By Ebiowei Lawal
PANDLEAF urged the youths of the Nine States of the Niger Delta region to review their actions and stop blind followership noting that the underdevelopment of the region is not the absence of resources but leadership failure that have continued to divide , shortage and polarised various ethnic group .
PANDLEAF, in a position paper issued and signed by the President, Comrade Richard Akinaka, after a consultative tour of two states of Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom, stated that the youths of the region should shunned politics of bitterness but rather foster unity in respect of political differences.
According to Akinaka, the region can’t afford to be in disarray but to find a common ground midst ethnic diversity and stop to being waved aside by the leaders of the region and that youths should participate in decision making about the future of the region ahead of 2019 and beyond .
The President of PANDLEAF, Comrade Richard Akinaka, noted that there are lots of things going wrong in the region and as young people we can afford to sit down and watch, “.We can’t fold hands as youth and expect change . The time for us to take action is now and that is the intent of pandleaf to awaken the youths of the Niger Delta for common good where leaders have failed.”
“One of the objectives we seek to correct the attitudes of our elders . How can we still have some persons certain of people still ruling us and when are the youths going to take the centre stage ? Some of these men are in their departure lounge and we keep following them .”
“Four years is enough to know the performance of a quality leader if he can be given another . A leader can be boast of completing a kilometre should not be election even on ethnic lining. Your help may not come from your brothers. Lets think beyond ethnic sentiments to move the region forward.”
“The greatest problems in the Niger Delta is not with other ethnics people of the country but until we sorted out things within us there won’t be a way forward. For those who want run elections , this platform gives a verity tool to achieve that “.
Akinaka explained that the tour of Nigeria Delta states by PANDLEAF was to create political, economic and social awareness about rights and privileges for the youths of the region, “The essence of this meeting is to interact with youths leadership in Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom states was thought out with charge youthsthat being a youth is not about making yourself available as a tool in the hands of politicians to be used rather you are there to provide leadership you are be groomed to take up responsibility someday.
“Leadership is not given, you have to take it . Nobody gives power say you become something. It is a responsibility you have to take .While you are following the governor of second term campaign what do you have on the table to give to you and stand to benefit as a leader too”.
“What is your position? Are you just carrying flags and wearing campaign T-shirt going about risking yourself? That as to stop. We should stop this division amongst the region . No one is more Niger Delta than the other ethnic group.
“Advancing the course to address perennial leadership failure in our region to secure a common regional political and economic agenda, advocating ethnic harmony and Peace in the Niger Delta through purposeful and objective engagement with ethnic youth leaders in the Niger Delta. Leadership failure, ethnic and political rivalry are the cause of our problems in the Niger Delta. It is a continuous one.
“At level of your organisation as youths look beyond immediate gains and provide leadership. Objectives you be you watch word .For instance, right now political activities have started and people have began campaigning in your constitutes you could have three or four contesting a position and these are your brothers , you know them.
” You know what someone is capable of doing. Let you conscience be alive politically to who can provide leadership at point you cannot vouch for .Every body must not be part of Pandleaf but pandleaf is open to everybody. The message is call to action to take stock and some of us may not have votes cards is which you basic responsibility as a citizen. For instance you are supporting someone but you support him with your votes then your support is most useless support.
“Let talk to ourselves at the local level because the center of every political conflict is the Youths that are involved.As a youth , should not put your neck for someone.Don’t support party because the man is from your place and sometimes help does not come from the man that is from your place. But if have good leadership every body will part of it .
“For us a young people we are very worry about how are running in this country. We seek not to see any to emulate from what is going on and for us to move on we have to effect change in this country. A country where money are being swallowed by snake . And the most worrisome part of it is the way the young people are making jokes of it. These are things that will define our future but we intend to take every as a joke and comedy where someone said she wants to be a snake , matter that ordinary should cause to stand up and say no and say enough of the nonsense going on in the this country.
“Tomorrow who knows , snake will visit Central bank and swallow our the nation’s savings .The level of mediocrity and unseriousness amongs the young people is getting out of hand . Every critical things that will define us are going on, we only make gest of it and social media comedy out of it . Thes things have to stop and we must take responsibility as youths.”
On the damning rating released about the corruption index of the present administration by the Transparency International, PANDLEAF argued that though the President Muhammad Buhari administration has done well in some area to tackle corruption, “it is an indictment to the president and the government and it is important the government live to the change mantra.
” We know the effort the government is making in fighting corruption but they need to do more . We are aware of MTN case that involved, Chief Staff to the Mr President,The gate Rasheed Maman,the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS. These are things that are really indicting and compromising the stand of the government on fighting corruption and it does mean the government is not making progress.they have made progress to large extent because have seen some kind burgling revelations of loots recovered ”
Also commenting on the “Not To young to run” Bill, PANDLEAF declared that the group stand by the campaign,” and far as we are concerned once you are eighteen as the constitution stipulated to vote, you should also be able to seek office and be voted for .we don’t need a bill for the youths to participate in politics.we have to break the rules, participate and get involved and provide the leadership that have eluded this country over the years because the problem of Nigeria is leadership. ”
The group assured that the consultative tour will move to other states in the region with climax of regional conference where the former anti graft czar of Kenya Joseph Lumumba is to deliver keynote address.