Chairman of the United Anambra Youth Assembly (U-AYA), Lagos, Hon Austine Onyekachukwu Udorah, has urged Nigerian youths to engage in good causes instead of getting involved in illegal activities that will put them in trouble. In this interview, he spoke on various issues.
Since you assumed office, there have been positive developments in your organisation; What change are you trying to bring by encouraging youths at the grassroots to participate in politics?
Studies have shown that the consciousness of young people in politics is more streamlined to the federal and state level. So, we want to awake the youths, by demanding accountability at the local level. Yes, many of them believe that government ends at the federal and state levels. They don’t know that there is so much responsibility at the local government level and many local government chairmen have taken advantage of this ignorance. This is one of the changes we want to bring.
Do you think that government will be better off in tapping into the potential of the youth?
There is no doubt that the youth are not only energetic but also full of ideas. Don’t forget that many of them today are professionals in different fields and when they bring their expertise to bear on these fields, government activities would no longer be business as usual. That is to say that government business would be done the normal way than what it used to be. Therefore, I am an advocate of government tapping into the potential of the youth.
What informed the formation of United Anambra Youth Assembly (U-AYA)?
United Anambra Youth Assembly came into being as a result of the need to rescue Anambra State from the shackles of detractors and oppressors. It became necessary and imperative when situation on ground called for differentiation between those who mean well and those who are interested only in imposing their selfish political will on others in the state. More so, after taking a critical look at the unfolding youth’s involvement in politics, it became important to put up a structure that will encourage more youths participation in politics as well as support the present administration in her bid to develop the state.
What are the expected roles of U-AYA in the development of Anambra State?
Anambra State today is blessed with a listening governor who has the interest of the state at heart and who is committed to its development. Therefore, all that is needed most is to complement his efforts in making the state a beautiful bride. But all these cannot be realized without peace and unity. So, the unity and well being of Anambra people is of paramount importance to united Anambra youth assembly. Our primary role therefore is to engage in those things that tend to unite us as a people beside maintenance of law and order not only in the state but also any where we find ourselves.
As an organisation that is youth oriented, what efforts are you making to stop the youths from taking to crime like political thuggery.
Plans are being made to sensitise the youths especially in the urban and rural areas on the danger of political thuggery. But one thing we should note here is that it is not enough to sensitise them about how bad it is to be a political thug without thinking of how to provide alternative means of making a living for themselves. And how do you do that, the first step is to make them realise that if the same resources and efforts they put in thuggery are channeled into positive things, they will make a huge success of their life. The second thing is to make them see their potential and put them into good use. It is important also to give them new orientation
What do you think is responsible for the rapid development being witnessed in Anambra State today?
I will attribute the cause of the rapid development to the commitment and determination of the present administration in the state. Governor Willie Obiano has repeatedly pledged to make Anambra State a development pride and in line with that, he is putting logistics in place to ensure that major areas of the economy such as agriculture, commence, industry, health and education are developed. In the area of security, Anambra State is now one of the few states in the country where citizens and visitors can sleep with their two eyes closed.