Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said that self-help initiatives have become crucial for development of Igboland
The group commended the ongoing massive community development projects across the South-East, Nigeria.
It described various individual projects as proof that Ndigbo were harkening to calls by the apex Igbo socio-cultural group and South-East governors to take their destiny in their hands towards ensuring development of Alaigbo.
Speaking in a chat with newsmen in Awka, Acting National Youth Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, noted that Ndigbo, by the gesture, were returning to the age-long tested and proven method they were known for.
He commended individuals and groups for committing their wealth in pursuance of the good of their homeland, stressing that government alone could not do everything for the populace.
He said, “Ndigbo as genuine lovers of humanity and peace, had from time, been responsible for creating liveable society they yearn for in the South-East, despite decades of obvious abandonment by successive governments.
“What we saw as Ohaneze youths during the Yuletide celebrations were quite commendable and unprecedented; our people were showing true commitment to the cause of their communities.
“It is heartwarming to note that this call which the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo under Chief Engr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and South-East governors have been making for quite a while now, is being heeded.
“These young men and women who are undertaking these projects are showing that they are truly Ndigbo by toeing the line of the late Michael Okpara, who sacrificed a lot for the development and socio-economic growth of Igboland.”
Acknowledging the place of the projects in solving teething challenges of unemployment and youth restiveness in the region, Okpalaezeukwu said the initiative would further reduce youths intending to venture into criminality through gainful engagements.
“This is what we have been preaching, the use of non-kinetic approaches to address the rising insecurity and youth restiveness in Alaigbo.
“A youth who is gainfully engaged will have little or no time to consider crimes. The educational scholarships will ensure that out-of-school children who ordinarily, would have been willing instruments in the hands of crime sponsors, will now make better use of their time, acquiring knowledge that will shape their future. We can go on and on,” he said.
The youth leader however called on youths in various communities where developmental projects were executed to protect the infrastructure and other facilities in their respective locations.
“No reasonable people will use their own hands to tear down what they have built. Alaigbo is built with the sweat and blood of Ndigbo.
“As youths, we owe the obligation to guard these massive investments in our localities. Leaving them vulnerable to attacks means we will no longer have them for our use in the near future.
“I therefore call on all Igbo youths to protect all government and privately-owned projects in their communities for the overall use and wellbeing of our people,” he added.