By Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
The new president of Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), Mr. Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, has lamented the failure of the federal government to provide functional seaport in the south east geopolitical zone. According to him, the non-functional state of the Onitsha dry port had continued to impact negatively on the economic activities in Igbo land.
Igboayaka spoke in Owerri, a day after his emergence as the president of the Ohanaeze youth group in Enugu state. The other executive members included Oluchi Chinweuba as vice president, Nwanaga Gift as secretary, Chinonso Alozie as publicity secretary and Igweali Robinson financial secretary, among others.
During his acceptance speech, Igboayaka, listed as five challenges he described as hindrances to progress in the Igbo states.
Apart from the inability to establish a seaport, he mentioned that a railway system would serve as a boost to the manufacturing industries in the area just as an international airport would.
Igboayaka started by saying: “Today, we dedicate this victory to thousands of Igbo youths who died in Sahara Desert in attempt to travel to Europe due to leadership failure that led to poor economy in Igbo land.
“Today, the rebuilding of Igboland for economic emancipation has begun. You people have done noble. You have bestowed on us enough responsibilities, that will always remind us our root, where we are heading to. Our first assignment is to make this apex socio-cultural organization of Igbo Youths a membership driven youth body in all the communities, local government and Igbo states as well as in diaspora.
“To start with, our leadership will ensure that within six months there will be active Ohanaeze youth council chapters in all the tertiary institutions in Nigeria, cities and states of none Igbo land geographical areas.
“Our leadership will ensure a mass mobilisation and re-orientation of Igbo youths between 18 and 45 years, in order to reclaim our value system for a decent society.
“Our leadership will also go into a research to reach out to our brothers and sisters in various states who have been denied their Igboness due to super orchestrated conspiracy against Igbo race targeted to split the various ethnic nationalities of Igbo people.”
“We will wake up from this conspiracy and come to our root about the Igbos in Egbema, Etche, Omuma, Ndoni, Ikwerre, Ekpeye, Obigbo, Ogba, Elele and Ndoki all in Rivers state. Obviously, we will take the social gospel of Igbo Origin and identity to our Igbo brothers and sisters at Aniocha, Amoma, Ika, Oshimili, Ndokwa, Ukwuani, Asaba in Delta.
“We will come to the knowledge of the truth that Igbos are not only in Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Delta and Rivers, but in Benue, Kogi, Edo, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states. Also, the message will be taken to Osekwenike, Abuetor Eke, Okpokri in Sagbama Bayelsa state, among many others,” the new president maintained.
He added that “Some of the fundamentals that we will pursue to open up the economic hub of the Igbo people as well as connect them to international communities included railway, international airport, seaport, national electricity grid and gas pipeline for energy and industrialisation.
“The above five cardinal points are what Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) will pursue as a viable means to Rebuild Ala Igbo to be the economic epicenter of West Africa, in the Igbo states of Imo, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta and Rivers state.”