The Igbo Youths Movement (IYM), a prominent collective representing Igbo youth interests, has issued a cautionary statement against adopting aggressive tactics or engaging in divisive behavior to secure the Igbo community’s path to the Nigerian Presidency.
With a history spanning over three decades, the Igbo Youths Movement emphasizes that the strategy of instilling fear and targeting fellow Nigerians through attacks does not align with the vision of Igbos attaining the nation’s highest office. The group firmly asserts that it is counterproductive to vilify and coerce others into accepting Igbo political preferences.
Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, the Founder of IYM and Deputy Secretary of the Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), highlighted these concerns in a statement titled “Unrestrained Abusive Mob, Not In Our Character.” Ugochukwu-Uko, who also serves as the Secretary of the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), emphasized the need for respectful discourse and inclusivity.
“The practice of unrestrained mob attacks, particularly during the recent elections, has cast a shadow on our community’s reputation. This culture of abusive behavior towards those with differing political opinions is both detrimental and contrary to our values,” Ugochukwu-Uko stated. He expressed concern that such actions isolate the Igbo region and hinder the formation of crucial alliances.
The statement underscored the importance of maintaining a respectful attitude towards individuals who hold diverse viewpoints. Ugochukwu-Uko drew attention to historical instances where Igbos displayed political maturity and magnanimity, such as during the presidential elections of 1979 and 1999.
Ugochukwu-Uko urged Igbos to reconsider the recent trend of aggressive behavior and recognize its potential consequences. “Fostering an image of desperation and disrespect only alienates our fellow citizens. We must not lose sight of our identity as diligent and respectful Ndigbo who collaborate harmoniously with other Nigerians,” he remarked.
He advised redirecting energies toward addressing pressing concerns within the community, such as countering harmful beliefs and practices that hinder progress. By focusing on core issues and pursuing meaningful change, IYM aims to position the Igbo community positively while promoting unity and understanding among all Nigerians.
In conclusion, Ugochukwu-Uko emphasized the significance of resolving foundational challenges, advocating for true federalism, power devolution, and addressing regional grievances to address the underlying causes of agitation. By adopting a comprehensive approach to societal transformation, IYM believes that the path to the Nigerian Presidency can be achieved with dignity, respect, and cooperation.