The World Igbo Youth Congress, WIYC, on Sunday described the ongoing verbal war between Governors Willie Obiano and Rochas Okorocha of Anambra and Imo States, respectively, as “disgraceful and a slap on the entire Igbo land”.
Trouble started between both governors when Okorocha claimed that three governors from the South East will soon defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Irked by the statement, Obaino said his Imo State counterpart lacked the needed leadership qualities, stressing that Okorocha was a militant, motor park governor.
President of the WIYC, Pastor Chiubuzor Isiguzoro, who addressed journalists in Enugu on the development, stated that the two governors were bad role models for the Igbo youths.
Describing the development as a show of shame, he lamented that “at no time had Ndigbo being so disgraced and slapped on the face than what we are seeing today.
“It is even more painful considering the personalities involved in this mess. These are people who by virtue of their office should have exhibited “excellent” behaviours by virtue of their office as Chief Executive Officers of their respective States.
“As youths, we also look forward to leaders who will give us a sense of direction; leaders who will mentor the youths; leaders who will sharpen the youths for a better tomorrow.
“But as it is today, we now have leaders who are taking the youths on a journey to nowhere, leaders who are displaying destructive examples.”
While lamenting the level of disunnity among Ndigbo, Isiguzoro said the long-abandoned South-East governors’ forum was a clear indication that all was not well.
“We recall that while Chief Peter Obi held sway as Governor of Anambra State, we had a vibrant South-East Governors’ Forum, a force to reckon with in Nigeria and he held the position for 8 years, between 2006 and 2014. Incidentally, Obiano succeeded Obi as governor in the same Anambra State.
“With Obi as chairman of the Forum, there were quarterly meetings of the Forum where the attendance included respected traditional rulers, serving ministers, Ohanaeze Ndigbo leaders and notable members of the Igbo Leaders of Thought and Clergy men.
“Within the period, there was peace among the governors and the poitical leaders, and this made it possible to gallvanize support for former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 and 2015 general elections.
“This was despite the political divides, as the governors were in different political parties. Yet, Obi was able to galvanize them and provide purposeful leadership for Ndigbo. All through the time he held the position of chairman of that forum, the governors spoke with one voice.
“May we also recall as within the same period, Obi coordinated his colleagues and they gave beffiting burial to late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chinua Achebe, Prof. Chika Obi as well as the burial ceremony of Chief C.C Onoh.
“The same coordination gave birth to the successful marking of the 80th birthday ceremonies of former Vice President, Chief Alex Ekwueme, and Chief Emeka Anyaoku, among others”, he added.
The WIYC regretted that “at this moment of our history, we have the two oldest serving governors in the zone (Okorocha and Obiano) dragging all of us to the mud.
“They should take a cue from Peter Obi and unite themselves. They should urgently follow Obi’s footsteps and save us from further embarrassment. We demand apology from them or we will declare them persona non grata.”
The group called on the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Nnia Nwodo, Chief Emeka Anayoku, Chief Alex Ekwueme, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Ebitu Ukiwe, Anya O Anya, among others, to wade into this matter.
“These two ‘dishonorable excellencies’ should be called to order”, they declared.