– By Patrick Ochei
The Federation of Anioma Youth Elites Council (FAYEC), Northern Nigeria Chapter has honoured Omu Anioma, HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu with the Vanguard of Societal Transformation award, which was presented to her at the Omu Palace in Okpanam, Oshimili North LGA, Delta State on Wednesday, 15th June, 2022.
The award is in recognition of her immense contributions towards the preservation of Anioma Traditions, Human Capital Development, Meritorious Service to the Great People of Okpanam Kingdom, Youth and Students Empowerments, Sterling Leadership Qualities, Initiatives Towards Peace and Unity, and Outstanding Service to God Almighty and Humanity.
In the words of FAYEC President, Dr Paul Nonso who gave a speech on behalf of the group, Omu Dunkwu was widely chosen to be honoured as a result of her bold stance on truth regarding national issues and the defence of Anioma course, especially on issues bordering on youths and their welfare.
He said, “Today, Delta North (Anioma) is faced with the dire challenges of years of neglect of our youth in its rank, and this has resulted in various social vices such as conflicts, kidnappings, robberies, money rituals, etc., which have unfortunately assumed an alarming dimension.
“Without fear or favour, it is our firm belief that HRM Obi (Dr) Martha Dunkwu has contributed to societal building through her services over the years in various capacities even till this moment of Honour. Her administrative prudence, open door policy implementation, love for Delta State, her experimental knowledge and modest inputs are too paramount to be discarded and unnoticed”, the President affirmed.
Hinting the Royal Mother about the group’s forthcoming programme, tagged “Education Cannot Wait”, Dr Nonso concluded by quoting the prayers of a great Philosopher which says, “May God give us the ability to change the things we can, the resilience and fortitude to bear the things we cannot change, and the wisdom to distinguish between the things we can change and the things we cannot change”.
Responding, Omu Dunkwu thanked them immensely for coming all the way from Abuja and Niger State to honour her.
She said as a lover of the youths of Nigeria, she can do anything to be on their side because they are victims of the failures of the system and her leadership.
Omu Anioma who was thrilled by a Northern Youth, Comrade Sadiq who came with the delegation purposely to have one on one contact with her, encouraged the youths to unite in their individual ethnic groups and then collaborate with their counterparts across the country to take over leadership.
Her words, “Don’t be deceived by leaders who tell you that you are leaders of tomorrow; now is the time for you to lead. The future of Nigeria is in your hands and now is the time for you to assume leadership by changing the old order.
“You can do it. Don’t lose hope and don’t be deterred. The EndSARS was a test case, though misdirected midway. But I tell you, with proper planning, cohesion, sense of purpose and responsibility, it can be achieved.
“You have the social media in your hands. You have the population with you. What else are you looking for? Just stand firm, eschew bitterness among you, get involved by registering, owning your PVCs and voting on the day of election. You will be surprised you have done it. If you set your heart to it and envision it; it’s possible and achievable. A 31 year old Austrian did it by registering his own political party and mobilising the youths through the social media. The old order was laughing and mocking him but it took them by surprise like a storm when the guy won.
“All my fights and struggles these past decades are to see a better Okpanam, Anioma, Delta State and Nigeria. I have done my best, it’s time to quit and leave the stage for the younger ones like you. The same thing I am telling our leaders, you have failed colossally but you have done your part, stop trying and allow the younger ones to take over.
“On my own as a Mother, I have used the seat of Omu to propagate sound moral values and mindset reorientation. When I came into the institution things had already gone bad, but I was able to fuse the good of the old and the good of the new to make a difference for a bright new day. I brought renaissance into our culture and showcased our identity to the world. Thank God we have younger Omus now who are educated and can hold forth when I am no longer there. That’s mentoring! Unfortunately, our leaders never mentored the youths, they only used them to achieve their selfish aims”, Omu stressed.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of the award to Omu Dunkwu.
The Federation of Anioma Youth Elites Council (FAYEC) was established by youths and students of Anioma who are residents in the 19 Northern states of Nigeria. However, they are currently inaugurating State Chapters across the federation for ease of operation and creating of platforms for dialogue on issues affecting Anioma youths and students with regards to academics and politics.
Those who were on the delegation to Omu Palace included the President, Dr Paul Nonso, the Prime Minister, Hon. Oranyeli Owen, the Queen of Women, Comrade Atisele Juliet, Adviser, Comrade Ekwealor Tochukwu, Chief Spokesman, Comrade Chukwudi Joseph, Director of Media, Comrade Dibie General, Member, Comrade Onyenibadi Success and of course the President of the Northern Youth Council, Comrade Sadiq Abdulkarim.