From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Former chairmen of defunct political parties in Enugu State under the aegis of G74 have frowned at attacks directed at the state government over unresolved issues with primary school teachers and local government workers in the state.
In a statement on Saturday, the president of G74, PraiseGod Edeh accused the Coal City Youths Development Initiative, of trying to take advantage of the situation for their own personal and selfish interests.
Recall that primary school teachers and local government workers in the state embarked on an indefinite strike due to the failure of the state government to pay the national minimum wage.
The government on the other hand had insisted that the teachers should be paid by the local government as they were not employees of the state government.
The Coal City Youths Development Initiatives had in a statement accused the state government of hypocrisy and insincerity over the implementation of new minimum wage for primary school teachers and local government workers.
But the former party chairmen condemned the intervention of the youth group describing them as “local merchants in the business of activism”.
“They are not passionate about the welfare of Enugu state primary school teachers and do not necessarily mean to sympathise or support them. They only want to garner attention and look for a way of getting political appointments from the state government.
“This is not the type of activism we want to build the new Enugu state. This is not what we expected of our youth. Coal City Youths Development Initiative is the real hypocrite that Enugu people know and therefore should bury their face in shame.
“Our attention is on the dangerous effect of hypocrites like the leadership of Coal City Youths Development Initiative and their role in making mockery of civil society organisations and pressure groups of such nature at a time the country is yearning for men of conscience to strengthen our democracy.”
On his part, the secretary of G74, Ugwu Martins Chiedozie pointed out that “the biggest question that remains unanswered is why the sudden return of Coal City Youths Development Initiative to activism of criticising the state government.
“After months of ranting, the voice of Coal City Youths Development Initiative got drawn immediately after their self acclaimed DG was made the SA to the governor on youth. The once tagged worst government overnight turned out to be the best.
“The once government critic turned government ally overnight and started writing so many beautiful things about the governor and his administration. Little do the public know that the organisation is just out to get government favour, and once they feel the favour is no longer coming, they are back again expecting the government to offer them another political appointment and cash gifts but they are wrong.
This is why no one should listen to this fake youth organization any time they speak. Due to the advent of social media, where a simple click or reply is enough to elevate an opinion, it is easy for Coal City Youths Development Initiative to find easy and quick space to practice fake activism.
“The body is a very big embarrassment to youth activism and should therefore cover their face in shame for ruining such a beautiful organisation that started well.
“They only support or oppose a cause for their own betterment or satisfaction, rather than supporting the cause to make tangible change or uplift oppressed voices.
“And if your activism is largely about signaling certain opinions or ideas in order to gain acceptance or favour from authorities, you are probably perpetuating performative activism. To the leadership of Coal City Youths Development Initiative, government criticism is a serious business and they do it without shame.
“So they should keep quiet when serious people are talking and first work on redeeming their battered and sold image before coming out to criticize anyone. This is also a warning to any one or organisation who thinks he can use or play with the people’s intelligence.”