By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has said that hoodlums operating under the name of unknown gunmen will not be allowed to brand the entire youths of the state as criminals.
The governor also pledged to take the youths of the state off crime through support for creativity and small businesses embarked upon by them.
Soludo stated this at the weekend while addressing participants at the maiden Anambra Fashion Expo which was sponsored by Fidelity Bank Plc.
The expo, which will be an annual event, was organised by Ms Adaora Soludo, daughter of the governor, and economist-turned fashion designer, who is also the CEO of Aorah Designs.
Soludo said, ‘What you people have done tonight is great. This has shown that Anambra is the home of creativity.
‘The few youths causing confusion in the state cannot define who Anambra youths are. Security is bad, they want to distract, us but they will not succeed. There are very dutiful Anambra youths who are working to make the world better, but a very minute few who are into criminality want to define Anambra youths with their nefarious activities. We will not let that happen.’
The sponsors of the fashion expo, Fidelity Bank Plc, which was represented by the branch leader, Fidelity Bank, Nkwo Nnewi branch, Mr Ndubuisi Achebe, said the bank was moved to sponsor the event because of its youth friendliness and support for small scale industries.
‘For several years running we have won the best SME Friendly Bank in Nigeria, and we are always excited to see how we can help people grow small businesses.
‘Our bank is always willing to partner with you to help grow your business. If you come to our bank, you will be advised right on how to get loans and most times, it is better to form a cooperative and access loans quicker,’ Achebe told small business owners during a master class event at the expo.
The convener of the event, Ms Soludo, told participants that what they were witnessing was borne out of dreams and was the beginning of many more things to come.
‘It was a huge mountain to leave Economics and Political Science which I studied, to venture into fashion. We hope that through this, many creative people will begin to earn from their works,’ she said.
The expo featured a runway show, with several fabrics and leather designers showcasing their works through models.
Some of the designers whose works were showcased included, Bosco clothing, Nancy Shoecraft, Cinnia clothing, Exalted Bara, Bugo Clothing, BKS Expose, RL Designs and several others.