The Federal Government should pursue the perpetrators of Nigeria’s numerous killings rather than pointing accusing fingers at the youths, according to a political organization under the umbrella of the North-East Youth Initiative for Development.
YEYID stated recent events have confirmed that the country has “turned to something else,” while encouraging the government to involve youths in nation-building and governance.
These were stated by Dauda Gombe, the Executive Director of NEYID, in an interview with journalists in Abuja during an inaugural national youth dialogue and workshop to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas in order to change the narrative that youths are to blame for Nigeria’s insecurity and killings.
According to him, all the statistics about serial killings, particularly in the North East, were made up.
Over 60 youngsters from the North-East, North-West, and North-Central, as well as other areas affected by banditry, Boko Haram, and ISWAP, attended the event, which was organized by NEYID in collaboration with Plan International Nigeria, an international human rights organization.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who spoke electronically at the event, expressed delight at the youths’ dedication to addressing security concerns, saying it had confirmed that he was not alone.
He explained, “I will always avail myself for the youths. I am happy to see that you’re part of the struggle and security is at the centre of the struggle. We will continue to appeal to our conscience.”
According to Gombe, the moment had come to shift the narrative in Nigeria about youths and killings.
He stated: “The country has turned to something else; we believe that we have the solution, we have to prove that we are not responsible for the killings.
“Who is responsible? They are pointing accusing fingers at youths; therefore, we have come together to change the narrative to tell the world who actually we are and our contribution in finding a lasting solution to the security challenges affecting this nation.
The problems are not the youths, but the sponsors.
“The government, especially politicians, should provide the enabling environment for young people to be in governance.
“We are going to issue a communique to send the right message to the government to inject the right people in the right places because most of the time the government will tell you they are engaging the youths. But the issue is that they are not engaging the right people, everything has been politicized in this nation.”
Gombe also questioned the accuracy of government figures on the number of people killed or injured in the country’s security difficulties.
He added: “Any statistics you get is just an assumption, the number of people killed or being killed every day in this country is beyond thinking and nobody can give you the accurate figure.
“Even the government is just trying, but nobody can give you the accurate figure because some of the places that these things are happening nobody know; they are not even accessible, the bushes don’t even have network, water, and security. We are just using manageable figures being released by the government or by others who feel they have a reasonable number. But the truth is that nobody has the accurate figure, and the figure is beyond thinking.”