By Ken Gbados.
Following the recent uproar trailing the alleged gruesome killing of 14 youths by Ebubeagu; a security outfit of the Imo State government on Sunday, a group of progressive-minded youths of Imo extraction under the aegis of IMO YOUTH ASSEMBLY (IYA), ABUJA has called on the youths to shun violence and ensure they elect credible leaders during the 2023 general elections.
This call was contained in a statement signed by the Group’s Coordinator; Comrade Lucky Opara wherein he noted that Imo youths deserve qualitative governance in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living, not the spate of criminality and alleged gruesome killings by agents of the government.
According to the statement, IYA believes the youths everywhere have a huge role to play in the social, economic, and political development of States. “The young people, particularly in our Imo have been isolated from the mainstream political and economic relevance for a 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 a huge influence on all the challenges considered as a threat to developments in the State. Considerably, poverty, unemployment, school dropout, crime, terrorism, and militancy can’t be addressed without the commitment and proper intervention of the youths”, the statement reads.
IYA regretted that the State is wholly overwhelmed with conspiracy theories, which divert all attention from the mega cause and source of the problems. “Youths are the largest age group in Nigeria, yet they are deprived of voice and influence in matters to do with the State and the economy.
“Therefore, it is imperative that the youths come together and scrutinize candidates running for any political office in the 2023 elections to support and elect those adjudged to have the interest of the youths at all levels at heart”.
Continuing, IYA noted that if political office holders are ever going to be interested in solutions and moving the state forward, the youths have to ensure they are empowered with information, included, and allowed to participate in all political and economic activities.
“We must show the capacity to organize ourselves to solve problems of common interest. We must align with credible aspirants whom we must have the capacity to hold accountable for their policies, actions, and use of public funds”.
Thus, IYA revealed that the group shall embark on good governance engagement with all the party candidates across all the elective positions in Imo state, looking at their antecedents and their manifesto in addition to sensitizing the youths on the importance of having a peaceful election.