The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has restated its commitment to building a virile, united and visionary youth wing with integrity and humility.
National Vice President, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene dropped the hint during a courtesy visit of the Youth wing led by its Acting National Youth Leader, Mazi Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu at his Nanka country home, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He however said the youths should reciprocate by joining hands to salvage the Igbo Nation.
He said although youths in the zone were not as hostile as their counterparts in some other countries, there was need for them to blend more to achieve their goals.
He said, “Our youths must be humble before they can serve. It’s greed that drag them to pecuniary gains than delivering selfless service. You can’t afford to be using the name of Ohaneze for politics because we’re not a political party.
“Your actions should not contradict those of your fathers. It should rather be true reflection of what they stood and fought for and still fighting for.
“You can’t have someone like Iwuanyanwu, past President Generals, Obi of Onitsha and other elders in Ohaneze and your characters are not reflecting theirs.
“It’s only in Ohaneze that you see youths insulting their elders. You can’t see such among Arewa, Afenefere, among others disrespecting their elders. I expect the same from them.”
Okeke-Ogene hinted that the current leadership is making every effort to ensure Ndigbo across the country were carried along in the scheme of things.
“Ohaneze is virtually in all states in Nigeria. Currently, Iwuanyanwu has established three zones, one to take care of Igbos living in the 19 northern states and FCT, another for those in the West, with head office in Lagos, while those in Southeast and South-South have their head office in Enugu.
“We’ll now be having three zonal meetings with the NEC at the center. This arrangement is to ensure our activities get to the grassroots. We’ll embrace as many as are willing to join us.”
Responding, Okpalaezeukwu appreciated Okeke-Ogene for his advice borne out of love for the group, assuring him of the youths readiness to contribute their quota towards a united Ohaneze.
“We seek for your maximum support as opinion leaders at the national level. You’ve given us leadership and opportunity. We know what to do, but we lack the backing.
We only need to be activated.
“We assure you we won’t disappoint. We assure you of our loyalty, productivity and readiness to learn. We accept the responsibility of being the next generation of ohaneze. We will also get back to you on how we’re progressing,” he assured.
On his part, Grand patron of the youth wing, Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo described Okeke-Ogene as an engine room and encyclopedia of Igbo culture, tradition, whose had contributed immensely to the developmental strides in Anambra and Nigeria.
He however identified funds and restoration of dignity of the body as major challenges bedeviling the organization, expressing optimism of better and brighter days ahead with the crop of youths at the saddle.
“With the advice we’ve got from our national leader, we’re now well equipped to bring in the new era, with better modifications, strategies to effect the needed transformation,” he said.