By Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
Northern state governors have been charged to establish a special commission known as ‘Youths Empowerment Fund’ that would be saddled with the task of empowering the teeming jobless youths in the region.
A lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the Bayero University [BUK] Kano, Professor Aliyu Jibia gave this charge when he led a coalition of four northern groups under the aegis of Arewa Development Initiative, Northern Initiative for the promotion of ideal values, Muryan Talaka and Center for Human Resources on a courtesy visit to the officials of the Nigeria Union of Journalists [NUJ], Bauchi State Council.
According to him, although Ministries of Youth and Sports exist at federal and states levels, ‘only sportsmen and women benefit from such ministries as ordinary youths do not feel any impact’ hence the need for the creation of the ‘Youths empowerment fund’ to cater for the restive youths in the region.
He called on the members of the National Assembly of northern extraction to sacrifice a percentage from their monthly allowances with a view to financing the proposed fund for the development of the zone.
Jibia who uncovered the plan of the coalition to organize a summit in January next year in Abuja to identify the challenges facing the north and proffer solutions lamented that some northern elites opportune to hold strategic positions in the nation during both military and democratic eras ‘had nothing to show as their contribution to the regional advancement’.
“Over 65 percent of youth in Northern Nigeria face one exploitation or the other as they hardly go to school, a situation that is disturbing. These necessitate our reason to come together to organize the northern summit to address the problems with a view to charting future for them.
“It’s unfortunate that average Northern youth engage in drug abuse and the Almajiri institution is being neglected by the government. Also the number of school drop outs is more than those enrolled in schools, what kind of future are we building? he asked
Responding, the NUJ Chairman, Ibrahim Mallam Goje commended the initiative of the Northern groups on the planned summit saying it would go a long way to address the challenges facing the region.
He however urged regional socio-political groups in the nations to avoid making remarks that could overheat the polity and or cause disunity among the citizens.