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‘Youth Leaders Must Also Undergo Scrutiny’

Governor Nyesom Wike’s ban on community based youth groups in Rivers State has continued to elicit comments.

President of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), Legborsi Yamaabana, described the proscription as unwarranted attack on youth activism in the state, stating that if the governor does not rescind the decision youths will resort to the law court.

Immediate past president of Rumuodara Youth Progressive Forum, Stanley Amaewhule, said every community has hierarchy of administration which include council of chiefs, community development committees and youth, adding that the status quo should be maintained for effective administration of the communities.

President General of Ikwere Youth Movement (IYM), Hon. Felix Worlu said he was in supported of the Governor’s decision as some hoodlums and cultists were using these youth bodies to perpetrate evil in the society.

“They call themselves youth leaders in reality; they were leaders of cult groups, hiding under youth organizations to cause confusion in communities. The governor’s ban will checkmate their nefarious activities”, he said.

Worlu noted however that there were genuine youth groups which the governor should allow and asked the genuine ones to register with the police and the DSS.

Paramount Ruler of Rumuodara community, Eze John Enyindah Amadi said the governor was right in banning the youth bodies and suggested that traditional rulers should appoint CDCs and youth leaders.

Obialor Nlemonu Weli, a youth leader said the Governor’s ban was in order considering the security situation in the state, restating that what the governor said was that youth bodies and leaders should present themselves to the DSS and police for screening before conducting elections.

He said security agents should have details of every youth body in the state for identification, adding that Rumuodara Youth Progressive Forum went through such process before their election.

Rivers State Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria Chijoke Ihunwo, supported the ban saying many of the youth bodies sometimes overstep their bounds.

Chairman Coalition of Civil Society Organizations Enefa Georgewill, criticized the governor’s ban, saying it is unconstitutional.

He said the constitution guarantees all Nigerians right to Assembly and Association and wondered why the Rivers State government should curtail such right by banning youth groups in the state.

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