By Michael Jude Nwolisa
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Igbo youths have been urged to shun thuggery and violence, but to embrace active and responsible political participation to ensure that credible candidates are elected into various positions of power. The call was made at the Youth Summit titled “Governance and Democracy in Nigeria – The role of Igbo Youths”, organized by Anambra Youth Forum on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at King David Hotel, Awka.
Speaking at the event, the patron and chairman, board of trustees, Anambra Youth Forum, Engr. Simeon Okafor, reminded the youths that politics in Nigeria was the greatest business of the time. He however stressed that good character was an important pre-requisite for success in the political terrain of the nation, even as he stated that the future of any society depended on the youths.
'The power of the youth is so immense because they have all the qualities required for achievers. They are bubbling with enthusiasm, they have the requisite desire to achieve and above all, they are a storehouse of physical energy. If all these qualities are given a meaningful and correct direction, the youth have the capacity which no one else can match,' he said.
Addressing the youths during the event, the chairman of the occasion and SA on Political Matters to Governor Willie Obiano, Hon. Uche Egbebuike, declared that the future would not show mercy to youths who had the ability and opportunity to speak out for the truth, but remained passive and indifferent.
He noted that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was the product of the past labours of the great Igbo leader, Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, and urged all Igbos to stand solidly behind APGA candidates in the coming elections.
For his part, a senior lecturer at the department of Physics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Gab Anene, appreciated the senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial district, Chief Victor Umeh, for making his representation felt in his constituency in the short while he had been at the senate. Prof. Anene therefore enjoined all to cast their votes for all the APGA candidates vying for different political positions noting that APGA was the party Igbos could identify with and truly call their own.
Speaking to Fides in an interview, Prof. Anene reminded the youths that their Permanent Voter Cards were their power to decide who went into any corridor of power and as such enjoined them to register and get their PVC's ready.
He also advised against violence and thuggery during the elections, noting that such actions negatively impacted on the nation's democracy.
The Secretary, Victor Umeh Scholarship Foundation and PG Emeritus of Aguluzigbo, Sir Emeka Anaetoh, told the participants of the scholarship grants given to the financially challenged students of Anambra Central Senatorial District courtesy of the Victor Umeh Scholarship Foundation.
He expressed optimism that more benefits would come to them if their benefactor was returned to office.
Other speakers at the event joined voices to shower praises on Chief Umeh, while drumming support for his re-election, and that of other APGA political aspirants, at the polls.
Finally, a communiqué, signed by the chairman of Anambra Youth Forum, Comrade Peter Ewenike, was raised to declare the resolutions reached at the meeting.