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Youth Empowerment Panecea To Restiveness – Group

Sep 10, 2023

By Joy Gadani

Participants at a one-day interactive session on challenges and prospects of youths in leadership have suggested Empowering youths to fend for themselves as the only way to end their restiveness

This is just as the Chairman of the NGO “Think Tank Foundation, a Non-governmental organization, organizers of the session held in Kaduna, Don Olivera Idahosa had noted at the opening, that for some years now, youths have been regarded as leaders of tomorrow, whereas they believe that leadership starts today.

Good leadership, he emphasized, could only be achieved when young persons are empowered and their capacities built to become responsible independent persons in the society
The goal of the NGO, Olivera Idahosa emphasized, is to see that youths who are the future of governance in Nigeria are able to take up leadership positions both at the grassroots and globally. “As an organization we decided to hold this programme at the grassroots and targeted Kantin Agah and Black Street in Sabo Area of Kaduna South, due to the negative activities associated with the community, ranging from phone snatching, breaking and entering, rape and substance abuse. “We discovered that these youths find this as a norm”, some of them are on the black list of security agencies due to one crime or the other. “We have come up with this programme to listen to them and identify their challenges, then we can find solutions together to these challenges for a better society, he said”.

Olivera said the programme would be in phases, the first phase was the interactive session, aimed at having a need assessment and subsequently organize for skills acquisition, financial empowerment, rehabilitation or whatever the need of the different individuals benefitting from the programme will be. “We don’t want to force them to do anything, by the time they tell us what they want to do, we will then liaise with our partner institutions and develop a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure their training takes its course”

Also speaking, an aspirant for the Kaduna State House of Assembly for Chikun by-election under the Labour Party (LP), Solomon Danbaki stated that despite the challenges of youths, one way to end restiveness, is by empowering them to fend for themselves.

According to him, the need for spiritual, social and economic empowerment, are keys to ending social vices as well as promoting youth inclusion in development and good governance.

On his part, Titus Madaki, a participant and youth leader from Kantin Agah, the challenges of youths in the community is as a result of idleness and unemployment.

He said the Think Tank initiative is a welcomed development and good idea as people from the community are hopeful that whatever skills they will acquire from the project will impact their community positively.
Titus advised that sensitization programmes like this were good saying however that there is need for organizations to have a rehabilitation sustainability plan for survivors of substance abuse to ensure that they do not go back to their old habits.

Hadiza Mohammed who was also a participant and appeared to be vocal and passionate about the challenges of youths in Nigeria, said she loves coming to the community because of the acceptance she enjoys despite the fact that she is a Muslim in a Christian dominated community.

According to her, mid-life crisis and ‘broken home syndrome’ are two major factors responsible for the life of crime and substance abuse associated with the area.

She said most issues of society start from the home; therefore, parents owe it to society to bring up sound people in society. The community has to create guidance and counseling sessions in schools. “We don’t have social centres in communities”, she said.

According to her, the lack of guidance and counselling, and community based social centres also contributes to youths turning to the life of crime.

Kantin Agah and Black Street are two communities in Sabon Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, North west Nigeria. These two communities have been identified as hotspot of all sorts of social vices ranging from rape, distribution of illicit substances, phone snatching, rape, and robbery.

Kantin Agah was one of the illicit drug communities where operatives of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested 84 suspects, seizing 451.976kg drugs in Kaduna.