By Gilbert Ekezie
Not satisfied with the level of development in Abia State, some youths in the state are seeking partnership with the government in different areas to move the state forward.
The youths are focusing on quick and sustainable intervention in the areas of gainful employment, skill acquisition and talent hunt that would lead to all-round transformation for the benefit of all stakeholders.
According to them, they have hidden talents that need to be explored, but have been neglected due to lack of empowerment and other human development.
In their efforts to change the narrative, the youths, under the auspices of Abia State Youths, national, recently sought assistance from the government and well-to-do sons and daughters of the state to better the lives of indigenes.
This was part of their demands after the election of new officers of the association in Lagos State, recently.
President of the association, Joel Chima Okorie, said that the new executive officers of the body were ready to work with the state government to ensure that the dividends of democracy were brought to the people without any further delay or hindrance.
Okorie explained that with the election of the youth body, there was hope that they would be able to fashion out new plans to achieve a brand new Abia State that is devoid of misconception and wrong perception.
He stressed that unemployment and lack of empowerment have been the bane of Abia youths, pointing out that the time to correct all the anomalies is now.
According to Okorie, the state government and well-meaning Abia people should help the young people acquire skills and secure jobs that would make them comfortable so that the negative narrative about the state would change.
“We are fighting to ensure that young people in Abia are gainfully employed. We also need to be empowered on skills. That will give them the desired sense of belonging. So, we need the support of the government and everyone to achieve this,” he said.
Okorie frowned on the notion by some people that Abia youths were not productive. He pointed out that such insinuations were unfortunate and uncalled for.
His words: “Obviously, Abia youths are intelligent, skilful, hardworking and law-abiding. We do not believe in using crisis to get what we want, but dialogue and mutual understanding.”
He promised to organize regular orientation programmes for the youths, to sensitize them on what it takes to be more useful to themselves, the state and the country at large.
Secretary of the group, Mr. Ndubuisi Onwuchekwa said since every Nigerian youth needs to be useful to the society, those from Abia State cannot be exempted.
To him, idleness among the youths should not be encouraged, as that would expose them to indulging in criminal tendencies.
He said: “The average Nigerian youths should be useful to themselves. There is no need for idleness.”
Onwuchekwa commended the Abia State Gvernment for sponsoring some youths in the state to China for training in shoe manufacturing.
“The sponsorship is a welcome development because it will go a long way in empowering the youths. Things like that is what we want the government, corporate bodies and individuals to always be doing.”
Similarly, the group’s public relations officer, Mr Sylvester Obasi, stressed the need for young people in Abia to be more active in politics so as to contribute more in the development of the state.
“It is unfortunate that many of the young people believe in their abilities, thinking that politics is meant for the older people. We should come out to make the desired change,” he urged.
He informed that the youths have come out to take what belongs to them through genuine and peaceful means. He added that they were also ready to support the government’s good policies.