Home OPINION COMMENTARY Do These, Banditry, Terrorism Will Be Gone In Nigeria, By Rashidat Yusuf

Do These, Banditry, Terrorism Will Be Gone In Nigeria, By Rashidat Yusuf

For how long shall we continue to neglect the Northern youths of Nigeria?
The sorry site of “alimajiri” squatting under the bridge in Kawo, in Kaduna State is not new to regular visitors to Kaduna.
Similar site is replicated under the bridge as you enter the ancient town of Zaria in the same Kaduna State. Students of Ahmadu Bello University would testify to this fact.
The same applies to Zuba in Niger State. Zuba is a border town between Niger State and the Federal capital Territory, Abuja.
Zuba does not present a feature of a town similar to the Federal Capital Territory. This is a story for another day.
The shocking revelation to some of us who hardly go far North is the level at which the almajiris (Qur’anic learning pupils or scholars) have grown up and yet the younger ones are left to wander on their own aimlessly.
Unlike those in Abuja, of the same age group, who engage in petty trading and menial jobs, others in remote villages in the North are mostly idle, just as some also engage in selling sugar canes and the likes.
In real sense however, they can be classified as idle because they are not engaged to their full capacity.
This brings us to the issue of banditry and kidnapping, for, it is said that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
A drive from Funtua, an ancient town a few kilometres from Zaria, would bring out the true picture which this write up is trying to paint.
Funtua is actually the gateway to Zamfara State, from the Northwest axis.
Many youths in Funtua wander about aimlessly.
Little wonder then that there is so much kidnapping and banditry in that part of the North.
Those idle youths are visible also in Mairuwa, Sheme, Magazu, Tsafe and Kotarkoshi. All these towns lead to Gusau, the Zamfara State capital .
A drive through these towns shows that the Minister of Youth development has a lot of work to do.
These youths must be fully engaged if the issue of banditry and terrorism must be put behind us.
They must be taken care of and engaged meaningfully, through skills acquisition.
It is obvious that these youths are willing to become something in life but the capacity is just not there for them.
In order to reach these youths, the Federal Ministry of Youth Development MUST establish satellite offices in all states of the federation.
Sincere leadership should be ensured in such offices to deliver to the yearning of the teaming youths.
Since most of these youths do not have any form of formal education, the best way is to engage them in artisanship, apprenticeship and craftsmanship in such a way as to become self reliant.
Only then and then will the idle youths be kept off the streets and sanity is returned to the security sector.
This action will have positive impact on the farming system as farmers will now be free to go back to farms. There would be no more fear of kidnappers and bandits.
Those who say the North is feeding the nation are not wrong after all. This is in spite of the ugly incidence of banditry.
It is interesting to note that trailer loads of food items such as grains and vegetables are often seen heading towards the South every day.
Imagine if there are no incidences of kidnapping and banditry, Nigeria would have truly be self sufficient in food production.
Fingers, they say, are not equal, so also are the states of the Federation.
While Kano State is able to send her youths abroad yearly to acquire professional skills, many other States do not have the financial capability to measure up.
A Northern, Hamza Mohammed will however not applaud such gestures from kano state .
He considers it a waste, as such resources taken abroad for overseas training can be utilised to upgrade the tertiary institutions in the country .
Be that as it amy, there is urgent need for the Federal Government to intervene and positively engage the youths in this part of the country.
Continuous neglect of these youths poses great danger to the entire country.
Members of the National Assembly from these region should please rescue the youths by taking them off the streets .

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Rashidat yusuf wrote in from Abuja.

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