The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s appeal that youths should not contest for the Presidency in 2019.
Buhari, while signing the Not Too Young To Run Bill, had appealed to the youth movement to “postpone” their “campaigns” until after 2019.
The President had said, “Please, can I ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections!”
But, in its reaction, PDP described Buhari’s appeal as “degrading and completely unacceptable.”
In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP insisted that such declaration was “unpresidential, unlawful and discriminatory.”
PDP stressed that such a declaration was, “Totally unpresidential, unlawful, discriminatory and further showcases the disdain with which Mr. President holds the youths, who he had earlier described, without apologies, as lazy and lovers of freebies.”
The statement reads, “We want Nigerians, particularly, the youths, to note that President Buhari’s position reflects the policy of his dysfunctional All Progressives Congress (APC), not to allow our youths the opportunity to aspire at top levels.
“President Buhari and the APC have been using all manner of machinations to frustrate front line participation of the youths and, of course, the women in active politics and governance.
“It is unimaginable that a President can sign a law and immediately seek to suspend it. President Buhari’s attempt to talk down on and intimidate the youths from contesting against him in 2019 shows that he is not in support of the Not Too Young To Run law and only assented to it because he had no other option under the 1999 Constitution (as Amended).
“We therefore urge Nigerians to be alert and wary of booby traps as well as land mines that the APC and the Presidency will set on the way to scuttle the quest for our youths to fully participate and aspire in our democratic process.
“On our part, the PDP insists that the Nigerian youths have come of age; and are free, under all circumstances, to contest for any position, including the office of President, even in the 2019 general election.”
PDP also promised to encourage the amendment of Nigeria’s electoral act, if it assumes power in 2019.
The former ruling party also noted that Buhari has nothing to offer Nigerian youths.
The statement added, “In 2019, when the re-branded PDP is returned to power as the vehicle of good governance and economic prosperity, our party will further encourage the amendment of our electoral laws to enable any Nigerian that can vote the right to stand for elections.
“The PDP therefore calls on all Nigerian youths to note that President Buhari and the APC have nothing to offer them and the nation at large. They should therefore spare no thoughts in jettisoning all support for President Buhari and the APC in their 2019 reelection bid.
“As we march to 2019, the PDP charges all Nigerian youths to come together and rally on our repositioned platform and give vent to their wishes and aspirations, within the circle of our collective task, to rescue our nation from the misrule of the APC.”