By Kenneth Ehigiator
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, has appealed to state and local governments as well as corporate bodies to assist in the training and empowerment of youths across the country to enable the authorities at the centre sustain ongoing post-amnesty programme.
Kuku spoke, weekend, as 258 former Niger Delta agitators left the shores of the country for training in marine-related fields like pipe-welding, diving and crane operations in India, the Philippines, South Africa and Poland.
According to him, the Federal Government alone cannot provide jobs for former Niger Delta agitators and the army of unemployed youths in the country.
He challenged government agencies to take up the gauntlet to train and empower youths in the country so that the Federal Government’s amnesty programme would not derail.
Kuku said: “There are over three million youths in the Niger Delta who are unemployed; who went to school; who do not have jobs. They do not have any form of engagement, they are not empowered. The anxiety is everywhere. This could lead to anger by some people.
“They say ‘because we are not ex-militants the Federal Government does not want to train us’. People are beginning to see amnesty as the only way of engaging youths. This could lead to some anxiety.
“The only way to correct this anomaly is to ensure that both local and state governments, and other governmental agencies work together to engage and involve all youths.”