Awka – Igbo youths have threatened to resort to their own ideas in solving the problems of the Southeast region, if Igbo leaders continue to relegate them in the affairs of the region.
The warning is coming from Ohaneze Ndigbo Youths Wing, on the heels of their alleged exclusion from Tuesday’s emergency stakeholders’ meeting involving the governors of the Southeast, select political leaders, clergy and representatives from the traditional institution in Enugu.
Only three governors- those of Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo States, were physically present at the meeting expected to proffer solution to the insecurity challenges in the region.
While Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu sent his deputy, Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano was neither present nor represented at the summit.
Speaking on the development on Wednesday, the National Secretary of Ohaneze Youths Worldwide, Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, said the exclusion of the youths is a clear indication that Southeast leaders do not regard the Igbo youths.
“The convocation of this all important meeting without any invitation extended to the youth Constituency in the Southeast, is a clear indication that Southeast leaders have continued to hold the youths in inexplicable disdain,” he said.
Okpalaezeukwu noted that the current security situation in the Southeast is as a result of the perennial disregard and neglect of Igbo youths by the leadership class.
According to him, the decision to convene such a meeting without any invitation extended to the youths or any reasonable youth group in the Southeast is yet another pointer to the fact that the political leaders are not sincere about solving the problem of the Southeast.
Maintaining that the insecurity problem in the Southeast cannot be solved without the youths being integral to discussions, plans and processes leading to such solutions, Okpalaezeukwu condemned in the strongest terms, the senseless killings in the region and also commend the security agencies for the relentless efforts to restoring the confidence of the masses in the possibility of protection of lives and property.
The Ohaneze Youths scribe noted that aside the issue of insecurity, the challenges facing Southeast cannot be divorced from the angers of the youths and mal-administration and therefore cannot be solved without the Youths.
In his words; “We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different result.”
He called for a new stakeholders meeting to be convened within the next seven days and invitations to the meeting extended to youth bodies in the Southeast.
“Until this is done, we refuse to recognize that any stakeholders meeting took place in the Southeast. Should the Southeast leaders continue to relegate us in the affairs of the region, we shall have no other option but to resort to our own ideas in solving the problems of our region,” he threatened.
The Ohaneze National Secretary who also noted that the taking off of the Ebubeagu Security outfit is long overdue, warned that the outfit cannot take off without the youths driving it from the formative stages.
“We therefore demand that the existing Committee charged with the responsibility of ensuring the takeoff of the Regional Security outfit be expanded to ensure adequate representation of youths on the committee,” he said.