From Madu Kanma, Umuahia
A youth organization comprising of the 17 states of the southern Nigeria has warned the federal government to desist from intimidating good spirited agitators from the region, like Alh Asari, Ugboho, Kanu and others, or face breakdown of law and order.
Arising from their first two-day Management Meeting held in Umuahia, the youths, under the aegis of Southern Nigeria Youth Assembly, SNYA in a communiqué they raised, warned the federal government that it will no longer be business as usual over the activities of herders, under-development and unfair security treatment of the region.
As a result therefore, the youths in that communiqué signed by its chairman, Comrade Alhassan Abidemi and the Secretary, Ukor Brown Ukor mandated the federal government that “all criminal herders must vacate our lands and return to wherever they are coming from” because their acts are alien to the entire region.
They further noted, “Our peace is sacrosanct and we are not ready to shortchange it for anything else. We cannot allow the region to degenerate into oblivion. The federal government must desist from intimidating good spirited agitators like Alh Asari, Ugboho, Kanu and others who are going about their legitimate businesses and asking questions on behalf of the region.
“Any further intimidation may degenerate to a breakdown of law and order which is the last thing the region or authority needs”.
The youths who said they appreciate “the little effort by the federal government led by President Buhari is throwing on this region” noted “we still insists that much is yet undone, considering that this region is the life-line of Nigeria’s economy. It is worthy of note that we stand with Nigeria in her unity in diversity, but will not shy away from calling/agitating for her (Nigeria) division if these very simple demands are not given the needed attention”.
Other conditions they give for the country to remain intact include that the security of life and property of the region must be given adequate attention, and as a matter of urgency, the Federal Government should commence/fast track infrastructural development in the region.
They further advised political leaders in the zone to see each other as family members, stating “they must as a matter of urgency reconcile their divergent views and stop looking out for personal interest” and should strive for the collective interest of the region.
“We discourage in strong terms the politics of bitterness, acrimony and rancor”, the body said and issued ultimatum to such leaders “a maximum of one month to close ranks for the benefit of the zone or else, the will hear from us”, pointing out that “infighting within the region has given room for external persons such as Sen. Adeyemi to make such a statements about a revered leader from the region.
They condemned in strong terms Adeyemi’ outburst on Gov. Ikpeazu of Abia state and demanded “without fear or favour that Sen. Adeyemi of Kogi State tender unreserved apology to Gov. Okezie ikpeazu and publicly withdraw his unfounded utterances” within two weeks.
They said they have noticed that genuine agitators in the region are also being threatened or arrested for asking the Federal Government what is due to the region, recalling the threat “in some quarters to arrest Alh Asari Dokubo and Sunday Ugboho for reasons not clear”.
According to the youths all these demands arose from the fact that the region is full of dilapidated infrastructures which is a source of major worry and which needs be addressed.
Others, they said include that infighting among the region’s political leaders has become a source of embarrassment as it has even degenerated into clashes and restiveness, among others.
Earlier in his opening address, the Leader of Southern Nigeria Youth Assembly, Comrade Chinedu Temple Chika said the meeting was important in view of what is currently happening in the country which nobody can be said to be oblivion of, hence the need “to come together to be heard and to be a force to reckon with” and “create a lasting bond that will be Impregnable to enemies of the region”.
Delegates at the occasion were from Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Port Harcourt, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi.