By NKIRUKA NNOROM
Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, has condemned exclusion of Igbo youths from the list of delegates to the National Conference, blaming it on unwillingness of spent Igbo elders to allow young elements play leadership role in the region.
Rising from its National Executive Council meeting in Awka, Anambra State, the group said delegates, as they were currently constituted, lacked space for young dynamic minds that drive the jet-age, describing the entire process as anti-Igbo youths and, therefore, anti-posterity.
While wondering if Igbo leaders that excluded the youths from the list were well guided, the group noted that amendment could be made as the Presidency had been effecting changes since the list came out.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the group said that on realising that Igbo youths were excluded from the list, it held a meeting where the list of Igbo youths delegates nominees were drawn and submitted to the Presidency, Office of Secretary General of the Federation, SGF, and other concerned quarters for consideration.
The communique, signed by the president, Comrade Francis Oji, and Secretary, Mazi Okwu Okwu, read: “It is noteworthy that this conference will be aggressively pursued by the ethnic nationalities that have come face-to-face with the Biafran question.
“Now the Igbo young elements that know the dynamics of the 21st century rules of engagements and its agitations are tactically excluded from the national delegates lists because of the adverse effects of gerontocracy and moneybag politics that are the two major social influenza killing today Igbo.
“More worrisome is that a look at the other five political zones in Nigeria shows young elements in active leadership capacity, especially in both elective and appointive posts. “But in Igbo land, there is no room for the youths let alone holding charge. We have to make a departure from this.”
It specifically stated that a look at the list showed that Yoruba people did a thorough search to their young elements with vision were allowed to complement the elderly ones.
“Pa Alex Ekwueme and Ben Nwabueze were repeatedly begged to lead Igbo delegates to the 2014 National Confab but they declined, saying age had caught up with them and that they had done so several times in the past, that latter generations of theirs, including the youths, should go and make their own mark and input. “Yet greed for power, fame and money has seen Igbo youths left out of the 2014 National Confab,” the group lamented.