*mobilising youth to produce alternative
By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Youth under the aegis of Nigerian Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders have described President Muhammadu Buhari as a total failure, just as they called for urgent need to restructure Nigeria.
According to a statement jointly signed by President Arewa Youths Consultative Forum and National President of Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders, Shettima Yerima and three others, this was part of the resolution from the group at its meeting held in Abuja.
“That the present government under President Muhammadu Bihari has failed in all ramifications and Nigerians, particularly the youths must begin to examine other options and review the leadership selection process.
“While we condemn all manifestations of violence anywhere in the country, we call on the youths to resist the temptations of being used as tools for the dirty jobs of unscrupulous politicians, religious and ethnic jingoists and merchants of hate and division.
“We insist that government must take visibly serious steps towards an extensive restructuring of the country as the only remaining available solution to the current economic and political woes,” the group said.
The group explained that worried by the recent uncertain twists in the country which are punctuated by crises and conflicting perceptions, leaders of Nigeria’s ethnic nationality youth groups met in Abuja to review the state of the nation.
Among other things, the meeting which was convened by the national chairman of the group, Alhaji Shettima Yerima and attended by 54 ethnic youth groups, resolved to mobilize youths across all ethnic divides to work for a more stable and guaranteed future devoid of undue manipulation by the present crop of bankrupt elite.
“It’s close to three years since the present government was sworn in with Muhammadu Buhari as president and Nigerians, especially the youths, are yet to feel any meaningful change. It’s been one challenge after the other, from stinging poverty, to mass joblessness, to pervading insecurity, to painful fuel scarcity, to poor power supply, to a persistent instability in the value of the Naira.
“Nigerians have been groaning over epileptic power supply which has crippled many businesses in spite of government promise to expand electricity generation and distribution to 40,000 MW.
“The value of the Naira has continued to dwindle and government annual budgets are all the time controversial and wrapped around embarrassing scandals.
“There seems to be no solution from government to the intermitent fuel scarcity in the country even after a 100 % increase in pump prices.
“While the current government boasts of focusing on curbing Boko Haram insurgency, the sect appears to be even more emboldened with the recent daring abductions and intensified attacks and killings. The situation is heightened by an upsurge in kidnappings for ransom, armed robbery, communal conflicts that are taking heavy tolls and all forms of brigandage across the country.
“Nigerians especially the youths are yet to witness the promised 1 million new jobs annually made during 2015 election campaigns. While Nigerians wait for for the fulfilment of this promise, many who have jobs are being fired on a daily basis as most companies lay off staff due to the prevailing harsh economic realities. Youths that used to be employed have now joined the teeming population of unemployed persons and consequently vulnerable to all forms of indoctrination and radicalisation,” the group said.
They said that uncertainty pervades the political and economic environment, lamenting that for the past few years, Nigerians especially the youths, are killed, maimed, and generally agonized under various guises while elites and politicians only quarrel and raise further tensions with no idea for solutions.
“We therefore call on the youths everywhere to wake up and participate actively in the leadership selection processes in their local governments, states and the federation,” the group charged.
The text of the statement was jointly signed by President Ijaw youth council (IYC) Worldwide and Ethnic Nationalities Forum of Niger Delta, Barr. Pereotubo R. Oweilaemi, Deputy Chairman, Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders and National President Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro and National Secretary Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders and National President YORUBA YOUTH COUNCIL (YYC), Comrade Eric Oluwole.