By Dayo Johnson
AKUREâ€”FORMER Chairman of the National Examination Commission (NECO) and the immediate Secretary to the Ondo State government, Mr Isaacs Kekemeke yesterday advocated â€œeducation solutionâ€ as a panacea to the youthsâ€™ restiveness and militancy in the Niger Delta region of the Country.
Kekemeke said in Akure â€œby introducing compulsory qualitative education in all the states of the Niger Delta, the youths would have been handed a life meal ticket which would provide their needs in later”.
The youths of the oil-producing Delta region according to him â€œwere forced into what they engaged now because they had no other means of livelihoodâ€.
â€œIt is not an easy thing being a militant engaging in criminal activities and constantly trying to run away from the law. It is a life that I believe the youths who engage in it are not happy living. The Nigeria nation and the circumstances of our statehood forced them into doing it. I believe they would be glad if they had better choiceâ€.
He spoke at the presentation of certificate and cash awards to the winners of the 2008 â€œHon. D.I Kekemeke Essay Competitionâ€, a yearly exercise.
Kekemeke blamed the current unfortunate scenario on the neglect of the education system by successive administrations, arguing that â€œfree and compulsory education should be provided so that the potency of education as an instrument of social development could be explored to the regionâ€™s advantageâ€.
The former Scribe therefore enjoined both the Federal and state governments of the nine Oil producing states â€œto prioritize human capacity building of the youths of the area and make it one of the pillars of development so that whatever efforts we are putting in place today would not be destroyed by aggrieved youths tomorrowâ€.
The D.I Kekemeke Essay Competition according to him was instituted to promote scholarship among both junior and senior secondary school students in the state.