By Mike Ubani
The newly elected president of Ohanaeze Youth Council, (OYC), Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, has promised that the group would work with relevant stakeholders in the country to ensure the establishment of four functional seaports in the South-East.
Speaking during its 2019 National Convention which took place at Dragon Events Centre, Enugu, at the weekend, Comrade Igboayaka said that when established, the sea ports would ease importation by Igbo businessmen whom he described as the highest importers of goods in the country.
The event which featured the election of a new national executive council to pilot the affairs of Igbo youths for the next three years was attended by hundreds of youths from the region.
In his acceptance speech, Comrade Igboayaka, alleged that the lack of seaports in Igboland was deliberate act by the federal government to undermine the economic development of the area, saying that the situation would be reversed.
He said: “Ọhaneze Youths Council will ensure that we have functional seaports in Igboland. In Anambra State, there is a river in Osokwa, Ihiala town called Orashi. It connects to the Atlantic Ocean by just 18 nautical miles
“In Abia, there is the Azumini River which is just 25 nautical miles to the Atlantic Ocean. Also at Ndoki East is a river that is 30 nautical miles to the Atlantic Ocean.
“We have the one at Bonny, the one at Onne too but it’s unfortunate that the Nigerian government is making use of the ones in Lagos that is almost 60 nautical miles.
“If these rivers are dredged, shipping your goods from abroad to Nigeria, it will take just two or three weeks for you to clear your goods whereas it takes months to achieve same in Lagos.
“I want to tell our people that there is a deliberate conspiracy against Ndị Igbo and this is the time for Igbo people to rise up and speak.
“This is the time OYC will partner with Igbo business men and other leaders and tell them of the need for us to have these seaports in Ala Igbo.”
The high point of the convention was the swearing in of the new executive, which include Igboayaka O Igboayaka (president), Chinweuba Oluchi Claire (Vice president), Dr. Nwanaga Gift Chinemerem (Secretary), Chinonso Alozie (publicity Secretary), as well as Igweali Robinson (financial Secretary).