EKITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi and his Imo State counterpart Hope Uzodimma have arrived at an agreement on the main cause of rising insecurity in Nigeria.
They blamed the menace on unemployment in the land. The duo spoke yesterday at different fora.
Dr. Fayemi, who doubles as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Chairman, spoke in Abuja at the “Financing Safe Schools” programme.
The Imo governor made his observation while hosting members of the Course 14 of the National Institute for Security Studies at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Owerri.
They were on a study tour of Imo State. (Imo) State, Governor has identified youth unemployment and ethnic mistrust as the main root of criminality in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
Speaking at the programme on Tuesday, Fayemi said Nigeria must do more to address insecurity, stressing the need for a coordinated response to unemployment and addressing the socio-economic effects on citizens.
He said: “Even when we do all that is required of us, that is, stemming the tide of the problem of insecurity, brigandage, I think we need to look at the broader socio-economic response.
“It is good to be tough on crime. We must be tougher on the causes of crime. You cannot have a 33 per cent unemployment rate in any country and not expect to deal with the sociological implication of that.
“And that is an area that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum believes we must also work collaboratively with our partners, also work with our financial institutions and private sector in order to find the best mechanism to bring our youth to work.
“If we do that, we would have fundamentally played our role in addressing the causes of this untoward crisis that the country is dealing with.”
Also speaking on how insecurity has affected schoolchildren, Women Affairs Minister, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, urged Nigerians to speak out against the “disturbing trend”.
She said: “Since 2014, it has been one incident after the other. We’ve been battling with out-of-school children, ensuring that we reach out and increase advocacy for our children to be in school.
“But with the insecurity, what has happened in Zamfara, Kagara, Kaduna has created so much fear in the minds of parents. And if parents are scared of sending children to schools, where do we run to?
“Education is the greatest hope, life, wealth, and power. I call on all of us to be ambassadors, vanguards of speaking out, of giving the right information to our security chiefs.
“Government alone cannot do all. It is an emergency on our hands.”
Uzodimma noted that unemployment and ethnic distrust are often fueled by insensitive public statements by some members of the political class for selfish and primordial considerations above national interest.
According to him, such actions are the root of criminality in Nigeria and Africa in general.
He said the nexus between idleness and criminality informed his administration’s resolve to productively engage youths in his state.
The governor therefore advocated the need to find the cure for the two cancerous ailments “as a panacea to Nigeria and Africa experiencing relative safety.”
Uzodimma noted that his administration was working assiduously to resuscitate the state’s moribund industries by of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a seasoned private consulting firm for the purpose of providing jobs for the Imo teeming youths to keep them away from crime.
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