***But for Tinubu, Nigeria would have become a one-party state – Keyamo
A foremost group within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF) has transitioned to The Progressives Forum (TPF), for greater inclusion, wider reach, better representation and more strategic engagements.
The TPF founder Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed said the objective of the forum was to take part and take charge in governance to add value and provide policy direction and policy execution through the various members of the forum who are aides and appointees.
He expressed satisfaction that in the years of APYF, members of the group have taken elective and appointive positions that have added value to the government and impacted the well-being of the people and the performance of government.
He said: “Our mission is to take our destiny into our hands. We want to anchor the pool for professionals to take charge of policy-making and running the party structures. We want to bring our expertise and training to bear on the party structures and governance. We will be pushing for cabinet positions for our members and everybody involved in progressive ideology.”
Tracing the development of the forum, Ahmed said after 7 years, the group has expanded its frontiers to accommodate more like minds, hence the transition from APYF to The Progressives Forum (TPF) to ensure the victory of the party and its presidential flag bearer in the 2023 general election.
Earlier the Chairman of APYF, Ife Adebayo noted that the TPF is focused on strengthening the progressive impact on the party. Adding that significant part of the initiative that the TPF would bring to bear is the establishment of the Progressives Institute.
According to Adebayo the institute would focus on developing leaders and the inculcation of progressive ideals and ideology in future leaders.
Unveiling TPF, the spokesman for the APC presidential candidate and Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo eulogised the motive behind the formation and transformation of APYF to TPF.
According to the Minister of State, Labour, the TPF would serve as the missing link that will help in energizing the base, providing facts and figures that the impressive performance of the government and the ruling party. He noted that the TPF would be able to fill the gap of the missing salesman for the party and government going forward.
In his keynote address, Keyamo said that the country owes the sustenance of the present multiparty democracy to the doggedness, integrity and ideological standpoint of the presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He said, “Without Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, we will not have a multiparty democracy today. That’s the truth! He has earned it. If you are wise enough 2003, that was a turning point in Nigeria’s democracy. The PDP wiped out all the people and states in both the South and North.
He noted that it took the forthrightness of Tinubu to stand against the deft moves by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to turn the country into a one-party state in 2003. These he believes are the ideals that must become of reference as efforts at instituting progressivism as an ideology into the politics of the country.
“But Asiwaju fought back and kept Lagos. Although they nearly entered Lagos, he fought fiercely to recover it. At that point, they came to him and said, ‘Oya, Asiwaju come to PDP so that you won’t have problems in 2007.’
It takes a strength of character and conviction to say ‘No, I won’t join the ruling party.’ From Lagos, he started to fight back before he stretched his hands over the Niger and today, we have General Buhari in power.
“That is why we have a multiparty democracy today. If not, this country would have ended up as a one-party state. I usually say it. You may not want to vote for him but give him his credit. Without that man standing today, we would have only a party called the PDP. That’s the truth.