Umo Eno: Youths Or Nothing!

By Osondu Ahirika

On March 29, 2023, Governor – Elect of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno convened a Thank You Dinner to appreciate members of the Umo Eno/Akon Eyakenyi campaign Council. Their immense contribution to the landslide victory at the polls was worth the gratitude.

One thing however became the most impressionable from the remarks of Pastor Umo Eno that eventful night. Reflecting on the entirety of outcomes in the just concluded General Elections in Nigeria, he diagnosed correctly that the youths are bitter, frustrated, angry and clamouring for change.

In his summation of the whole electoral debacle, Pastor Umo said, ” I have heard the cry of the youths and their yearnings will be addressed by our administration. I guarantee that.” Believe this, that was not mere political rhetoric. The youths will be the fulcrum of our policies and programmes when we come into office Pastor Umo Eno pledged. He meant every word of it.

During the 2022 International Youth Day of August 12, Pastor Umo Eno was on ground to engage the youths. His message to them on that occasion was profound as it was captivating. Entitled, “Arise, Our great youths!”, Pastor Umo Eno addressed the theme for that year’s IYD, “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”, insisting that it couldn’t have been more apt, because it hinged on inclusivity and building blocks for people of all ages.

Pastor Eno’s message read in part:
“The rationale for this theme, in my considered opinion, is underscored by the world’s need to leverage the full potential of all generations, in order to attain sustainable development. The youth, in fact, must, collaborate with the earlier and later generations to foster successful and equitable intergenerational relations and partnerships to ensure, “No one is left behind.”

Our Economic, Consolidation and Expansion Blueprint: The A.R.I.S.E Agenda, has a special place for our youths, in particular, and for people of all ages, as it seeks to align their development aspirations – through skill acquisition and entrepreneurial development – with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Incoming administration in Akwa Ibom State, therefore, will make and implement policies that would continue to expand opportunities in various spheres, such as employment, political participation, health and justice – in order to deeply impact the wellbeing and livelihoods, for the youth, in particular and for people of all ages.”

The postulates expressed in that address should serve as enforcement that, he truly meant it when he said he has heard the voice of the youths. He even heard them loudly from their silence on that youth day.

From May 2023, Pastor Umo Eno’s administration will translate that empathy for the youth population into action by implementing the many programmes/policies he has declared to empower the youths. We can rehearse some of them.

Pastor Umo eno will create an ICT-Hub in Akwa Ibom State in line with The Arise Agenda with the necessary infrastructure to provide generic services like tele-centres, desktop publishing, business support, application development, training and information services, according youths a sector they are passionate about and rearing for.

The policy to develop the ICT sector is a ploy to develop new skills, accelerate employability of our youths and enhance service delivery in businesses and Government activities.

Pastor Umo Eno’s plan to support the micro, small, medium scale enterprises, and encourage businesses to maximize international trade opportunities will serve the youths too. The net of those involved in SME’s and entrepreneurship are predominantly youths, most of who do not have all it takes to break forth. The intervention of Government will ease their burdens and boost their enterprise.

In the areas of Sports development, Agriculture and skills acquisition, youths will have cause to simile. Pastor Umo Eno promised a Sports Academy in the State and agricultural revolution which is so broad that we have addressed the sector in other essays. Vocational training, in masonry, carpentry, industrial welding/fabrication, fashion designing, tiling, shoe making etc will be on the cards for willing and ready youths.

Fact is, the youths should rally around the incoming administration of Pastor Umo Eno for there is so much in the offing for them. As I sign out, let me intimate you on how Pastor Umo Eno defined his youths demography.

“My belief, in this regard is in consonance with that of Samuel Ullman, an American poet, that, “Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions.”

We must imbibe this mindset to attain productivity in the rapidly globalizing world.

° Ahirika wrote in from Uyo

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