The group also called on the party to recognise young women stakeholders in the youth sector and ensure gender balance in leadership positions.
The forum also advocated for gender balance in official youth positions in the party.
In a statement signed by the forum’s spokesman, Shirley Aipoh, the group commended leading youths in the party such as Ismaeel Ahmed, President Buhari's adviser and a member of the party's Board of Trustees, for lending his voice to the campaign for true democratic ideals by condemning all speculation concerning a unity list.
It also called on the party to recognise young women stakeholders in the youth sector and ensure gender balance in leadership positions.
“We are concerned about the glaring lack of representation of women in the party leadership, and especially the complete absence of young women in the party’s youth leadership positions. As young women who believe in walking our talk, we have one of us from the South West, Folasade Olujide, running for the position of Deputy Youth Leader.
“For the purpose of developing and sustaining our democracy, it is important that the party lives up to its promise of bringing change to the political scene by doing things differently. This is why we wish to commend Hon. Abike Dabiri, Barr. Ismaeel Ahmed and all other party chieftains who have spoken out clearly against all speculation concerning a unity list. To move forward, we must follow due process,” the statement said.
Making a case for gender representation in youth positions, the young women cited examples of their members serving in various capacities, and who have contributed meaningfully to the party.
“Apart from the fact that women make up half the population of this country, many young women have also been active within the party. From Zainab Buba Galadima, who made history when she was elected as a councillor in AMAC, to our Ag. President, Rinsola Abiola, a member of the board of trustees who has served on various committees and never fails to project the party positively, to Fatima Adeleke, who is as SA on Youth matters to the governor of Oyo state, we also have Funmilola Onamusi, an active member of the Lagos state chapter of the party and many other members across states and in the capital who have contributed in no small way to the growth of the party there.
“We are therefore not making demands borne of a sense of entitlement but stating clearly that young women are stakeholders too and should be represented in the party’s official youth leadership structure.
“Our candidate, Ms. Folasade Olujide has proven herself to be a capable youth mobiliser, both as women leader of the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF) in her state and as coordinator of the APCYWF in Osun state.
“We are calling not for undue favour, but for a level playing field so that the best aspirants may emerge, and it is our hope that this call will be heeded by our leaders in the party.”
Also, young stakeholders of the APC who spoke to Pulse, have threatened to resist the imposition of candidates by the leadership.
They alleged that plans have been concluded by governors and other bigwigs to impose those loyal to them, at the expense of those who have worked for years and have proven capacity to protect the interests of the youth.