Billy Graham Abel, Yola
North East Governors Forum has attributed the recent youth restiveness in the country to rising unemployment.
It said government has a responsibility to create avenues for gainful employment and engage youths in productive ventures in order to curb the security threat posed by unemployment.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, in his opening remark, at the third meeting of the North East Governors Forum in Yola, Adamawa, yesterday, said the region has been bedevilled by myriads of security issues including the lingering Boko Haram insurgency, kidnappings and banditry.
He said these multifaceted security challenges have enormous effects on the socio-economic wellbeing of the region.
Education, according to him, remains the most potent tool in addressing unemployment in order to curb the menace of insurgency and kidnapping.
He said in addressing the issue of terrorism, the forum would deliberate on ways to facilitate prosecution of those convicted for terrorism within the region in order to expedite speedy dispensation of justice.
He explained that the governors of the region were worried about the rate of youth unemployment that degenerated into youth restiveness as evident in the EndSARS protest.
“There is a daunting problem of youth unemployment in the North East, which is increasingly becoming a serious cause of concern.
“The EndSARS protest was one of the direct consequences of youth unemployment, which unfortunately degenerated into youth restiveness.”
The governor said the forum will also look into the worrying phenomenon of ‘Almajiri’ system with a view to integrating it into the western formal system of education in order to reduce the threat of leaving behind an army of vulnerable youths that might become harvested as tools for dangerous elements like the Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and kidnappers.
The meeting was attended by governors Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Ishaku Darius (Taraba), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe) and the host, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
The meeting discussed the challenges of rape in the region with a view to pushing for the domestication of federal laws against rape in the respective states that constitutes the forum.