The Press Secretary to Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, Mr. Christian Aburime on Tuesday, cautioned some youths in the state to have a rethink and not to allow themselves to be used as a tool of distraction or agents of distraction to the government.
Aburime also advised them not to constitute a part of the problem to be solved in the society, rather than being a solution to the already existing problems.
A group of youths, identified as Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), had planned to dump wastes and debris at the gate of Anambra State Government House on Friday, November 25, as a way to ‘punish’ Governor Soludo over his recent comment on the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party and former governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi.
The Southeast-based group had, in a press release signed and issued over the week by its President General, Mr Goodluck Ibem, threatened Governor Soludo to retract the said utterances he made on Obi before Friday this week, or expect heaps of wastes and debris at the gate State Government House on Friday.
They said dumping of the wastes at the Government House “will serve as deterrent to other Igbo political office holders who might want to insult the sensibility of the Igbo nation.”
But Aburime, in his reaction to the alleged plot by the group, reminded the youths that they are both the leaders of today and tomorrow, and wondered why they should allow themselves to be used as a tool of distraction by some politicians or individuals who have no good intent for them, than just to use them to achieve their mischievous aims and dump them thereafter.
He reeled out some of the programs and the vision Governor Soludo has for the youths, some of which, he said, he had already begun to unleash, to make lives better and meaningful for them and the generation to come.
“Instead of threatening to come and dump refuse at the Government House, the youths should rally round and support the government of Gov. Soludo, because his administration is actually working for the betterment of their lives, to see that both the youths of this present generation and the generation to come will have something that can make life more meaningful for them,” Aburime said in a telephone interview with our reporter.
He added that, aside giving the youths various key positions in his administration, Soludo’s government is also currently training and empowering thousands of youths across the state in different vocational skills, which, he said, is enough proof that youth empowerment is part of the major focus of his administration.
He therefore advised the youths to think twice and not allow themselves to be used against the same government that has their interest and well-being at heart.
While describing the threat by the youths as a sponsored charade by political enemies and mischief makers who want to distract or derail the Soludo Administration and the progress it is making in the state, Aburime reaffirmed that “Soludo’s government remains focused on delivering the dividends of democracy to Ndị Anambra, and will not be distracted by any form of verbal attack, threat or such sponsored charade as this.”
On whether Governor Soludo is planning to withdraw the said comment he made on Obi, as the youth group threatened him to do before Friday, Aburime said the Governor is not ready to or planning to retract any comment, and has no single regret about what he said, as he has spoken nothing but the truth.
He reminded the public that Nigeria is a democratic setting where the constitution guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of expression, which Governor Soludo is also entitled to, and therefore deserves no such threat or attack for expressing his constitutional rights.
Aburime added that even Obi has vindicated Soludo by confirming what he said about the value of his investment in Anambra State during his tenure as a Governor of the state is correct, adding that the said comment is also verifiable.
“Soludo will never retract any statement, and he has no regret about what he said, because he has actually expressed his own opinion which is his constitutional rights, and has said nothing but the truth; and you know they say the truth is always bitter…
“Again, I want to make it clear that Peter Obi has not disagreed with what Soludo said about his investment in Anambra State as a Governor. He has also confirmed that the value of the investment has gone down, as Soludo said. And these are all verifiable. So, to that end, I don’t see the reason people should be attacking Soludo or plotting this or that against him or his government.”
When asked whether the said comment has caused any decay in Soludo’s relationship with Obi, Aburime emphatically stated that Soludo’s relationship, friendship and brotherhood with Obi still remain intact, as against what many people think; and marvelled at how people created and magnified a non-existent issue, and how they react to the said comment of the Governor.
“As long as I know, there is no issue between Governor Soludo and Peter Obi. So I wonder why people disturb themselves and go about shouting in the media, over-reacting and issuing one threat or the other over a non-existent issue they created.
These are totally uncalled for; and the people indulging in such should have a rethink,” Aburime said.