NEW YEAR SPEECH FROM THE OFFICE OF THE HON. SPEAKER, NDIGBO YOUTH PARLIAMENT(NYP)
It is with a heart filled with unalloyed gratitude that I felicitate with all of us for making it into this glorious year – 2022. I give glory to the Almighty for keeping us alive to see this day and for keeping our beloved country together till date, amidst all agitations and insecurity.
Compatriots, the year 2021 has come and gone but not without some hitches, economic quagmire and insecurity experienced by millions of Nigerians. I appreciate all the patriotic Nigerians, especially the Youth and more especially Ndigbo Youth, who persevered and remained patriotic even in the face of unabated insecurity across the nation. I immensely appreciate our security agencies, especially the galant military personnel, who are at the battle front sacrificing their freedom and even lives so that we may be secured. May your vital force be increased. I sincerely condole with the families of all those who lost their lives in the fight against terrorism, banditry, insurrection, kidnapping and the likes. May the dead enjoy blissful rest, amen.
Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP) has critically analysed the events of 2021 and we are quite convinced that our beloved country – Nigeria needs our collective support to succeed. Nigeria cannot succeed if we do not contribute our individual quotas in our various sectors and communities. Though some issues were wrongly handled in 2021, which escalated some situations and heated up the polity in some regions, especially in the South East, Ndigbo Youth Parliament is convinced that the unity of this great Nation is Sacrosanct.
To strengthen the unity of this great nation, we call on the federal government to learn from the mistakes of last year, in some issues that were wrongly handled, and make frantic efforts within this year 2022 to dialogue with all aggrieved parties/groups. As we often posit, not all issues are addressed with forceful approach cum punitive measures. Some issues are better solved via dialogue and sensitization.
In the same vein, Ndigbo Youth Parliament calls on all our brethren from the Igbo speaking states to embrace any peaceful measures which the federal government may come up with in this 2022 so as to restore normalcy and peace in our beloved region and Nigeria at large. One thing is to be noted, secession is not the solution to the underdevelopment witnessed in the South East. The reason is clear; some of the Architects of our underdevelopment and seeming marginalization are from our region – they are our brethren and they live with us. Thus, even if we secede, they are still there with us and will still be in charge of our political affairs, if we do not change the stride now.
Suffice it to say that, in this 2022, Ndigbo Youth Parliament encourages our good-spirited Patriots from Igbo speaking states, especially the Youth, to delve into politics in full gear, with the aim of ushering in unprecedented development in our region. Charity begins at home, they say; let us ensure that whatever that is meant for the betterment of our communities and region at large is patriotically utilized for the development of our region. Let us ensure that our people have a feel of the dividends of democracy.
It is only when we evenly make use of the allocated resources, for the development of our region, that we can have the moral grounds to cry out against the seeming marginalization against our region. We cannot cry foul when we are marginalizing ourselves within our region via embezzlement of public funds and all other forms of corrupt practices.
This however, does not negate the fact that our region is deprived of some infrastructural developments being carried out by the federal government. The Enugu – Onitsha Express way is a death trap, in fact, it is a hell on earth. We call on the federal government to expedite actions on that road as it is in a sorry-state; it is a complete eyesore! We equally call on the federal government to revamp the railways in the South East so we can also enjoy that dividend of democracy like other regions. With such infrastructural developments, Ndigbo will be given sufficient sense of belonging and would see anyone clamouring for secession as an enemy of the land.
Ndigbo Youth Parliament uses this medium to call on all the Governors of Southeastern states, especially the Governor of Imo state, to work strenuously in restoring saftey and peace to our beloved region, as the Chief Security Officers of the region. This menace of insecurity should not be allowed to rear its ugly head in this year 2022, in South East.
Ndigbo Youth Parliament calls on all our Youth to rise against perpetrators of violence cum their sponsors and ensure that peace returns to our region. Igbo land is known for peace and tranquility; we should not allow some self-centered individuals to sow seed of chaos in our highly cherished region.
Ndigbo Youth Parliament will not relent on her mission of sensitization, at the grassroots, to ensure that our Youth are well re-oriented in the interest of our region and Nigeria at large. We shall continue to build bridges between Ndigbo Youth and the Youth of other ethnic nationalities as we strongly believe that, if given sufficient sense of belonging, Ndigbo will fare better in a United Nigeria than as a separate entity.
I wish to appreciate all those who have been suing for peace in the region and all our politicians who have ensured that our people at the grassroots have a feel of the dividends of democracy. We are watching keenly and taking records of the few politicians who are doing their best to deliver their mandates to the people while we earnestly await the self-centered and corrupt ones at the polls come 2023.
I pray that this 2022 will usher in unprecedented developments and unwavering peace in Igbo speaking states and Nigeria at large! May Nigeria succeed!
Rt. Hon. Rikki Nwajiofor, Cmi.
Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP).