Ndigbo Youth Security Summit: Full text of the address presented by the Hon. Speaker of Ndigbo Youth Parliament

Ndigbo Youth Security Summit: Full text of the address presented by the Hon. Speaker of Ndigbo Youth Parliament

WELCOME ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE HON. SPEAKER, NDIGBO YOUTH PARLIAMENT (NYP), AT THE NDIGBO YOUTH SECURITY SUMMIT (NYSS)

Your Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu),

The Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare, ably

 represented by the team led by Mrs. Lami Bature,

The Hon. Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba,

The Director General of the Department of State Security Services (DSS), Alhaji

Yusuf Magaji Bichi,

The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ibrahim

(Rtd.), ably represented by the team led by the P.R.O. of NCS Officer Joseph Attah,

The Enugu State Commissioner of Police, CP Aliyu Mohammed,

The Hon. Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Enugu State, Hon.

 Manfred Nzekwe,

The Honorable members of Enugu State House of Assembly here present,

The Honorable Parliamentarians of Ndigbo Youth Parliament,

All the SSAs, SPAs, SAs and EAs to the Governor of Enugu State here present,

The Traditional Rulers and titled men and women here present,

The Religious Leaders here present,

The National President, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Chief Emeka Rollas Ejezie,

The State Chairmen and Stakeholders of National Youth Council of Nigeria here present,

All prestigious Personalities and Resource Persons here present,

The gentlemen of the press,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All Protocols observed.

2. In the spirit of commiseration, I humbly request for your one minute silence in homage to all those who lost their lives since the inception of insecurity in the South East and Nigeria at large, especially our gallant officers who died serving our fatherland. May the dead enjoy blissful rest, amen.

3. Today, we have all gathered here, as convened by Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP), to dialogue and chart a way forward in proffering solutions to the menace of insecurity that has bedevilled our beloved South East and our dear Nation at large.

4. Introduction-wise, Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP) is a socio-cultural parliament that is pro-Nigeria. We hold the sacrosanct unity of this great nation at high esteem, even as we clamour for equity and fairness. Ndigbo Youth Parliament is a platform that serves as a garden where Patriotic and community-oriented Politicians, from Igbo extraction, are nurtured. It is a forum that brings Youth and young Politicians of Igbo speaking states together, to form a formidable force in projecting the overall interests of the Youth and to champion the development of our various states.  

5. We strive to foster peace between Ndigbo Youth and the Youth of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, in propagation of peaceful coexistence of all Nigerian Youth living in any part of the country, so as to promote the unity of this great Nation. Our structures range from the state level to the polling unit level as we have, in our organigram, Honorable members of the Parliament representing the senatorial zones, the Local Government Coordinators, the Ward Administrators and the Polling Unit Facilitators, in all the Igbo speaking states. Further insight about Ndigbo Youth Parliament is contained on our website, www.ndigboyouthparliament.org.ng. A quick perusal will explain further about our vision, mission, aims and objectives.

6. According to Martin Luther King Jr., “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

7. As a distinctive Youth body in the South East, we are so worried about the rising insecurity in our region, a region that was widely acclaimed for calmness and tranquillity. The unabated murder of innocent citizens, in a broad day, and continued attacks on the security agencies cum destruction of their properties and other state-owned properties, has discarded sleep from our eyes. It is quite perturbing, not just because it is an anomaly that contradicts our tradition, also because it is happening at a time we are on aggressive campaign for “Akuruo uno” – a campaign that is urging the business moguls and technocrats of Igbo speaking states, home and diaspora, to start looking homewards.

8. Though Ndigbo Youth Parliament has made publications and several press releases, condemning all these monstrous and disgraceful activities of the enemies of our highly cherished South East and our dear Nation, we believe that a more pragmatic approach will achieve better goals.

9. We – the Igbos, traditionally, are peace-loving people. We cherish and celebrate peace. Though we hate being pushed to the wall, however, we can naturally give up everything just to entrench peace because, peace is for us a precious jewel. We have a sacrosanct respect for human blood as we unapologetically uphold the dictum that it is the prerogative of the Almighty God to give and take life. Suffice it to say that, true sons and daughters of Igbo land abhor shedding of innocent human blood.

10. Compatriots, do we fold our arms and watch our beloved land (Ala Igbo) desecrated with blood and our region turned to a war zone? This time, silence is no more golden! Paraphrasing Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I dare to say, “silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Thus, it is time to speak up and proffer solutions! The continued silence amounts to collaboration with these heinous attacks. Enough is enough!

11. Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP), having studied and X-rayed the ongoing attacks and reprisals, found the need for urgent roundtable discussions between Ndigbo Youth and Security agencies.

