By Ifeoma Ejiofor
Ahead Anambra State governorship election, Center for Strategic Leadership and Youth Orientation (CENSTLEYO) on Friday engaged leadership of political parties and their governorship aspirants in a pathfinding interaction.
The interaction which held at Oma Event Center, Awka has “Hoputanu Ezigbo Onyendu!” as the theme.
In his welcome address, the Anambra State coordinator for CENSTLEYO, Comrade Okwudili Nwadiogbu said that the youths of the state are ready to take their pride of place in governance process.
Comrade Nwadiogbu pointed out that CENSTLEYO had earlier engaged the leadership of political parties that would be participating in the governorship election so as to let them know that time has come to look beyond party ideological leanings but fashion out governance that will not shut out youths after election.
He said that the it will always be counter productive for any government to shut out youths with their energies and intellect in governance.
The National Program Lead for CENSTLEYO, Comrade Uche Madubuko in his presentation opened reflection on the objectives of the meeting and it’s theme.
Comrade Madubuko also unveiled the Anambra youths criteria for making choice of who becomes the governor of Anambra State in the next dispensation.
“We want to make it abundantly clear that in the Anambra State governorship election, protection and fulfilment of youth value must be at the front burner. Youths should not bribe or accept bribe during elections because their lives and survival depends on it.
“Political leaders should not play politics with people’s lives. We want youths to be promoted from the level of beneficiaries to stakeholders.” He said.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer CEO of CENSTLEYO Mr Imah Felix Emeka in his own speech said that the organization with over twenty three thousand registered membership across the state is ready to play the role of a game changer in Anambra State.
He revealed that CENSTLEYO has invested heavily on the youths of the state in the area of reorientation, capacity building and empowerments.
Mr Imah said that the purpose of building the capacity of youths is to make them stand on their feet without over reliance on the politicians who are not really interested in them and as well make them realize that the solutions to the barrage of challenges confronting the nation can only come from them.
The Founder and CEO of CENSTLEYO stressed the need to deemphasize ‘money politics’ so that the state will not be up for grabs for the highest bidder.
Mr Imah at the occasion expressed worry over the conspiracy between the church and the politicians against the people especially against the youths noting that the partnership between the duo is just for corruption.
In his speech at the occasion, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, a PDP governorship aspirant expressed happiness that the youths are waking up to their responsibilities by setting up such a platform like CENSTLEYO.
He said that the youths cannot afford to play the second fiddle in their own case because it’s more about the future of the youths and not the politicians who have spent greater part of their lives.
Mr Ozigbo said that there is no other political party that is in a better position to to transform Nigeria in general and Anambra State in particular than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Mr Mike Joe Onwudinjo who represented Dr Godwin Maduka another PDP governorship aspirant commended the organizers of the interactive forum for positive mobilization of the youths for productivity.
He CENSTLEYO’s approach is indeed a clear departure from the past especially as it concerns the group’s stance against money politics.
Earlier, Hon Chris Chikwelu made a presentation on PDP’s perspective on achieving leadership success through making choice of right candidate.
Other political parties like the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and All Progressives Congress (APC) were conspicuously absent during the interaction.