By: Adamu Muhd Usman
Every year, August 12 is set aside as International Youth Day. Jigawa youths should not be an exception to celebrate, jubilate or express their horrible conditions they are experiencing especially at this crucial or material time when hope to better their lives seems to be lost.
According to 2006 population census, Jigawa has over 4 Million people, out of these number, youth in Jigawa constitute 50% of the population and 90% of the youth population is currently under employed and unemployed and those who are employed, the wages they earn cannot at all sustain them.
Every youth has the right to good life, qualitative education, good health, right of expression and the right to job opportunity among others.Yet in the society, youths die due to lack or poor healthcare delivery, starvation, youth roam the streets in search of livelihood and employment with a hope for the future. I don’t know what this government has planned or is planning all this while to assist the large segment of unemployed youths in this state. Mind you not empowerment.
If people do not have work, they do not make any money, thus high rate of unemployment leads to huger, diseases, crime and chronic poverty. According to a survey conducted by UNICEF, about 71% of Nigerians live below poverty line. The poor are made up to 36% who are the core poor and 35% who are moderately poor. 29% are not poor.
The number of people who are wealthy enough not to feel the pinch of the hardship in only about 3% of the population, a negligible number in a country of over 190 million.
Most disturbing about the frustrating rate of poverty and unemployment of most Nigerians is the negligence of abundant resources (potentials) which if utilized it will make all Nigerians happy. But on the contrary, such abundant resources are untapped.
We expect APC led government from inception should have done something to ensure that moribund industries such as the textiles and manufacturing industries that had provided jobs for millions of Nigerians are revived. The issue of reviving the production and export of agricultural produce like ground nuts, cotton and cocoa that had hitherto sustained the economy should be revisited with the view of creating employment for the youth.
The present situation whereby so many youths are unemployed gives miscreants the opportunity to recruit them to perpetrate dastardly acts that have been on the increase of late in the country. The mayhem that was unleashed in some parts of the country following the announcement of presidential election results in 2007, 2011 and 2015 because of frustration, jubilation/celebration of Buhari’s loss and wining was perpetrated by youth, most of them unemployed.
We hope to have less youth on the streets and other places more in schools and other employed. The Jigawa Youth will aspire to be responsible citizens. We will shun or say No to drug abuse, fraud, corruption and other social vices. We say No to militancy, laziness and political thugs. We will be law abiding, committed and we promised to be great leaders of tomorrow. If youth continue to commit suicide or die due to frustration, deprivation, and negligence and alike, who will take the mantle of leadership of the state and the country, Nigeria?
At this point in time, the Youths should be reminded that their stage (youthful age) is the most critical period in a person’s life.. These are years or times that he or she is still energetic and full of vigour.
Youthful age is the period that determines the remaining period of his or her life when he or she does not have the strength to strive and struggle again. It is better if the youth use this opportunity to do the right things by challenging him or herself to what is correct, meaningful and useful to himself, his family, his community, his country and to humanity in general. May God help us and guide us aright. Amen.
Adamu writes from Kafin-Hausa, Jigawa state