By Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Former presidents of former political parties in Enugu state under the G74 umbrella have frowned on attacks on the state government over unresolved issues with primary school teachers and local state officials .
In a statement on Saturday, G74 Chairman 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 across the state have embarked on an indefinite strike due to the state government’s failure to pay the national minimum wage.
The government, on the other hand, had insisted that the teachers be paid by the local government as they were not state government employees.
Coal City Youth Development Initiatives had in a statement accused the state government of hypocrisy and insincerity over the implementation of a new minimum wage for primary school teachers and local government workers .
But former party presidents condemned the youth group‘s intervention, calling them “local traders in the business of activism”.
“They are not passionate about the welfare of the teachers at Enugu Government Primary School and do not necessarily want to sympathize or support them. They just want to get attention and look for a way to get political appointments from the state government.
“This is not the type of activism we want to build the new state of Enugu. This is not what we expected from our youth. Coal City Youths Development Initiative is the real hypocrite the Enugu people know and therefore should hide their face in shame.
“Our focus is on the dangerous effect of hypocrites like the leadership of Coal City Youths Development Initiative and their role in mocking civil society organizations and pressure groups of this nature at a time when the country yearns for men of conscience to strengthen our democracy.”
For his part, G74 Secretary Ugwu Martins Chiedozie pointed out that “the biggest question that remains unanswered is why the sudden return of Coal City Youths Development Initiative to state government criticism activism .
“After months of ranting, the voice of Coal City Youths Development Initiative came together immediately after their self-appointed CEO was appointed SA to Governor on Youth. The worst government once labeled overnight turned out to be the best.
“The former government critic became an ally of the government overnight and started writing so many great things about the governor and his administration. The public does not know that the organization is simply seeking the favor of the government, and once they sense that the favor is no longer coming, they again expect the government to offer them another political appointment and cash gifts, but he is wrong.
This is why no one should listen to this bogus youth organization every time they speak. Due to the advent of social media, where a single click or response is enough to raise an opinion, it is easy for Coal City Youths Development Initiative to find an easy and quick space to practice fake activism.
“The body is a very big embarrassment to youth activism and should therefore cover their faces in shame for ruining such a great organization that started well.
“They only support or oppose a cause for their own betterment or satisfaction, rather than supporting the cause to bring about tangible change or raise oppressed voices.
“And if your activism is largely about signaling certain opinions or ideas in order to gain acceptance or favor from the authorities, you are probably perpetuating performative activism. For the leaders of the Coal City Youths Development Initiative, criticizing the government is serious business and they do it without shame.
“So they should shut up when serious people are talking and work on redeeming their beaten and sold image first before coming out to criticize anyone. It is also a warning to any person or organization that thinks they can use or play with people’s intelligence.