The Apex Youth Social Cultural body coordinating all Igbo youth groups world wide “Nzukoha Ndi-Ntorobia Igbo”has challenged Igbo youths world wide asking them to stop crying against the obvious maginalization, suppression and maltreatment they re receiving in Nigeria as no help is underway,rather to embrace the pain,rise and show capacity.
Addressing an Assembly of youths under the aiegis of Indigenous Youths Council at Morgan Hotels Enugu,the Executive Secretary of Nzukoha Ndi-Ntorobia Igbo,His Youthfulness, Comrade Frank Maduka Jp called on all youths of Igbo extraction to channel their energy towards finding an Out for the Igbo Nation.According to the Igbo youth leader,Nigeria as a Nation has never listened to anybody or group plea except when coerced.
Comrade Frank Maduka Jp said “Let’s realize that we are on our own,no help is underway,but luckily for us the answer we seek is within us,so even though we at crossroads because we are in a Nation that refused our going but hates our staying,however,we should find solace in the fact that what Nigeria wants doesn’t really matter, regrettably,so does what we want.The only important question is,what are we ready for? Economically, socially, politically, religiously even mentally, what are we ready for?
In the 1950’s the Eastern region was ready for everything,Self-determination, Autonomy even re-colonization of other regions,our great Leaders of that era made sure of that, of course with the help of every sector,Francis Akanu Ibiam, Michael Okpara and many others,we had a booming economy,we dominantly traded in Palm produce,using the fonds for Housing,Palm wine for drinking and Palm kernels as a source of foreign exchange income,we were making 54million pounds annually, employment opportunities were abound for all classes of skills,at a time even, we promoted Rubber,Cocoa,we even had farm settlements accross states,Ohaji in Abia State,Igbariam in Anambra,Uzo-Uwani at Enugu,our economy was so strong that industries we’re sited here, Breweries at Aba,Cement Factory at Nkalagu and so on,yes we had coal as well.That was our glorious past.
Today,we have been stripped bare, individually though we have excelled but as a people we are lacking behind greatly.
We need to challenge ourselves to rise up,if our forefathers did it,we can,it doesn’t really matter whether our fathers are doing it or not,the fact is that this greatness is in our lineage.
Now,how do we access that creative capacity in us to recreate for ourselves and our children a healthy economy,an economy in which everyone meaningfully participates,how do we increase the quality of life in our region,our standard of living,create job opportunities,consumer choices, livability, fight economic migration.How do we support social and cultural activities not allowing misadrists telling us to end bride price, enhance 21st century services valued by our people,healthcare and Education for example.
This may sound unachievable,but it is,if we can forgive our present leadership class,men who have been preaching about the growth of Humanity but haven’t been supporting the growth of human beings,we need to accept their inadequacies and make up for them with love and respect,forge partnership with them because regardless of our misgivings about them,they simply cannot be wished away,even in a brand new Nation.
Doing this shows,we are ready to learn from our plight and seek to conquer it.
Then we need a Comprehensive Economic development Framework for our region,a Blueprint that sets out clear direction for our business growth and job creation over a long period of time.This requires Synergy,it’s an all sector inclusive exercise,the business and industry representatives,the religious and traditional institutions,youths and women groups,elected and appointed government representatives,trade and labour unions.We need to vigorously engage ourselves in order to develop our key economic sectors using a carefully crafted action plan.Singapore did it,Russia did it even southwest is doing, especially Lagos, modelling herself after Cassanblaca.When all these sectors collaborate with our state government, then a sustainable economic growth can be achieved through;
Increased Employment Opportunities,
Workforce Training and Skills Development,
Investment Attractions and so on.
What we need to accept is that for now we lack the capacity to negotiate for relevant political offices,and even if by some magic and mercy we are given any strategic political office we ask for, including having a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction we cannot achieve an appreciable economic feat except we handle our basic and set our priorities.
This could sound Utopian,voices of dissent may arise,ofcourse they re welcome,thank God at least we all have accepted that our present approach is not working,even the drivers of the approach have accepted that much.
To drive home my point, Good luck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan was President for six years,afforded us the opportunities of having enviable and strategic Political positions,yet,our plight did not better significantly, at least in comparison with our nothern and Western counterpart .
We still have no functional Seaport,Railway,Federal Housing,Good Roads.
Our economy is still in exile,we import virtually all our edibles even though we know that we lost the civil war because of hunger,we have no refineries,we couldn’t even have the long overdue additional state,comrades,let’s accept it,the answer we seek is within us.
Now we are facing new set of threats,our value system is eroding, Misadrists claiming are now claiming feminists, upsetting vulnerable families, examination malpractice is increasing becoming the new normal,morality is taking a different shape,lines of discipline blurring,we are even gradually promoting mediocrity,dash me money syndrome,the concept of dignity of labour fading away.Because we are all in haste to make it,to hammer, Yahoo and Yahoo plus is becoming Noble profession,we are losing every sense of vision.Today,if you elect a student or youth body leadership, tomorrow he is in one politician house on Courtesy call, calling him Daddy and bestowing an award of par excellence on him.
I refuse to say that we are running anti-clock wise,no be go talk am!
Fact,that we got to this situation is not our making,but who do we really blame for staying in this situation,when we can actually rise.
What pains me is that we do actually want to rise but differently,Ndi Anambra is striving to rise differently from Imolites,Ndi Ebonyi trying to rise differently from the Abians,well,so far it hasn’t worked,because our fortunes are tied together,we either swim together or sink together.
How then do we rise together,who will take the first bold and sacrificial step,be misunderstood and labelled all sorts of things.Many groups have tried with different approaches,Massob tried, Ohaneze may have tried,IPOB is trying hard,championing a noble cause,risking jail and lives, achieving alot too but not ENOUGH
Because without a collective acceptable Economic development Framework we cannot even truly measure our progress,that of our leaders and the success of our agitations,and because we cannot wish away our present leadership class,even if we get a new Nation without this leadership class,we will begin a new brand of crisis.
To answer my own question, Nzukoha Ndi-Ntorobia Igbo has decided to make the first move,we will start with a Peace and Forgiveness outreach,then quest for a Comprehensive Economic development Framework,the exercise will be open and all sector inclusive,where we have to kneel,we will kneel, where we have to beg,we will beg,even cry if the need be.Because to achieve an overall increase in our regions economic capacity, everyone must participate meaningfully.
Thank you and God bless you