12. For us, it is time to come to a roundtable for veritable discussions on how to proffer lasting solutions to these menaces. No party is enjoying this oddity, neither the security agencies nor Ndigbo, except the enemies of the nation and sons of perdition. The indubitable fact is that, if we do not nip this monster in the bud, posterity will not forgive us for the impending consequences.

13. The foreseen and unforeseen consequences of these attacks and reprisals are not in any way in the interest of Igbo speaking states. There is no gainsaying the fact that there is never a good war, just as there is never a bad peace. The insurgency in the Northeast of Nigeria exacerbated sequel to the fact that it was not nipped in the bud. Can we afford to watch our beloved Southeast turn to “a no man’s land”? There is an urgent need to heed to our idiom, which advises us to remove the hand of the monkey in the pot of soup before it turns to a human hand.

14. It is on this note, therefore, that we decided to convene this security summit tagged “NDIGBO YOUTH  SECURITY SUMMIT”. This summit is tagged Ndigbo Youth Security Summit because we believe that if all well meaning Ndigbo Youth should rise up against this hydra-headed monster that is brooding in our zone, it will be annihilated forthwith. No body and no force can match the united force of entire Ndigbo Youth, home and diaspora. Thus, the summit is for the Youth, by the Youth, and with the Youth.

15. It is our belief that this security summit will avail Ndigbo Youth an ample opportunity to interface with all the security agencies, during which any grievances from both parties shall be addressed and placated. It is also an opportunity to create good rapport between the security agencies and the Youth of South East, especially the community Youth leaders.

16. This Security Summit is intended to bring the Youth of South East together to;

a.) Sensitize ourselves on the need to have strong belief in the unity of this Nation, even while we agitate and clamour for equity and fairness in federal appointments and developments.

b.) Sensitize ourselves on the need to collaborate with the security agencies in combating insecurity. We need to sensitize ourselves and understand the fact that if the incessant attacks on the security personnel succeed in taking them off our region, it will be a direct invitation to anarchy and a leeway for hoodlums to perpetuate their mayhem in this region, unhindered.

c.) Sensitize ourselves on the need to be law abiding and employ lawful approach in combating insecurity and addressing our grievances.

d.) Sensitize ourselves on the paramount need to restore peace and tranquillity in our beloved South East, which will attract developments. No Investor would wish to invest in a crisis-ridden region. We need to know that insecurity scares good spirited sons and daughters of the soil away from looking homewards.

e.) Sensitize ourselves on the grievous disadvantages and consequences of beating war drums and heating up the polity. We should learn from the traumatic experience of Rwanda and the ongoing heartrending war in South Sudan. There has never been a joyful war just as there is never a bad peace.

f.) Sensitize ourselves on the need for peaceful co-existence with the Youth of other ethnic nationalities. We need to understand that we fare better when we live in peace with other Youth of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. As a distinct people who thrive better outside our region, there is need to learn to dwell in harmony with others.

g.) Sensitize ourselves on the fact that destruction of state-owned properties amounts to economic sabotage, as the fund that will be used in reconstructing destroyed and damaged buildings cum properties could be channelled towards Youth development in our region.

17. Revered ladies and gentlemen, it is time to speak up and proffer solutions! It is not a time of sitting on the fence; this time, silence is no more golden! “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, opines Edmund Burke. Suffice it to say that evil thrives as a result of the silence of good people.

18. I, thus, call on all the security agencies, all patriotic Igbo personalities and all well meaning Nigerians cum organizations to join hands in finding lasting solutions to the insecurity that has bedevilled our enamoured South East, and Nigeria at large.

19. As I beckon on the Youth of South East, to remain law abiding and avoid associating with any unlawfully created sect, I plead with the security personnel to always remember the rules of engagement while combating insecurity. It is disheartening to note that some bad eggs in the security agencies, who are hell-bent on giving our gallant security agencies bad image, are acting outside the rules of engagement. Security personnel should desist from actions that can depict them as Foes instead of Friends. The Youth can only collaborate with the security personnel when they are seen as friends. Ndigbo Youth are lovers of peace and, if given sufficient sense of belonging, will collaborate with security agencies in fishing out the enemies of our land.

20. I sincerely condole with the families of all those who met their untimely death, both the security personnel and civilians, since the eruption of this hydra-headed monster of insecurity in the South East. May the Almighty God grant them the fortitude to bear the bereavement. May the dead enjoy blissful rest, as we pray that their spilled blood intervenes for peace in our beloved region.

21. I, therefore, welcome everyone to this epoch-making security summit, which I believe is a starting point towards restoration of tranquillity and calmness in our beloved South East. May we deliberate and dialogue with open mind, for the betterment of our society and progress of our dear country Nigeria.

God bless Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP)!

God bless the South East!!

God bless Nigeria!!!

Rt. Hon. Rikki ChineduNwajiofor, Cmi.

Hon. Speaker,

Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP).

www.ndigboyouthparliament.org.ng

28-07-2021.

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