From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Members of Enugu-Ezike in Diaspora, indigenes of Enugu-Ezike, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State based outside Nigeria, recently converged on their hometown with a message of hope.
The group described skills acquisition as a major way to tackle unemployment, insecurity and youth restiveness in society.
In their words, with the right skills, youths can be self-reliant, entrepreneurs and job creators, instead of job seekers.
Mr. Chinweike Ezeja, founder of Enugu-Ezike in Diaspora, who is based in London, United Kingdom, spoke at the foundation-laying ceremony of Enugu-Ezike Diaspora Skills Acquisition Centre, where he described the group as a charitable organisation that operates through freewill donations.
The event was held at Township School 1, Ogrute, the local government headquarters.
He also explained that the group was formed to bring all indigenes of Enugu-Ezike in Diaspora together on one platform to promote welfare, oneness, prosperity and development of the youth and the communities back home.
Said he: “This centre, when completed, will benefit our youths in over 30 communities under Enugu-Ezike, with provision of training for various skills. There would be training in computer, both hardware and software, poultry farming, fashion designing, makeup artistry, plumbing and many other skills. This, we hope, will help discourage our youths from engaging in cultism, criminal activities, early and unwanted pregnancy, among others.
“Our members have been donating their hard-earned money towards the actualisation of the project and today we are here to lay the foundation for the skills acquisition centre.”
Ezeja expressed gratitude to the chairman of Igbo-Eze North LGA, Ejike Itodo, for his developmental strides in the local government and for making land available for the project.
Also, Nnaemeka Ugwu, who is based in Canada, said, when the building is completed in 12 months, youths would be empowered to be self-reliant, contributors to the economy of the community, useful to themselves and society.
Ugwu said the objective of the skills acquisition centre was to train the youths in various skills in four core vocations to empower them, and take them away from crime and poverty. He urged the youths to be focused and dedicated to anything they are doing, adding that “the only secret to success is hard work and dedication.”
While laying the foundation stone for the centre, the council boss, Itodo, said Enugu-Ezike in Diaspora demonstrated love and interest in the development of Enugu-Ezike.
“This is a welcome development. Exactly last year, the Enugu-Ezike in Diaspora donated 72 motorcycles and other security gadgets to Neighbourhood Watch to boost security in our communities.
“Today, again, they have channelled their attention and resources to the youths with the proposed skills acquisition building. This is the first of its kind in Enugu-Ezike. My administration is happy with what you people are doing and will give you all the necessary support,” he said.
Mr. Williams Nwodo, a youth from Aguibeje community in Enugu-Ezike, commended members of the group for their interest in the wellbeing of youths and the development of Enugu-Ezike, describing the skills acquisition building as a legacy project.
Chairman of Igbo-Eze North Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Gabriel Agbedo, who spoke on behalf of other traditional ruler,s said: “God has sent helpers to Enugu-Ezike through our sons and daughters in diaspora.
“What they have done and are still doing is a life-changing project. In no distant time, a good number of children will be self-reliant through skills acquisition and their gesture will reduce idleness, criminality, cultism and other social vices among the youth.”
The royal father urged other well-meaning individuals in the area to emulate Emembers of the group and do something meaningful for Ezike people.
Some of the members of Enugu-Ezike in Diaspora that attended the occasion include; Ugwuoke Sunday from Indonesia, Emenike Onu from South Africa and Fidelis Ogbonna from the United Kingdom, among others.
The foundation-laying ceremony for the centre was later performed by the council boss, Itodo, and members of Enugu-Ezike in Diaspora.