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On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, I ran into a total stranger, a vibrant young man of 25 years, who probably is the youngest aspirant in the local government election scheduled to hold in July in Imo State. Fair complexioned, tall and soft talking, young Chigozie Ifeanyichukwu,

On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, I ran into a total stranger, a vibrant young man of 25 years, who probably is the youngest aspirant in the local government election scheduled to hold in July in Imo State. Fair complexioned, tall and soft talking, young Chigozie Ifeanyichukwu,

Alex, a youth leader, entrepreneur, PLC programmer and network marketer, struck a lasting cord with me. The way he did it I do not know, but he did it. Those who know me very well would recall that I am not one to be swayed by any physical appearance or posturing, but this First Class graduate of Electrical Electronic Engineering from Accra Institute of Technology, Ghana, left genuine and lasting impressions on me. Alex used to be the President of the Nigerian Students Association of AIT, Ghana, Senator and PRO of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Ghana, and currently the Director of Organization at Rebrand Nigeria Youths in Ghana Organization.
Upon his graduation from AIT Ghana, Alex resolved to become an employer of labour by engaging in entrepreneurship rather than chasing after illusive white-colar jobs. If you recall that the Nigerian government at all levels have consistently advised graduates to engage in entrepreneurship as means to creating jobs and robust economy, instead of waiting endlessly for someone else to employ them. Most graduates have not answered the clarion call, but with entrenched interest in entrepreneurship, Alex began a network marketing business during his NYSC service year in Nigeria, cutting his own business line and economic survival.
His belief in the Agricultural sector of Nigeria is topnotch. This led him to start an agro-processing business in the North. Today 25 years old Alex is the CEO of Healmass Agrotech. His passion to contributing to the growth and development of Nigeria and Africa at large is one of the factors currently leading him into the Nigeria mainstream politics, where they say the waters are shark, crocodile infected. But Alex is not deterred.
From Umudurueze, Amandugba in Isu Local Government Area of Imo State, Alex was born and raised in Warri, Delta State. He has been a great inspiration to many African youths after he wrote an article titled "Hardwork Performs Miracles". His innovative leadership record has earned him multiple local and international awards. Speaker and motivator, Alex wants to serve his Umudurueze Village in Amandugba Autonomous Community by representing them as Councillor in the LGA on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
With his vast experience in leadership roles in Ghana where he bagged multiple awards, one would think his people would give him the space to contribute his quota to the development of his people. But your guess is as good as mine. They might not give him the space he needs. I have some friends and in-laws in Amandugba and I know a bit about the local politics. Competent and intelligent youths like Alex will be under intense pressure to give up his political aspiration, not because they are not qualified or that someone else is more qualified than them, but because of what some people call the zoning of leadership positions in the community. To make the pressure on the younger generation heavier, some people who see the emerging stars as threat to their own political survival might coopt the local leaders, if possible the traditional ruler, to force them out of the race. And this is just how a people kill themselves.
Alex has since proved that he is still in the race and it is in the interest of the people of Umudurueze not to quench this fire lit for them by God himself, by showing their massive support to this youthful politician extraordinaire to realise his dream of being the councilor of his Amandugba Ward 3.
Full of plans for his people, Alex could well become the Daniel that comes to judgement for the Amandugba Ward 3. It therefore behooves the people of Amandugba Ward 3 to rise beyond personal political proclivities and consider the larger interest of the people. They should note that having been blessed with a First Class brain, electing him as Councillor would drive mediocrity to the backseat and unleash youthful leaders on the community. The youthful leaders would fittingly be the pride of their people, and sticking to the zoning arrangement that has not worked any magic for the people but has instead served to pander the whims and caprice of some deeply entrenched political interests, is inimical to the envisaged glorious future of the people represented in the younger generation.
Amandugba Ward 3 has cogent reasons to support Alex. For ages the younger generation has shown that given the right atmosphere they can deliver and spread smiles like butter on the faces of their people. It is as the Bible puts it in Proverbs 29:2, that "When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan".
It is shocking that in the 21st century where people run towards excellence, some people for some reasons want to cling to whatever soothes them. They do not mind whether what they are clinging to could take them backwards or whether what they are sacrificing would leapfrog them to the glorious future they crave. The Igbo society prays for the child to do better than his/her parents. And if any society would get the best leadership, they should make conscious efforts and encourage their children who have distinguished themselves like Alex to throw their hats in the ring. No society can grow with mediocre leadership. No society will make it when its best brains are not engaged in the process of its development but are pushed to the backseat.
A future built on educated and competent youths is a future built on solid grounds. Nobody kills his future with his care hands. Amandugba Ward 3 should not do so. They should give Alex a chance. For Alex, I urge him to always arm himself with the advise contained in 1 Timothy 4:12: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity".

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