Fidel Agu(NOA, Abuja): The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on traditional institutions in the country to guide the youth away from vices, toward patriotic and developmental initiatives.
Director General of NOA, Garba Abari made the call when he paid homage to the Paramount Ruler of Nike, Enugu State, Igwe (Dr.) Julius Nnaji, noting that traditional institutions in Nigeria have remained largely unchanged by the ethical adjustments of society of the years, thus reflecting their integrity. This, he said, makes traditional institutions a reliable rallying point for youth orientation and therefore urged them to continue galvanizing and guiding the youth to become assets to the nation rather than threats.
Commending the enterprising spirit of the Igbo youth as an example of the good effects of proper guidance by Igbo traditional leaders, he observed that the current economic, social and security challenges of the nation calls for more involvement of our palaces as virile channels for communicating relevant narratives to steer the youth toward productive engagements. He therefore advocated that continuous messages of peace, unity and harmony should emanate from Nigerian palaces in the interest of national peace, security and development.
Responding, Igwe Nnaji urged the Federal Government to take immediate and concrete measures to bring an end to the menace of herdsmen attacks on crop farmers, describing the attacks as one of the greatest threats to national peace and security. He condemned the attacks on crop farmers as a major threat to food sufficiency in the nation, noting that without food, even the cattle reared by herdsmen and the meat they supply would lose value. He observed that herdsmen of yesteryears were respectful of the rights of others to livelihood and lived in peace with their host communities, calling on today’s herdsmen to tow the same line of peace
The Odezuluigbo III also harped on the need for the creation of, at least, one more State in the South East of Nigeria in the interest of political and economic equity. He said the region was being marginalized in the allocation of resources from the centre because of disparity in its number of States and Local Government Areas compared to other regions, which puts it at a disadvantage. He therefore urged NOA to make a strong case for the South East at the national level as an additional State would give the region a sense of belonging.
He commended NOA for its insight in maintaining a robust relationship with traditional institutions but lamented the poor funding of the Agency as the major challenge to the realization of its mandates. He said if NOA was properly funded and equipped, it would aid government’s anti-corruption fight as the orientation efforts of the Agency would serve as an effective preventive approach against corruption to complement the fight.