MAURICE OKAFOR writes that the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State chapter, has condemned the wanton destruction and looting of public property by hoodlums on the pretence of EndSARS protest and advised the Nigerian Youths to halt the protest for now, since the federal government and most of the state governors have respectively constituted panel of inquiry aimed at resolving their complaints.
The Ohanaeze Youths made the appeal aftermath of the ugly incidences of destruction and looting of a branch of First bank Plc located at thickly populated Avalon Nike axis of Enugu metropolis, the burning of the gate and four cars within Enugu North Council area, destruction of calibrated iron fences newly erected to secure and beautify Ogbete/Holy Ghost road in Enugu, looting of CA-COVID-19 palliative stored by the authorities etc at some designated positions in the metropolis by suspected hoodlums.
The carnage which compelled the Enugu State chapter of Ohanaeze Youths to convene an emergency meeting with some other Youth organisations, lamented that the original concept of staging the peaceful protests by Nigerian Youths have been achieved, and decried the ugly twist added to it by hoodlums.
They urged Nigerian Youths to back out from the protests and wait on the actions of the Federal and state governments for a while.
In a chat with THE AUTHORITY, South East Post, at the end of the emergency meeting, the Ohanaeze youth leader in Enugu State, Comrade Wencelaus Ogbonnia, lamented that miscreants have exploited the opportunity of the peaceful protests to loot and unleash mayhem on public properties.
According to him, the original concept of the EndSARS protest which was an insight to the corrupt and unjust system of governance in Nigeria is in line with the current Ohanaeze leadership under Chief Nnia Nwodo vision of restructuring as a panacea for even development of the country.
He stated, “The Ohanaeze Youth wing, Enugu State chapter and other youth organisations are not against the peaceful demonstrations and protests to end SARS, other forms of police brutality and bad governance in Nigeria. The demands contained in the protests are some of the ills embedded in the Nigerian system of which the present Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide led by Chief Nnia Nwodo, has been advocating for a proper restructuring of the country, to enhance competition and even development of various parts of the country.”
“But the ugly incidences of the last two days, during which miscreants have started burning and looting public properties demands for a halt of the protests, even as the Federal government and Enugu state government, likewise many other state governors have constituted their own panel of enquiry to resolve the problems of the Nigerian Youths.”
Comrade Wencelaus Ogbonnia commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for having set up a judicial panel of inquiry to understudy the demands of the Youths and come up with reasonable solutions thereafter.
Also in the meeting, the Movement for actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra(MASSOB) Youth Coordinator in Nkanu West local government area, Comrade Emmanuel Agu, while corroborating the Ohanaeze Youth leader’s statement, said the property that were destroyed by the hoodlums will be rebuilt with the tax payers money.
He concurred to the idea that Nigerian Youths have made known their grievances and cautioned the both the Federal and state governments to give serious consideration to the matters raised in the protests. He said it is high time the Nigerian Youths take over the governor of the country. He said the present Nigerian leaders started at a young age but have continued to recycle themselves even when they have overstayed their usefulness.
His words: “Youths are protesting on the impunity of the corruption persisting in our system of governance. We must note that the corrupt elements in government have taken much and built little. They should vacate. Let us learn how to contain our pains.”
Other leaders of Youth organisations in Enugu State that joined Ohanaeze Youths in calling for a cessation of the protests consequent upon it’s hijack by miscreants include Barr Ileana Odoh, the Coordinator ‘Wawa Youths Frontier Worldwide’, Comrade Ugochukwu Nwaigwe, Ohanaeze Youth coordinator in Awgu council area of Enugu State.
Others include Comrade Ogbonna Chukwuebuka, Country representative, Igbo Youth Assembly, Hon Prince Kingsley Edeoga, the Ohanaeze Youth Coordinator for Enugu East local government area, among others.
Meanwhile, the Enugu State judicial panel of inquiry set up by Governor Ugwuanyi, headed by Hon Justice Kingsley Ude(rtd), with members like Prof Barr. Joy Reiko, Comrade Osmond Ugwu, representative of the state Attorney General, Dr Valentine Madubuko and representative of the state commissioner for Justice, Barr Onochie Ngwu Obama, among others, has commenced sitting on Friday, October 23.They called for memoranda from members of the public.