Disbandment Of Edo Youth Employment Scheme: Our Dear State, Sitting On A Keg Of Gunpowder

By Marxist Kola

The Speaker,
Edo State House of Assembly,
Chief Anthony Enahoro Complex,
King’s Square,
Benin City.

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality” Dante in his Divine Comedy.

It is lucid that Edo state Government has made a pronouncement to disband the Edo Youth Employment Scheme (Edo YES) programme without consulting the parliament which led to protest in Benin City by the aggrieved Youths. The more than six thousand workers who were sent back to the streets by the Governor are the bread winners of their respective families. Some of them have been ostracize from their homes as a result of their inability to pay rents. It is the onus of a responsive and responsible Government to remove the youth from the streets, so that the society can be safe for all and sundry including those in government.

If a free society cannot provide for the many who are poor, It cannot protect the few who are rich. Harold Laski in his Grammar of Politics adumbrated that “Every state is known by the right it maintain. We judge the state according to the happiness of men” No man would be happy when he is deprived of his right to employment. There is frustration in the land.

Sir, it is sardonic and lugubrious to know that since the disbandment of the Youth Employment Scheme, the level of crime has increased drastically and geometrically. Our state is sitting on a keg of gun powder waiting to explode if the issue is not addressed by the House of Assembly. We would wake up one day and find out that criminals have taken over the state. Almighty God forbids.

You would agree with me that Government exists for the welfare of the people and not the people for government and government chart a course for the advancement of the general welfare of the Talakawa who normally come out enbloc to exercise their franchise during election. His Excellency had on Friday May 8th, 2009 Nation Newspaper Page 7 stated that “Government should not lament dwindling revenue” The Governor should not lament at all.

Mr. Speaker, the Youth were employed through the office of Edo State Rapid Response agency that was established under Edo State Rapid Response Agency Law CAP. E30 of 31st August, 1999. No. 3, of the Mission Statement of the Agency is “To ensure employment for the Youth under the Youth Employment Scheme of the State government.” Aristotle said many years ago “Amicus Plato, Amicus Socrates, sed magis Amicas veritas. Plato is my friend, Socrates is my friend dearer to me still is the truth”. The truth is that the executive Governor acted is erratum for not consulting the House before taking that decisions.

Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable condition of work and to protect against unemployment. It can be nip in the bud, if the legislative arm of government is proactive enough to call the Governor to order. According to the canons of Montesquieu, Separation of Power, The legislature has the defined ability to check the excess of the executive.

To this end, the legislature should prevail on the governor to bring back the youths to work as they are very ready to start working immediately. Let there be employment, bread, water and salt for the masses.

Thanks and Anticipation for your prompt and favourable consideration

Yours Faithfully,
Marxist Kola Edokpayi Festus Igun
Speaker Director of Media & Publicity

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