Unemployed northern youth time bomb, ACF warns




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The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Wednesday warned that the increasing army of unemployed youth in the northern region is a time bomb waiting to explode.

The leading socio-cultural group also lambasted Northern governors for failing to address unemployment and other negative socio-economic situations faced by youths in the region forcing them into criminality. 

 ACF Chairman Board of Trustees (BOT) Ambassador Shehu Malami disclosed this at the 2nd meeting of the Board in Kaduna.

He tasked the Northern governors to industrialise the region, as well as establish financial institutions to facilitate employment and development.

The BOT chairman also lamented the dwindling economic fortunes of the country, noting that the negative effects of the nation’s economy were more pronounced in the North than any part of the country.

He also berated “government’s ineffective and inefficient monetary policies, which led to the current, hyper-inflationary trends stiffing the economic and industrial growths and well-being of our people.

 “It appears that our leadership in the North is yet to understand and appreciate the bad situation of our youths. They are a time bomb which can explode at any given moment. It is utterly injurious and catastrophic to delay any action to salvage them from lethargy, drugs and substance abuse and despondency, banditry and many more vices we can think of.

 “No sensible being will be happy to rely on any form of palliative. Every average person wants to earn his living. Our leaders must show enough seriousness on the future well-being of the youth. They must find the way and means to encourage them in productive activities. As critical stakeholders, it behoves on us to conscientiously address our state governments in the North to take decisive actions towards industrialising the region. 

“Northern governors and persons of means should be in a position to establish banking and other financial institutions to facilitate growth and development. Solid minerals and other resources abound in every state of our region which should be tapped as a matter of priority and urgency for our collective good. To neglect agriculture is to court disaster and peril to ourselves.”

On insecurity, Malami said: “Boko Haram insurgency, Fulani wanton killings and kidnappings, herders/farmers face off, and other insurgent groups masquerading as the Fulani, have come to pose a more security challenges facing the government and citizens, particularly in the North.”

 The BOT chairman also took a critical look at various agitations for restructuring and breaking up the country, noting that, “while we do not harbour any fears for all these gimmicks, we must seriously be on our guard to stem any untoward moves from any group on our region. 

 “We need proper preparation even if dialogue is preferred against any form of physical confrontation. It is for this that the ACF should take every reasonable step to interface with our counterparts; the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the South-South Peoples Conference, the Oduduwa and the Afenifere as proposed last week during the NEC meeting of the ACF.”

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