Elections into leadership positions in youth organizations are often fiercely contested with its attendant challenges. So, there is always the air of apprehension and anxiety whenever these elections are scheduled to hold. The reasons for these are the youths’ exuberance and the interference of those willing to have control of the youth body for obvious political, social or economic reasons.
Surprisingly, this was not the case during the election of Ishikaguma Youths; popularly called “AGUMA YOUTHS” (AY) in Amai community in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State.
Following the tenure expiration of Ishikaguma youth leadership, which was led by Chief Epochi Etu, who recently was made a chief in the quarter, an election was held.
The election conducted was not only transparent but was also peaceful; devoid of the usual skirmishes and violence that often characterize youth elections, which has produced a vibrant son of the quarter, Mr. Kenneth Iwedei of the Umu-Omai Family as the new youth Chairman.
Prominent indigenes of the community who witnessed the conduct of the swearing in, aside other observer groups, includes Chief Nmalu, The Onotu-Ukwu Otuya, The Odogwu Adi-Ebuo of Amai-Kingdom, who double as the patron of the youth body, the quarter legal adviser, Barrister Chidi Chikogu among others.
In his address, the Onotu-Ukwu, Chief Nmalu Otuya, said the election was a collective resolution to elect a formidable and functional executive that will pilot the affairs of the Ishikaguma Community Youth, which he said will be critical to the development and progress of the community. According to him, the Youth Association in the first place, was conceived to energize the youth to key into the youth initiative and development programme of the community. Therefore, charged the new leaders to ensure that they are good ambassadors of the community, and to ensure that they seek counsel from their elders before taking critical decisions, knowing fully well that they are answerable to elders. Urging them to follow the footsteps of their patron who is a peace ambassador.
On his part, The Odogwu Adi-Ebuo of Amai-Kingdom, who is the patron of the youth body, congratulated the newly sworn in excos, charging them to build on the successes of the immediate past executive and to also ensure they do their best at ensuring that unity and peaceful coexistence becomes their main goal, stressing further that no meaningful development will take place in the community under their leadership if there is no unity amongst them and the community (Ishikaguma) in general.
Sir Dele, said “The organizational structure and integration of youth movement of this caliber is not an easy task. Therefore, those of you who have be elected and inaugurated as leaders of the youths would have to see yourselves as being opportuned to serve your people, and to bring your experiences to bear in reforming, rebranding, re-orienting and restoring the glory and dignity of Ishikaguma Youths.
“Similarly, I urge those of you elected officers of the youth to partner with other relevant stakeholders in youth matters to attract development to the community. You should not use the office to fight against government or witch hunt anyone in the community. I further urge you to display high sense of maturity, candour, honesty, humility, brevity and above all, the fear of God.”
He further advised the youth association not to see itself as a parallel organization with other decision making body in the community, especially the Elders and Chiefs in the community, but should collaborate with it in order to be properly guided in the overall interest of the community.
Those who emerged to lead the “AGUMA YOUTHS” were, Mr. Kenneth Iwedei (Chairman), , Mr Abu Onyeweni (Vice-Chairman), Mr Christopher Abamba (Secretary) Mr Igwete Nwashindi – Assistant Secretary, Mr Patrick Nwose – Spokesman, Mr Obinna Oji – Financial Secretary, Mr Anthony Igwoku – Treasurer, Mr Benson Okpotu – Auditor 1, among others.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected Chairman Mr. Kenneth Iwedei promised to carry every youth in the community along, irrespective of political or religious differences. He appealed to all to join hands with the new leadership to move the community forward.
He also solicited the support of well-meaning indigenes of the community to assist the youth in assuring that his team will work closely with every stakeholder to improve the fortune of youths in the community.
The immediate past chairman, Chief Epochi Etu, advised the new leadership to take good care of the community and the entire visitors therein. Most especially, he reminded them to note that the community plays host to Novena University, therefore should be peaceful and law abiding.
Highlight of the event was the official swearing in of the new members of the executive by the quarter legal adviser, Barrister Chidi Chikogu. He admonished them to yield to the allegiance as contained in the oat they have sworn to. He further, advised them to always apply wisdom and dialogue at every point in time, and shun violence and rascality into their day to day functions.