The 67 Million Youth initiative, a pro Buhari group, which LeadersNG had Exclusively reported last week that the organizers are clandestinely working for the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari has other sponsors apart from the NNPC GMD that initially gave the group Two Hundred million Naira as take off.
LeadersNG investigation reveals, the Messrs, Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna and Nigeria’s Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Barrister Babatunde Fashola are the main sponsors of the group.
You would recall that LeadersNG reported that the group, a brainchild of Red Media/Statecraft was a pro Buhari group set up to campaign for President Buhari’s re-Election in 2019 and were carefully positioning themselves as a non partisan group to deceive unsuspecting Nigerians.
LeadersNG had exclusively reported that the group had been given a take off of N200m through Senior Special adviser to the president on Social Investment Programs, Ismael Ahmed, which was used to contract celebrities like Banky W as a front for the group, the report which was received with mixed reactions as some registered members quit the initiative and a subsequent deactivation of the Twitter account of the initiative after Twitter users discovered that the twitter account had been used to spread Anti -GEJ/PDP agenda in the build up to the 2015 general elections.
LeadersNG have discovered that the group is primarily being coordinated by one Luqman Edu, a son of Yomi Edu and Fatima Wali, the former Nigerian ambassador to the United States with deep ties to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai.
The second coordinator, Ms Moji Rhodes, LeadersNG can report, was a Deputy Chief of Staff to Former Lagos state Governor Fashola.
Follow The Money.
67 Million Youth Initiative is Mr Lukman Edu’s brainchild, he decided to bring in Moji Rhodes and these 2 struck a partnership with Red Media / Statecraft to push a Buhari agenda or an El Rufai – Facial ticket in the rare case that Buhari fails to contest due to ill health. Lukman Edu is merely protecting his interests, being one of the major contractors in Kaduna state today. Luqman is a close associate of another one of the group’s founders, Mohammad Sani Abdullahi, the commissioner for Finance and planning in Kaduna State.
A LeadersNG source in the Kaduna Government House revealed that Lukman Edu, Moji Rhodes with Debola Williams jointly presented the 67 Million Youth proposal to Mallam Nasir El Rufai . In The Proposal, the trio claimed that they control Nigeria’s social media space and could influence election outcomes with proper funding.
Another one of the board members is Mr Japhet Omojuwa who was recently appointed by Malam Nasir El-Rufai into the Governing Board of The Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship of the Kaduna State Government
An initial budget of N200m was approved for mobilization for the group but they were met with dissenting voices when they launched on twitter as many people saw through their motives, a hidden agenda. After series of backlash which led to the deactivation of their original twitter handle and the open disassociation of several members from the initiative, the group swung into damage control.
CHAOS IN THE CAMP
International Journalist, Ms Mercy Abang got wind of the group’s dubious plans and called the group out in public, She instructed the leaders of the group to remove her name from the delegate list as she was not even consulted before finding her name on the list.
See Her tweet below:
Dear @67MillionYouth can you guys take me out of that mailing list? I have written and made a formal complain about it and it seems no one is listening – Kindly delist, yank my mail from all correspondence and media listings… Thank you
— Khaleesi 🌍 (@AbangMercy) July 31, 2018
To wake and see my name on National dailies about my involvement in a political group is tragic – I am not a member of any political party and that stands @67MillionYouth . I have sent messages to the internal team and it seems my name is still used across & I find it provocative
— Khaleesi 🌍 (@AbangMercy) July 31, 2018
After Ms Abang’s series of tweets, the group leaders went on the offensive against her in their WhatsApp forum accusing her of doing it for cheap fame.
LeadersNG can report from reliable source in the group that the organizers received fresh funding from the Kaduna Governor’s office to fight off the negative media attacks that were trailing them. This new wave of funding led to media stories in Bella Naija, The Nation and other media outlets about the plan for the group.
It appeared that the founders of the group panicked in the condescending open letter that was published in national newspapers. The poorly written open letter read more like a rant and believing that critics are on to their game they revealed that the group was not funded by ‘Northern Muslims’ an accusation that wasnt even popular before this exclusive. Making it obvious that they are willing to throw in the religious card when challenged.
While several associates of the group have come forward to deny any involvement with the group, others have come out to defend the agenda of the group claiming it was to encourage youth participation in politics and not the endorsement of candidates, but beneath the “non-partisan” agenda the initiative claimed to pursue, several Nigerians have seen through the smoke screen.
As the elections get closer, the Buhari administration, the APC and associates like Mallam El Rufai will use several gimmicks to attract Nigerian youths whom they have labelled as naive in their numbers. 67millionyouth Initiative is one of the various plans they have to make Young Nigerians vote for them.
See Pictures of the organizers and Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-rufai below.