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Youth unemployment, a huge time bomb, says Agwai

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie (Abuja), Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh (Uyo) and Ali Garba (Bauchi)
16 September 2016   |   4:08 am
A former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Martin Luther Agwai (rtd), says youth unemployment remains a major national security challenge.
Martin Luther Agwai

Martin Luther Agwai

•Ex-minister seeks end to bailouts to states
•A’Ibom group cautions against extra powers for President

A former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Martin Luther Agwai (rtd), says youth unemployment remains a major national security challenge.

Agwai, who spoke yesterday at the second seminar organised by the Institute for Security Studies for participants of Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC), warned that jobless youths could fall easy preys to rebel groups springing up across the federation.

He likened the scenario to a time-bomb waiting to explode.

“Youth unemployment is particularly a huge time bomb Africans are sitting on,” he remarked.

The erstwhile military chief, who was chairman of the event with theme, “Strengthening Security Sector Institutions: Challenges and Prospects for the Change Agenda,” blamed the activities of Boko Haram on politics.

According to him, the Islamic group could have been defeated long ago if leaders had not politicised its existence and activities.

While admitting that the present administration had curtailed insurgency in the North East to an extent, he, however, warned that the twin issues of health and lack of jobs constituted serious security concerns.

In the meantime, a one-time Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, yesterday enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to stop giving bailout funds to state governors.

Briefing newsmen in Bauchi, he lamented that the lifelines which were meant to defray salaries of workers had since been misapplied.

“Instead, the funds should be judiciously used in executing some projects that would create jobs in states,” he remarked.

According to him, the Federal Government should establish liaison offices in all states so that it could directly carry out projects that would impact positively on the citizens rather than doling out such huge money to the governors, whom he alleged, used half of the funds as their “security votes.”

Also yesterday, the Akwa Ibom Vanguard cautioned the National Assembly against hasty handling of the proposed Emergency Bill from the Presidency, saying assenting to the piece of legislation amounts to a “coup d’état against the country’s nascent democracy.”

Its spokesman and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Senator Anietie Okon, told a press conference in Uyo that the authentication of the bill would mean giving recognition to pseudo-dictatorship.