What happened to Anambra Youths by Osita Onuko

Feb. 10, 2014


My name is Comr Osita Onuko the Anambra state Public Relations Officer of NYCN and Comr Innocent Nduanya is my Chairman at the National Youth Council of Nigeria Anambra State chapter. This write-up became overtly essential to expose to the whole youths of Anambra State the many flaws that has disorganized the youth sector in the state and also to put right so many young minds that has been brainwashed about our struggle for self determination and fight against impunity done on Anambra Youths. In as much as the few youths that has benefitted from such impunity will at the sight of this article call me names and try to blackmail what I have written here today, that won’t change the potency of the truths that is hereby stated.

Sometime in November 2012, Hon. Nwabufo Nwankwo the supreme comrade of Ndi Anambra Youths and our most amiable leader, who was then, the Chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria Anambra State Chapter inaugurated in accordance with the constitution of the council two congress planning committees(C.P.C), for the conduct of elections into the local government and state executive arms of NYCN of course consultations where made to the ministry of youths and sports and a letter written to the commissioner Mr. Edozie Aroh to nominate one person to represent his ministry in the C.P.C which he obliged in his reply nominating the then assistant director dept of youth development in his ministry by name Mr. Nnamdi Nwokeania. This request was made to the ministry of youths and sports with regards to the constitutional supervisory role they play to the youth council.

The election process proceeded first with the LGA C.P.C under the chairmanship of Comr Emeka Okeke who was the then Vice Chairman Anambra central senetorial zone and the objective was to conduct free and fair election into the local government arm of NYCN. Innocent Nduanya was a member of that committee while I was the financial director of the committee so I stand a chance to give accurate records of the dealings of that committee until it was put on hold on the 12th of December 2012. My dates may not be wholesomely accurate but the facts contained in them is unalloyed.

The LGA C.P.C conducted the first election on the 28th of November 2012 at Onitsha north and south lga’s the election was adjudged free,fair and credible by the contenders and the electorates and so it continued in other LGA’s.
However on the 6th of December 2012 congress was held at Awka North LGA which witnessed a low degree violence all thanks to security operatives who calmed all nerves and enabled us conduct elections. Before we conducted congress in Awka North, some aggrieved persons lodged a complain that the local government secretariat in Achalla which was the constitutional venue for the conduct of the congress should not be used rather they suggested that we use a primary school field at Isuanocha on the grounds that their was a threat on the lives of the opponents by one of the candidates who happen to hail from Achalla. We notified the security operatives and the LGA transition committee chairman of Awka North respectively and they quashed such insinuations and permitted us to carry out the congress on the secretariat ground.
The next day we heard that the opponents who lost out in the election lodged a petition against us in the ministry of youths and sports without copying us so we disregarded their act of “unwillingness to accept defeat” and moved on with other LGA’s although by then we began to sense some notable opponents to what we were doing and some aggrieved persons who out of sheer jealousy or rather who saw the youth council as an avenue to milk from the government purse prying into the activities of our committee and instigating the state governor Mr. Peter Obi against us. Few days later we heard from the media houses a public announcement signed by Mr. Edozie Aro the commissioner for youths and sports canceling the whole 16 LGA congresses we already held, nolified our congress planning committee and the state executives. He went on to inaugurate a steering committee led by his protégée and P.A without duly notifying us or consulting our leaders as we would have done and always has done to him; in other words he disregarded us and overstepped his constitutional frontiers within the youth council and as such it became necessary that someone should put him to order. His actions were unconstitutional as such null and void but the humiliating thing was that some out-grown youths who claimed to be seasoned members of the youth council was really behind him beating the drum while he danced to the tune all in the effort to undertake the affairs of the youth council from Nwabufo who happened to checkmate their excesses during his tenure. Also note that the constitution of the youth council stipulates that once someone steps over 35yrs of age he ceases to be an active member of the youth council and can no longer hold executive positions, his or her actions then should be in the passive or advisory role but that wasn’t the case with these fish in troubled waters who wanted to take power by force. It should also be of note that the said personal assistant to the commissioner for youths and sports Mr. Edozie Aro whom he appointed the chairman of the steering committee was a candidate contesting for the position of state chairmanship of the youth council (a man over 45yrs of age) before the sad event of canceling the LGA congresses was announced by the commissioner.

While all these happened, there was a lot of blackmailing and name calling on our leader Nwabufo Nwankwo and all the members of the congress committee. We where labelled enemies of the government and was associated with somany names whom we might have never met before.
For us the bone of contention then was that by the 30th of December 2012, the tenure of Nwabufo led executive would have elapsed and the state congress planning committee led by Comr Anthony Ughenu couldn’t be able to conduct congress into the state executive arm due to the interim steering committee inaugurated by the commissioner for youths and sports Mr. Edozie Aro. The said commissioner while all this happened could not for one day summon us for a meeting so it was obviously glaring that what he wanted was to deliberately distort the activities of the youths in Anambra state and impose an unpopular candidate on us.

