By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri—Scores of Imo youths, yesterday, protested inside the government House, over the youth empowerment programme of Governor Rochas Okorocha, alleging that they were “intimidated and sidelined” just as some praised the governor for lifting them out of abject poverty.
The youths registered their displeasure, in a protest letter, a copy which was made available to Vanguard, during an interaction between Governor Rochas Okorocha and beneficiaries of the three hundred and five million naira empowerment funds.
Trouble started when Okorocha asked them to narrate their experiences before they emerged winners for the one million naira empowerment programme.
Annoyed by the processes involved, Mr. Obinna Agulanna, Mr. Jude Emeka Echefu and Mr. Alia Boniface, demanded for the cancellation of the exercise.
Their protest letter read:
“Sir, the above Youth Association in Otulu /Aguneze ward in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Council wants to express their gratitude to your rescue mission government and the youth empowerment programme in the state. “In this ward, youths were not carried along during the exercise including the two CGC youth leaders.
“The boy who emerged as the winner of the One million naira youth empowerment became a member of APC a day to the final selection in the state.
“Sir, the leaders of our ward including the two president generals, secretaries in the two communities were not consulted before and after the exercise.
“Therefore, we demand an automatic cancellation of this ugly selection exercise in our ward.
“If this ugly exercise is not well attended to, it will affect the 2019 general elections in Otulu/ Aguneze ward as our APC members, especially the youths are being discouraged.”
Speaking, Governor Rochas Okorocha assured the affected youths that he would intervene in their matter.
He also warned the beneficiaries that the money was not to marry more wives or start visiting brothels but to create a new world and new vision.
He said: “My children, all of you will succeed with this money. You will bring a mentor and sign, then we will pay the money into your account. Let me tell you that the money has no condition attached to it.
“I want you to succeed and I want you to run for electoral positions. Some of you who are confused, we will guide you to succeed.”