Last Sunday, Onitsha, South-eastern Nigeria’s commercial the commercial centre witnessed a significant political event ahead 2014 governorship election in Anambra State. Youths under the aegis of Anambra Catholic Youth Organisation (ANCYON) openly backed the candidature of prominent businessman, top-notch PDP chieftain and philanthropist, Dr. Obinna Uzoh, for governorship. LIOUS ACHI reports.
What is the relationship between politics and divinity? Both are arenas of redemption for humanity. Against this background, the power of religion in political affairs cannot safely be written off.It plays a central role in the affairs of human societies as history has successively affirmed. Not surprisingly, it often determines outcomes in political theatres.
In this connection, what transpired last Sunday in Onitsha, Anambra State when youths, under the aegis of AnambraCatholic Youth Organisation (ANCYON)in conjunction with Anambra Youth Development Initiative backed the gubernatorial ambition and candidacy of Dr. ObinnaUzoh, businessman and philanthropist, ahead of governorship poll 2014, is widely seen as an important event.
Rising from a one-day seminar, tagged Festival of Ideas, at the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, Onitsha, ANCYON, in conjunction with Anambra Youth Development Initiative, said adoption of Uzoh, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), who vied for the governorship seat in 2003, was in accordance with the yearnings of the people of the state for better leadership.
According to the group, whatUzoh had done as an individual proveshe has the capacity and vision to cater to the needs of Anambra people, as well as transform the state.
The youths said that although Uzoh has not formally declared his intention to bid for the governorship seat, he’s their preferred candidate. They therefore, urged him to step into the arena, as he’s the best man for the job at present.
They cited a plethora of tangible human and community developoment projects, personally financed by Uzoh to undergird their position. They said that since Uzoh has built a church for his people, built the Law Faculty building at the Mardona University, Okija, building a hostel at the Youth Village in Awka and Ihiala, granted scholarship to many indigent youths, set up businesses for widows and youths, among others, he has proves that he has the interest of the people at heart.
According to the ANCYON President, Mr. Desmond Okwor, who led other presidents from the three Catholic Dioceses of Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha Archdiocese, Uzoh has written his name on the sands of time with his humanitarian gestures and has shown commitment to the development of the state.
He said that the Ihiala-born Uzoh has contributed immensely towards the development and empowerment of the youths in the state, adding that his philanthropy remains unequaled.
Okwor said: “The youths, after critical appraisal of the contributions of Dr. ObinnaUzoh and his love for the development of the youths in the state, even when there is no election around the corner, have come here today to ask him to please present himself to work for the development of our state.
He has shown much commitment towards the development of the state and the only way we can get and tap more of his benevolence is to give him higher responsibility to help develop the state further.
“Dr. Uzoh has shown so much commitment in the state and it baffles us that this is a man who, over the years, has done so many things for his people but has not asked for anything in return. Indeed, he built a church for his community and has done so many other things for our people.
So we are here today to say that to whom much is given much is expected and since he has shown great commitment to little things entrusted to him, I tell you we have no doubts that he would show greater commitment to bigger responsibility.”
In his own submission, the President of the Nnewi Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), Mr. Felix Imah, also described Uzoh as not just benevolent but also a man who has the fear of God. He said from what Uzoh has done and his zeal to do more, the youths trust him. “We have no doubts that when you become the governor, you will rule over us with fear of God.”
Imah, however, pledged the readiness of the youths, in the entire state, irrespective of their political leaning and denomination to work together towards actualising their common goal, which he said is to ensure that Uzoh is elected governor of the state in 2014.
According to him, the youths want to take their destiny in their hands and ensure that a young man, who would help them and AnambraState attains their potentials, take over the Government House, Awka in 2014.
He said: “For so many years, we have been referred to as the leaders of tomorrow, but it appears our tomorrow doesn’t come by because the leaders will always use us to achieve political ambition, after which they would abandon us and turn us to rags and mere beggars.
Today, we are in this festival of ideas to chart a new course for our future and that is why we are brainstorming on the best way to be in charge and take over the leadership of the country and our state Anambra, in particular
“It is obvious that going by the present and past antecedents of Dr. ObinnaUzoh, nobody in this state can match him or beat his record because he has been a harbinger of good works as well as a man loved by all. We are asking him today to tell us what he wants from us and we shall do it because he who gives us good things would receive good things from us also.”
The resource person at the seminar, Mr. Daniel Ikuenobi, admonished the youths to develop their talents and put it into good use, stressing that the society would be a better place when they learn how to make good use of their talents. He also urged the youths to shun political violence and other crimes that could derail their future, but should strive to achieve their objectives by working towards self-realisation to transform the entire country.
Also speaking, a former member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Mrs. AnthoniaTabansiOkoye, urged the youths to remember their promise when the political activities start and expressed fears that they have always been the larger percentage of the people that sell out when they receive monetary gratification.
“I wish to tell you that the youths, after saying they support this and that, have always been the same people that will go and collect money to do the opposite. How I wish you will remember this promise and avowed commitment towards this project and never derail from it when political activities commence fully in the state,” she declared.
The former lawmaker also warned the youths to shun politicians who would use them to destroy or humiliate their opponents and urged them to always remember that their future lies in their hands.
Responding, Uzoh thanked the youths for their love and commitment towards the development of Anambra State. He urged them to give him little time to consult with stakeholders in the state before deciding whether he would vie for the governorship seat or not, in 2014.
Uzoh also expressed surprise for the youths’ endorsement, saying that as a youth himself, he always seek for the best for the young generation and everybody. He urged the youth to remain focused in their academic and other endeavours and to do their bit in the socio-economic and political development of Anambra State.