The media recently reported that philanthropist, Prince Arthur Eze, splashed a gift of N250 million on monarchs in Ebonyi State. A share of such a huge gift falling on any of the monarchs at this time of the year would expectedly cause excitement, as it would amount to a beautiful way to end the year.
But looking at the realities on the ground, I am compelled to have a different view, given the horrendous level of youth unemployment and insecurity in the country. Youth involvement in insurgency, kidnapping, robbery and some forms of vices are all fueled by unemployment.
The philanthropist is someone who is very well known to have deployed his charity works in the area of empowerment of people in various sectors of the Nigerian society. And what he has done this time around could be seen as a continuation of his philanthropic activities. Notwithstanding, I would have preferred that such largesse was poured on youths in Ebonyi State rather than the monarchs, who clearly do not need it, given that they are already privileged members of the society.
But there is responsibility now placed on the monarchs to utilize the money to equally empower the unemployed youths in Ebonyi State, by getting them involved in maintaining security in their various villages. They should be formed into a bulwark against all forms of youth-related criminality as has been earlier itemized. They should also become a layer of the security ring in their villages, who are supposed to help the police in gathering intelligence that would forestall criminal acts. That is why the monarchs must not succumb to the temptation to use the windfall apple for the good of their families alone. The money should be utilised in a way that would produce the best benefit in the communities and the state at large. This way, Prince Arthur Eze’s largesse would be worthwhile. Anything short of this would be almost criminal and unconscionable.
► Nkwachukwu Ibezim wrote from Lagos