In a bid to checkmate youth restiveness and insecurity within Nteje community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, the leadership of the town over the weekend prohibited all youth activities in the area and banned illegally-constituted village leaderships.
Of recent, a group of youths has been threatening the peaceful existence of the community, hijacking and selling communal lands.
TNC had reported earlier this month, that military operatives recently invaded the community in search of criminals called unknown gunmen, and about six youths were allegedly said to have been killed during the raid.
Worried by the illegalities, the President General of Nteje, Mr Chidiebele Obika after a meeting of the combined groups in the community, including Nteje Development Union (NDU), custodians of the community’s culture and traditions, and women’s group, announced the ban.
He explained that the decision to stop youths activities was unanimously taken as a way to correct some of the things that have been causing insecurity in the communities.
“As a new caretaker committee, we are pained by the state of insecurity in Nteje community today, and we have gathered here to take steps to correct some of the things that have been causing it.
“We discovered that most of the problem in Nteje is from these youth groups, and we checked from our records and saw that we didn’t make anybody youth leaders. So the suspension is to put a stop to it and review it.
“In lieu of these, we agreed to suspend all youths groups and all unconstitutional village heads in Nteje.
“For now, the NDU recognises the Ojiana (custodians of tradition) of every villages, as the proper leadership,” he said.
Obika also announced ban on indiscriminate sale of lands in Nteje.
The new Nteje PG said they are committed to actualizing the terms of reference given to them by the state government, as the caretaker committee in the community.
He further said: “Also, we have put a stop to indiscriminate sales of land, because this has caused our youths to be lazy.
“As part of our terms of reference as caretaker committee, we are working towards reconciling the different factions in the community, to sustain the spirit of oneness in the community.
“To put a in place, a structure that will ensure and sustain a peaceful co existence in Nteje, and to prepare grounds and conduct credible Nteje Development Union election.
In his remark, a member of the community, who is the Chairman, Nteje Development Union, Lagos branch, Mr Chinedu Orakwe regretted that many indigene of the community are now afraid of coming home.
He said; “Most of our people living outside our town are afraid to come back home and in trying to find a solution to these abnormalities, that we came to this meeting.
“Suspending all the youth groups and bodies is to reorganize them and for the elders to take over some decisions for now.”
On his part, Mr. Mike Oforka regretted that Nteje despite being the headquarters of Oyi Local council, has not witnessed any meaningful development, urging the state government to take proactive steps towards addressing youths restiveness in the community.
“We discovered that the problem of our youths is that they are not economically buoyant.
“We are appealing to government to bring development to Nteje for our youths to be engaged.
“This will help to reduce youth restiveness as a hungry man is always angry.
“Government should upgrade the Ekeigwe market to daily market, by doing that the youths will be engaged and be useful to themselves,” he said.