…warn of impending blood baths
Hundreds of youths of Ahani-Achi community in Oji-River Local Government Area of Enugu State on Thursday, protested in the state capital against the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Manfred Nzekwe for allegedly sponsoring thuggery and cultism in the community to intimidate and suppress dissenting voices.
The youths under the aegis of National Association of Ahani Achi Youth Progress (NAAAY), who matched through the Michael Okpara Square to the State House of Assembly, and Government House, called the governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to intervene before it is too late.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions like “Hon. Tony our future will no longer be toiled with; Hon. Tony Manfred, stop encouraging crisis in our community; Ahani youths pass vote of no confidence on Tony Manfred, stop sponsoring thuggery and cultism in our community; the blood of Ahani youths are on the head of Hon. Tony Manfred,” among others, the youths warned of impending blood bath if was done urgently.
Addressing journalists shortly after the protest, the newly elected President of the NAAAY, alleged that the Youth’s Commissioner who incidentally hails from their community had been instigating civil unrest, suppression and communal violence by sponsoring splinter group to factionalizing the youth council of the community after he emerged winner in election that was held on July 11, 2020.
“Our people are not going to school and instead of you training and encouraging people to go to school people that didn’t go to secondary school you are training them in thuggery and cultism. That is not what we want and that is why the youths said enough is enough.
“We call on the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to use the necessary government machinery to investigate the activities of Hon. Manfred Nzekwe and curb his excesses in the community because when a system is over played, it will definitely boomerang,” he warned.
Reacting to the allegations, Nzekwe described the protesting youths as faceless individuals.
He said “ordinarily I wouldn’t have reacted to the allegations but the area I want to talk about is the area that concerns the youth election in the community.
“They have their election which was witnessed by all the authorities.
“They invited me, the local government chairman and the police. The traditional rulers of the communities wrote me that we should send staff of the ministry to come and observe the election. We did because we don’t conduct election but we sent people to observe and make sure that everything was peaceful.
“The election was peaceful and they elected their president by name Samuel Okeifi and they came here today to collect their certificate of recognition. So I was surprised to hear that some people are protesting. If they have problems with the election, they should go to court,” he said.
On allegations of sponsoring thuggery and cultism, the Commissioner declined to make comment.