Fortunately, for such display of impunity by the commissioner on the youths, the usual corresponding action would have been violence ridden, such as mass protest peaceful and non peaceful, and destruction of valued lives and properties save for the matured style of leadership deployed by our leader Nwabufo in calming all nerves and believed that someone soon will call Mr. Edozie Aro and his co-horts to order. We resolved to writing complaint letters to the governor and all the major stakeholders in Anambra state. We wrote severally to the security agencies for posterity sake and we communicated the members of the house of assembly; I personally delivered this letters to these stakeholders because I was then serving as a Special Assistant to Nwabufo Nwankwo.
His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi eventually summoned our leader Nwabufo along with the special assistant to the governor on youth mobilization Mr. Nduka Alor. I wouldn’t delve into the the outcome of the meeting with His Execellency because as far as we were concerned it wasn’t fruitful and it didn’t solve the problem. We were left with the last resort which was the law court but for our leaders who were all employees of the state government, going to court meant fighting your master which they couldn’t do and being that we were labelled Sen. Chris Ngige boys the government that be could take drastic decisions that will be detrimental to their means of livelihood. As such we the young aspiring leaders of the youth were left to our fate. Then I was contesting for the post of Financial Secretary of NYCN Anambra state chapter and so was other young members. The current Chairman Innocent Nduanya was contesting for State Chairman too.

Finally in the early months of 2013 the commissioner for youths and sports Mr. Edozie Aro and Mr. Nduka Alor (P.A to the governor on youth mobilization)conducted a cangaroo selection process in the name of congress which saw the P.A to Prof. Dora Akunyili and the then chairman of Niger Delta youth forum as the substantive chairman of the council.
On the day of the said cangaroo selection process ‘thank God the video clips are there for whoever that wants to verify”, all the past leaders and constitutional voluntary and community/faith based organizations and their representatives that are qualified to vote in the election was boycotted rather a list of strange bed fellows was adopted in a motion moved by Edozie Aro at Grand Rivera Hotels Awka.
To us the stakeholders of the National Youth Council of Nigeria Anambra State Chapter, the election was unacceptable on various grounds, few of which is:
1. The commissioner for Youths and Sports was never empowered by the constitution to move a motion for adoption or consensus in NYCN elections.
2. The congress planning committee set up to conduct the congress was unconstitutionally grouped
3. The Nwabufo Nwankwo led executive which was by right and constitutional provisions supposed to conduct the congress by setting up a congress planning committee was discarded and he was absent at the congress venue without a court order to that regards.
4. The council constitution stipulates a minimum number of years a candidate contesting for any executive position in the council should have been in the council as a member before contesting such positions.
5. The council constitution also stipulates that the LGA coordinators are statutory voters in the said congress yet they were not invited.

What we did to remedy the situation:
We the stakeholders of the youth council comprising of all the immediate past and present elected LGA coordinators organized and fortified ourself to properly address this issue. We didn’t recognize the cangaroo selection process done by the commissioner and we disassociated ourselves from its outcome. At first we set up a six man committee, two person per senatorial zone to inwardly study the existing status quo and proffer valid suggestion on how to move the youth council forward. The six man committee comprised of Comr Valentine Iwuchukwu( former coordinator NYCN Ekwusigo LGA) and Comr Ernest Nnoli(former coordinator Nnewi south) representing south senatorial zone, Comr Osita Onuko(former SA NYCN) and Comr Ifeanyichukwu Nwosu(coordinator Awka South) representing central senatorial zone, Comr Malive Nnamdi(former provost) and Comr Achike Areh(coordinator Onitsha South) representing North senatorial zone. We proffered that an interim state executive committee be inaugurated to pilot the affairs of the council pending when the wrongs of the commissioner is made right. We also resolved to uphold the sixteen local government election already conducted and retain the incumbent coordinators of the remaining inconclusive five LGA’s. All these was done in consultations to major stakeholders at the national level and in line with some necessary provisions of the constitution.

What I have stated here is to prove wrong those who felt that what we are doing is for personal interest or selfish motive no! This is about JUSTICE because according to Ignatious Sancho the man of letters he said,” Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” these are verifiable facts of what went wrong in the youth sector and I stand to be corrected if I have made any understatement or overstatement.

My name is Osita Onuko the P.R.O of NYCN in Anambra state and Comr Innocent Nduanya is the State Chairman.