By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa — Bayelsa State Government’s crusade against cultism received a boost weekend, with 11,000 youths openly renouncing their membership of various secret cult groups.
The oath taking ceremony for the repentant cultists was administered by the state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Chief Francis Egele.
Speaking at the event, at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson, said that government plans to train 10,000 youths drawn from the eight local government areas of the state in different vocations.
According to him, N1 billion had been set aside as soft loans for young entrepreneurs, adding that a youth summit would soon be held in the state to enable government identify their problems.
Commending the decision of youths in the state to renounce cultism and other acts of criminality, the governor, said that the empowerment programme was part of his administration’s Restoration Agenda.
He said that the training will commence in two months time after the conclusion of their verification exercise.
He said: “If we do not help to build you all, then our future will not be assured. You are all aware of what our restoration government is doing; building schools, roads, hospitals, investing in security and making our state safe, talking to people to come here to invest so that we can create jobs for you.”
“All of these will come to nothing, if we don’t equip you with the skills that you need to partake in the economy to protect our future. This exercise is not the end but the beginning, by the time my team concludes the verification exercise, while will be detailed, local government by local government, when we are through with all of these, we are going to engage you in a special youth empowerment programme. A total of 10,000 youths will be engaged.”
The beneficiaries, according to the governor will be trained in agriculture, traffic warden and the special surveillance system.