The Ohanaeze Youth Wing, the youth arm of the pan-Igbo socio-political body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has expressed its displeasure with President Goodluck Jonathan and all Igbo sons and daughters in his administration.
The youth wing, comprising all youth organisations in the South-East, accused the president of reneging on the numerous promises he made to the Igbo in the build up to the 2011 presidential election, which they said prompted Ndigbo to give him about 98 per cent of their votes in the polls.
The OYW made its feelings known in a communiqué it issued after an emergency meeting on the 2015 elections in Enugu on Tuesday.
The communiqué, which came on the heels of the endorsement of President Jonathan for a second term by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, was entitled, “A stitch in time saves nine”.
In the communiqué, jointly signed by Mazi Arthur Obiora and Obinna Adibe, deputy national president and national publicity secretary respectively, the Ohanaeze youths warned that it would seek an “alternative” if the president did not address pending issues in his relationship with the Igbo.
It expressed anger at President Jonathan’s failure to keep his promise of revamping the coal industry in Enugu as well as constructing the Second Niger Bridge through a public/private partnership arrangement.
The Igbo youths noted that Jonathan had no intention of completing the bridge by 2019 “assuming he is re-elected this year” since the completion period has been extended by 48 months (four years).
The communiqué partly read, “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing (Ohanaeze Youth Council) wishes to express her displeasure with President Goodluck Jonathan; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, who was nominated by Ohanaeze into the office and all Igbo working with Mr. President on the shabby and insincere way he has handled issues affecting Ndigbo.
“In 2011, it was our structures that were mobilised to ensure that he scored 98 per cent of South-East votes and also got substantial votes in other parts of Nigeria.
“Yet, our genuine demands, including the revitalisation of the Enugu Colliery/ construction of a coal fired power plant, construction of the Azumini seaport, acceleration of the dredging/expansion of the Port Harcourt and Calabar seaports, the exploration of the oil deposits of the Orashi and Anambra River Basins, etc have been ignored.
“After having audience with youths from other parts of the country who did less for him, Mr. President snubbed Igbo youths despite several efforts to reach him, preferring rather to hobnob with some Igbo elders, most of who may never appear at the polling station on the D-Day!
“The issue of ravaging unemployment which has hung most dangerously on Igbo youths has not been addressed till date, yet hundreds of billions of naira has been spent to empower Ijaw youths through the amnesty programme and other Federal Government jobs and initiatives.
“What have Igbo youths done wrong to be so neglected?”
It added, “The Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu, the only significant project the President executed in the South-East after over five years is only international in name, not in practice since it is yet to get to international standards in terms of runway length and other critical infrastructure.
“Hence, major international airlines in the world have shunned it.
“The Second Niger Bridge has become enmeshed in controversy – it is the only Federal Government bridge that will have a toll gate, whereas President Obasanjo kindly abolished toll gates about 10 years ago.
“So far, only N10bn, i.e. 7.6 per cent of the total contract sum of N130bn, has been purportedly released.
“Also, the cost of the bridge has increased by over 300 per cent while the completion date has been shifted from 18 months to 48 months (four years)!
“This implies that he does not even intend completing the bridge by 2019, when he will be leaving office, assuming he is re-elected this year”.
The body also said it was angered by the Federal Government’s refusal to allow Igbo youths partake in the amnesty programme.