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27.04.2019 Opinion

Ahead Of May 29; Iya Sets Agenda For Ihedioha

Kennedy Onyegbado

he position of a state governor comes with a lot of responsibilities and considerable global wide influences given the fact that the bulk of developmental strides that shapes the overall economy of the over 160 million strong nation lies squarely with how well these 36 state governors are able to pilot the affairs of their respective states which under the extant constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are afforded lots of independent and interdependent privileges and federalist powers to determine what programs and projects to embark upon. The position of a state governor to a large extent is a major platform for such a holder to put in place measures to ameliorate the sufferings of the majority of Nigerians who are impoverished and economically weak.

Following the desire of the people of Imo State for qualitative governance in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living for the youths, a group of progressive-minded youths of Imo extraction under the aegis of IMO YOUTHS ASSEMBLY (IYA), ABUJA has called on the Governor-Elect; Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha to include the youths at the centre of decision making. This call was contained in a statement signed by the Group’s Coordinator; Comrade Lucky Opara in Abuja wherein it described Ihedioha as; “a true leader who has exceptional socio-economical cum infrastructural developmental qualities”.

According to the statement, IYA believes the youths everywhere have a huge role to play in social, economic and political development of States. “The young people, particularly in our Imo have been isolated from the mainstream political and economic relevance for long, giving them no chance to take charge of their lives, hence limited access to economic opportunities. This we believe is one of the major elements with huge influence on all the challenges considered as threat to developments in the State. Considerably, poverty, unemployment, school dropout, crime, terrorism and militancy can’t be addressed without the commitment and proper intervention of the youths”, the statement reads.

IYA regretted that Nigerians at all levels are wholly overwhelmed with conspiracy theories and ethnic preconceptions, which divert all attention from the mega cause and source of the problems. “Youths are the largest age group in Nigeria, yet they are deprived of voice and influence in matters to do with the State and the economy. It is imperative that the youths should be allowed into governance because they can make better policies simply because they are “Nigerians” and they know better what is best for them”, the statement noted.

Continuing, it observed that there are more young people on the streets than in high schools and colleges. “Therefore if Imo State is ever interested in solutions and moving forward, the youths have to be empowered with information, included and allowed to participate in all political and economic activities. They must have the capacity to organize themselves to solve problems of common interest. Young Imolites must have the capacity to hold the government accountable for their policies, actions, and use of public funds”.

Thus it averred that as we wait for a favourable policy to practically address the non-inclusion of youths in decision making, the incoming Ihedioha-led government should be a springboard to setting a platform where youths will be considered a priority in any appointment.

Beyond the issues affecting the non-inclusion of youths in governance, the statement also noted the current situation in Imo State; the intensified vicious cycle of poverty. “Poverty is winning the war against us due to the current policies which obviously failed on arrival. With zero Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the private sector as a key factor in the daily wellbeing of people has been critically affected to the core that they can’t meet the demands of Imolites. Public order slipped out of hand as Imolites blame politicians”. Thus, for the group, the visionary and developmental antecedents of Emeka Ihedioha are imperative and timely.

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