Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
There was jubilation in Anambra State recently following the distribution of 400 bags of rice to each of the 181 communities across the state by the Governor Willie Obiano administration.
It was gathered that besides the bags of rice distributed in the 181 communities, more bags were given to youths from Onitsha, Obosi, Ogbaru, Nkpor, Awka, Nnewi and other places with high population.
The distribution of the rice commenced in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area (LGA). Believed to have cost the state about half a billion naira, the donation was in fulfillment of Governor Obiano’s promise to intervene in mitigating the harsh effects of the present COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commissioner for Local Government, Community and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Greg Obi, made the presentation of the rice to representatives of youth leaders in the state on behalf of the governor. He said that Governor Obiano was determined to impact positively on the lives of the people, particularly the youths.
Obi said the largesse portrayed the present administration as being responsive, noting that his interventions always help to improve the lives of the people.
“The criteria stipulate that the rice will go to the needy and vulnerable youths in the communities. Each household should not receive more than a bag of rice.
“Even though the youths have ownership of the exercise, the list so generated must be vetted by traditional rulers, presidents-generals and women leaders of various communities,” he said.
Commissioner for Youth Entrepreneurship and Creative Economy, Mr. Afam Mbanefo, commended Governor Obiano for his initiative in prioritising the welfare of the youths and other people, irrespective of religion or political affiliations.
The National President of the youth wing of Anambra State Association of Town Union (ASATU), Mr Patrick Agha Mba said that the youths were veritable part of the government and commended the youth friendly Governor, Obiano for the gesture and promise to continue supporting his administration.
He said that the distribution of the rice had gone round the communities peacefully without any rancour and crisis, saying that ASATU youth wing collaborated with other youths organisations in the state such as National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) led by Mr. Samuel Egwuatu, Ohanaeze Youth Wing and United Anambra Youth Assembly (U-AYA).
“We are delighted with Governor Obiano for his commendable show of love for the youths and his deep passion for a greater and better future for them. We have exemplified this commitment by your appointment of youths into various positions of authority, thereby giving us pride of participation and relevance.
“We make boast to say that youths occupy about 90 per cent of your appointments, first in the political history of Anambra State. We are very privileged to be counted worthy to serve in your dynamic and visionary government worthy of emulation in Nigeria.
“As President of ASATU youth wing, I have in the manner you established with traditional rulers and town unions of the state, built a robust working relationship with the tiers, leading to active participation of the youths in all programmes of government.
“As it pleased the governor to reach out to youths during this difficult time with his relief package of 400 bags of rice for the youths of each of the 181 communities, we formally express our profound gratitude to the governor for his unrivalled show of love and care for the youths.
“We pledged our unflinching loyalty to you and declare our fresh readiness to continue to project, propagate and impact your programmes and polices on the grassroots. We remain avowed foot soldiers, disciples and veritable vessels that will continue to convey your transformational leadership to constituents of all the 21 local government area of the state,” Agha Mba stated.
He further commended the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe for his youth-friendly programmes, saying the monarch had vowed to reduce youth restiveness and other vices. He also commended the Commissioner for Youths Empowerment and Creative Economy, Mr. Afam Mbanefo for his proactive initiatives in youth development in the state.
Other youth leaders of ASATU, Emeka Okoyeozo, Nwadochukwuka Onwughalu, Chief Rowland Akabueze and Chief Nnamdi Ikeli who were part of the distribution of the rice, also thanked the governor for remembering youths.