Delta Governor Identifies Youth Restiveness As Cause Of Terrorism

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

Delta State governor Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has identified youth restiveness as another level of terrorism which if not nipped on the bud; would pose serious insecurity challenges to the nation.

According to him, “if we don’t arrest that, then we can never have peace”, even as he said the state government has started reintegrating youth into full agricultural programme.

He said 3500 youths have emerged as entrepreneurs who were successfully monitored and mentored, noting that youths in the state are not lazy.

Okowa, who was represented weekend by the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr Kingsley Emu, stated this when he led the Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington to see some ex-militants who are undergoing agricultural training programme at Afritropic Farming and Agro Service Limited, Utagba-Uno, Kwale, Ndokwa West area of the state.

Okowa stressed that the Presidential Amnesty Programme, fits into what the state government is doing in the agricultural sector, noting that there are willing youths who are ready to go into agriculture, “Delta youths are not lazy, the Amnesty programme is a confirmation that we are not lazy. If you provide them an alternative, they will choose a better alternative than restiveness”.

The Executive Assistant to the Special Adviser and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hassan Usman and Barr Amazuo, Bereprebofa, Amnesty Office, while welcoming the US Ambassador, charged the beneficiaries to use the medium to better their lives and the country.

The US Ambassador, Mr Symington, while addressing the ex-militants said he and his team were in the state to encourage them to set goals not only for “today but tomorrow. Ultimately, it is not about ideas, it is about action”.

He charged the Federal government that it should go beyond demobilizing and reintegrating “you have a chance to go further as some of you have learnt what irrigation is all about. Nigeria should move you further into something better than where you are”.

The Chief Executive Officer, Afritropic Farming and Agro Service Limited, Ebimoboere Eniyekpem, said the trainees have been able to demonstrate a high level of cooperation and team work.

She called on the federal and state governments especially state of the Niger Delta Regions to move into agriculture, “it is not just taking your hands to work, it is all about machinery; using equipment to work because with the equipment, you can cover a whole lot of land”.

She hinted that as part of effort to ensure that the trainees succeeds, it was important for the government to hasten the empowerment “so that they don’t just go back home and sit down after been trained”.

Speaking on behalf of the trainees, Augustine Dasembo, called on the Niger Delta leaders to wake up from slumber to move region forward, “it is every one obligation to be productive because Niger Delta is blessed by God almighty. Let government create job opportunities because we cannot go back and fold our hands while our family’s responsibility is upon us”, even as he appealed the Amnesty Committee to think in the direction of extending the time of the training.

He noted that the message is to the state government, its officials and other Niger Delta States, adding “The six weeks training is not enough to eat the bone and flesh in technical skills, please we need more additional weeks”.

The training is segmented into three sections which include the mechanized irrigation, farm machinery and rice farming.

Governor Okowa's representative, Kingsley Emu, left, chating with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington at the event.