders, we are coming up with proposals, programs that these people would look into and be able to invest in it.”