By Ikeugonna Eleke
Youths of Anambra State have expressed happiness over the governor-elect, Prof Chukwuma Soludo’s plan to promote local brands.
A youth group in the state, Anambra Youth Empowerment Initiative (AYEI), said if well done, the scheme would provide enormous empowerment for young people, provide jobs and stem the tide of insecurity in the state.
The convener of the group, Hon. Nichodemus Nduka Alor, who spoke after a meeting it held in Onitsha, February 26, urged politicians and other leaders in the zone to think towards same line as it could engage the youths and curb youth restiveness and insecurity in the region.
He said, ‘We learnt that the demand for akwete clothes has gone up in Anambra because of his decision to be wearing the fabric. He has also divulged plans to market other local brands, including local shoes, Innoson vehicles and drinks made in Anambra.
‘What we owe a man that has these good intentions is our support and prayers. He is a man of integrity and this goodwill has attracted many friends than foes as can be seen in the quality of people in his transition committee that indicated interest to work with him.
‘To us, Soludo is God’s gift to Ndi- Anambra and his choice of deputy, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, a youth, was a step in the right direction. We are confident that the duo will turn around the fortunes of Anambra State,’ said Nduka.
The group said Soludo’s planned policy of promoting indigenous brands was the only way to achieve regional integration and economic harmony in South East, Nigeria.
They added that Soludo had shown genuine interest in promoting harmony in the South East by wearing and introducing the akwete cloth in Aba, Abia State, for his supporters and followers, as well as his recent declaration to serve locally made drinks and palm wine at the Government House and at government functions in Anambra State.
Nduka said AYEI was an NGO that focused on youth empowerment, inclusiveness for persons with disabilities (PWD), the destitute and the needy. He said the organisation had trained and empowered over 300 youths in various skills and vocational studies across the South East geopolitical zone.