Frontline northern woman activist and founder of the Salama Youth Empowerment Organisation, (SYEO), Hajia Naja’atu Muhammad, has identified poverty and unemployment as the major reasons behind insecurity in northern Nigeria.
Hajia Naja’atu, at a town hall meeting which was held in Sokoto yesterday to sensitise youths on the federal government’s entrepreneurship and empowerment programmes, noted that many youths, who constitute 70% of the population, are unemployed, illiterate and ignorant of the consequences of social vices.
She said; “Our youths are like uranium; uranium, when in its original form is harmless, but this same uranium can be used to produce a nuclear bomb. Our youths have channeled their energy into banditry because they are idle.
“Politicians in the region have taken advantage of the idleness and ignorance of the youth, using them as political thugs during elections”.
She further said the Salama Empowerment Initiative had 272 associations under it, stressing that she would push forward to see that what belongs to them comes to them.
“You know, these politicians, most of them are insincere, when it comes to empowerment programmes they corner it to themselves, some give peanuts to these people that empowerment is meant for,” she added.
Naja’atu promised to meet the Central Bank governor to source funds for empowerment projects, while urging the youths to form cooperatives in order to enable them to benefit from such programmes.
The NDLEA Zonal Commandant for Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, Misbahu Idris, implored the youth to desist from drug abuse due to its adverse effects.
“In this part of the country, many young people are healthy; but instead of looking for something to do, they decided to be idle; how would they not take to crime”, he said.
While counseling the youths to engage in productive ventures instead of begging for money to buy destructive drugs, Idris noted that with Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) in the NDLEA, there was no hiding place for drug barons.