Philip Atume

Mr. Ralph Zabbey, a guest on Today on STV said it calls for a big concern that our government has not done anything to correct the issue of idleness and restiveness among youth.

The Chairman, Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress, said they have come in to collate, assist, and groom them in the right direction because; most times, the job is too much for the government.

He also said the Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress has come to partner with the government to stop idleness and restiveness among youth in Niger Delta.

He laid emphasis on “idleness” as the major issue among youth, which is the reason people think they are restive; stressing that gainful employment is one of the solution to the problem.

He kicked against politicians’ temporal engagement of youth during election, asking several question like, “After the election what is put in place for them? How are they used? How do they contribute to the society?

But he was rather in support of them becoming gainfully employed in jobs like agriculture and creation of some schemes, because Nigerian youth are energetic and ideological. They also have so many things they can do.

He explained further that the engagement of youths by politicians’ to win election only, is the reason for idleness and restiveness which later transcends into crime; emphasizing with a rhetorical question: “after the election, what do you do for the youth?” 

He also gave a statistics of youth, constituting more than 60% of our total population when reacting to the recent amendment by the National Assembly to reduce the age of youth participating in government; admitting it is a step in the right direction.

He stressed further that as at 2010, population of youths was about 33million. So, they should be included in decision making.   Using Yugoslavia as an example, he said the youth were able to force a sitting president out of office. In this regard, the youth have the power to change government.

Reacting to the an excerpt of Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo encouraging youth to go into politics, he said, “Our elders don’t have us at heart,  if they do they won’t backstab us or undermine our efforts and not giving us the chance to vie for political position.”

In his concluding words, he said, “Youth should be empowered to vie for political position. But how do we get this power when we are not effectively managed? No financial capabilities, and we are not employed. When we are empowered, we can now say we want to go for elective position.”