Ali Abare, Gombe
Nigeria’s much celebrated oil resource and population would remain a source of worry rather than a blessing if the country fails to engage its youths for meaningful development.
Gombe State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar Walama, stated this, on Tuesday, at the formal inauguration of the newly-elected state executives of the National Youth Council of Nigeria.
Walama described as ‘false’, assumptions that Nigeria is an oil rich country, with high population, since oil revenues were yet to make meaningful impact directly on the lives of the people, when compared with living standards of citizens in similar oil rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
He noted that as long as the country’s active population, aged between 15 and 65 years, with the youths comprising a sizeable percentage, have not been adequately integrated into the development effort of the country, Nigeria’s oil resources and population would continue to remain a source of worry.
“If we are not able to engage our youths for meaningful development, our oil wealth and population would continue to be a source of worry,” he said.
Earlier in a welcome address, Adamu Kala, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, thanked dignitaries from across the country that came to identify with the youths in Gombe State.
He disclosed that the state government gave the electoral committee the desired independence to conduct the election transparently.
In a goodwill message, immediate past Secretary of the NYCN in the state, Moses Kyari Bolda, described youths as the engine room for development, stressing that the youths are associated with vibrancy which is required to move forward.
Bolda said though the transition has been shaky, with the NYCN election held last 12-years ago, Gombe State, under the leadership of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, has been in the forefront of youth empowerment.
He commended Dankwambo for effectively transforming members of the dreaded Kalare youth militia group, into useful members of the society, unlike previous political leaders that exploited the vibrancy of the youths for negative purpose.
In his speech at the event, Commissioner, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Malam Farouk Yarma, commended the transition committee for being just and fair in the conduct of the NYCN election.
Yarma urged the newly inaugurated excecutives to consider their positions as a call to serve the youths of the state.
On the call by national officials of the NYCN for Gombe State to host the next national convention of the council, the commissioner requested the officials to submit a proposal to that effect as according to him, the state government is willing to partner with the NYCN in order to enhance youth development.
While pledging to support the Council towards building a formidable NYCN, Yarma, however, urged the new executives to extend a hand of fellowship to other contestants that lost out during the election.
Responding, new NYCN chairman in the state, Comrade Abdullahi Bello Yero, lauded Governor Dankwambo as well as the state Commissioner of Youth Empowerment, for ensuring that election held to usher in new executives in the state.