By Comr. Samuel Ay Ameh
We can not think of being acceptable to others untill we have first proven acceptable to ourselves. Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that.
Youths where are our morals and values? Where is our culture and identity? Where is our conscience? No wonder P S Peter opined, who is an educated man?
In the 60’s and 70’s, students under the platform of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) and Youths under the platform of Patriotic Youth Movement of Nigeria (PYMN) were the conscience of Nigeria Nation. They fought against Anglo – Nigeria defence pact that would have mortgaged the Independence of Nigeria. They fought against the unpopular anti – people policies such as increase of school fees (ALI MUST GO in 1978); Structural Adjustment Programme and increase in the price of petroleum products.
But today, Youths and Students bodies have become specialist in giving AWARDS to thieving Governors and politicians. Awards are no longer offered based on merit but highest bidder. Youths have become sycophants, wailers, praise singer, beggars moving from one post to another in the name of Awards.
Instead of politicians, leaders helping the youths achieve in the society, they have resorted to using youths as a tool in gathering awards, where about 15 – 20 Awards are bought by an individual and decorated in his/her office or homes as achievements. Youths see award confrement as an avenue to generate income and as such move from one office to another in the name of award for personal gain and selfish aggrandizement.
Awards are no longer giving at events and gathering by Youths, but homes and offices.
Comrades are not by chicken-hearted men but men of integrity who have distinguished themselves by making a indelible mark in the sand of time and minds of men.
It keeps me wondering how about 4 – 5 youths will move from one office to another to endorsed an individual for political positions? Overnight, all youths have become politicians and honourable men. We can no longer differentiate between Honourable men and Dishounaurable men in the society. All youths have become politicians, activists and political analysts.
Social Media is now their abode 24/7 as that is the only medium they can display their talent and can be known. We are youthful, but not useful to ourselves and our societies.
The norms and values left by Atta Ayegba Oma Idoko, Atta Ame Oboni and other founding members are no longer with us. Atta Ayegba at tender and youthful age sacrificed his lovely daughter Inikpi and his sister Oma’doko to salvage Igala land. Atta Ame Oboni saw the future as youth and had a vision in developing Igala Nation. Atta Oboni move towards the construction of an Aerodrome (Airport) at Idah in the 50’s.
At one of the meetings of Northern Traditional Council @ Kaduna in the 50’s, a call was put up to Alh. Abubakar Tafawa Belewa (PM) then to know his location before the commencement of the meeting. Atta Oboni out of his passion and vision for the development of Igala land, Atta Ame Oboni requested that same technology used in communication be brought to his land for his people.
What have our Leaders and Elders done to bring the desired development to Igala land as at today? What sacrifices have our Leaders and Elders made to Igala land? What vision are our Leaders putting in place to bring development to our God giving land? Where is the once 9th largest tribe in Nigeria today? Where is the once dreaded and fearful tribe by all today? Where is the place of Igala in the society today? Where are the Igala’s that once fought the JUKUN Kingdom and BINI Kingdom? Where are the Igala’s that once established the NUPE Kingdom? Where are our Leaders and Elders? Should we know them only during politics and after politics they run into their shell?
Igala land is blessed with both Natural and human resources, since the last 17 years of Igala rule in Kogi State what are their achievements in terms of employment generation and youth empowerment? None have put in place Factory or industry in the land to help get the youths off from the street through job creation.
From mid 90’s to early 2000, the only recognized socio cultural organisation responsible for championing the course of Igala Nation was Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA) headed by a visionary and dynamic leader, Alh. Shehu Akus. This organization was well focused and determined in the unity, progress and development of Igala land were all son’s and daughters of Igala land both at home and in diaspora gathered for a common course (Igala Agenda). They discuss pressing issues bothering the Igala Nation as people, how to solve our problems, the way forward and our voices are heard high.
Today, as i have said we are no longer ourselves, our cultural value has been thrown overboard as we have more than 20 socio-cultural organizations in Igala land all bearing headquarters in Abuja, Lagos and some other States to discuss Igala. Socio-cultural Organizations are now more online that the physical presence we use to know. Issues bothering Igala Nation are now discussed by elites on media platforms than physical presence.
I won’t go without thanking and appreciating Igala icons like Alh. Jibrin Isah Echocho for the support extended to Igala youths while in Afribank, Hajia Salamatu Baiwa (FAAN), Col. Ahmadu Suleiman Babanawa (Army), Comptroller Okai (Custom), Elder Sunday Daniel Ogu (PMCFS, Ministry of Interior), Prof S. O Muhammed (NASRDA) for employing Igala Youths across board when they held sway in their various offices. God bless you all.
I must not forget to eulogise Dr Steven Achema for his vision in the unity of Igala. Prince Abubakar Audu for his determination in developing Igala land. Alh. Nuhu Audu for his vision on project Igala. Hon. Chief Augustine Isah Idakwo who believed that the development of Igala land should start from the grassroot level. Alh. Shehu Akus who believed in the dream of our founding father’s for a united Igala and finally to Enegbani Umoru Egbaolimajon for his forthrightness in the cause of Igala. May Almighty God forgive all their shortcomings.
Comr. Samuel Ay Ameh is the National President, Igala Youth Congress Worldwide.