Posted by Kennedy Gbados | 16 June 2018 | 1,955 times
Few months to the 2019 general election, the political atmosphere in Imo State is stirring. Calculations and permutations are changing at a fast pace. Leading contenders and pretenders are on their feet criss-crossing the length and breadth of the state, aligning, re-aligning and oiling their political machines in readiness for the election.
No doubt, recent events have only added to the heat and raised the ongoing interesting play in the state. Two of the high-powered events that upped the stake were the twist and the turns in the recently-held ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and, most significantly, Prince Charles Onuoha’s indication to contest the governorship election, with a promise to take Imo State out of the woods, if elected.
In the midst of this frenzy, a group of progressive-minded youths under the aegis of Prince Charles Onuoha Youth Vanguard (PCOYV) has called on all patriotic Imolites to support the gubernatorial ambition of Dr Onuoha, noting that he is the only one who believes the youths should be at the centre of decision-making. This call was contained in a statement signed by the group’s coordinator, Comrade Ebube Nwaegbu, who described Onuoha as “a true leader who has exceptional socio-economic cum infrastructural developmental agenda, and cares for the lonely in heart.”
The youth leader believes youths everywhere have a pragmatic role to play in social, economic and political development of nations. “The young people, particularly in our state and Nigeria at large, have been isolated from the mainstream political and economic relevance for long, giving them no chance to take charge of their lives, hence limited access to economic opportunities. This, we believe, is one of the major elements with huge influence on all the challenges considered as threat to development in Nigeria. Considerably, poverty, unemployment, school drop-out, crime, terrorism and militancy can’t be addressed without the commitment and proper intervention of the youth.”
Comrade Nwaegbu regretted that Nigerians are currently overwhelmed with conspiracy theories and ethnic preconceptions, which divert attention from the real causes and sources of problems. “Youths are the largest age group in Nigeria, yet they are deprived of voice and influence in matters of state and the economy.”
Noting that the youths are underprivileged in all forms of policy-making and implementation, he averred that it is imperative that the youths should be allowed into the parliament because they know what is best for the country.
Continuing, Nwaegbu observed that there are more young people on the streets than in the high schools and colleges. “Therefore, if Imo State and, indeed Nigeria, is ever interested in solutions and moving forward, the youths have to be empowered with information, included and allowed to participate in all political and economic activities. They must have the capacity to organise themselves to solve problems of common interest. Young Nigerians must have the capacity to hold the government accountable for their policies, actions and use of public funds.”
Against the foregoing backdrop, the group leader assured that they have a candidate who appreciates the yearnings of young people in Nigeria. He said an Onuoha-led government in Imo State will be a springboard to setting a platform where the youths will be considered as a priority in any appointment.
Beyond the issues affecting non-inclusion of youths in governance, the statement also touched on the current situation in Nigeria: the intensified vicious cycle of poverty.
His words: “Poverty is winning the war against us due to the current policies which obviously failed on arrival. With zero foreign direct investments (FDIs), the private sector as a key factor in the daily well-being of people has been critically affected to the core that they can’t meet the demands of hundred millions of Nigerians. Public order is gradually slipping out of hand, as the people blame politicians.”
Thus, the visionary and developmental antecedent of Charles Onuoha is imperative and timely.
Broadly, Onuoha seems to be riding on the crest of the desire of the people of Imo State for qualitative governance in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living for the people. He is a successful entrepreneur, an astute politician and administrator of repute. A boardroom guru with a wealth of experience, he has a proven record of success in corporate governance and management of human resources.
More so, he is a man of national significance and influence. And most analysts are finding it difficult to write him off, going by his impressive political profile. In addition, he is a leading aspirant from Mbaise, which has never produced a governor. So, the social justice pendulum and the will of the masses swing favourably and positively towards Onuoha more than other governorship candidates his senatorial zone.
•Kennedy Gbados, a publicist, heads Ken-Gbados Concepts Limited
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