By CALEB AYANSINA
ABUJA — The Federal Government, yesterday, disclosed that it would rehabilitate no fewer than 2,000 youths in Yobe and Borno states, to change their mindset from the havoc wrecked by the Boko Haram sect.
The government also commissioned selected youths across the country on a peace campaign tagged I sign 4 Peace, geared toward restoring peace.
The project, Vanguard gathered, was to reduce the potential of insurgency and youth restiveness in Nigeria, and to extensively curtail face-off between community groups and multinational companies operating in their areas.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, to mark to mark the 2013 International Youth Day, the Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdulkadir said the rehabilitation programme would in due course be extended to Adamawa State.
Abdulkadir explained that the idea was aimed at orientating the youths to make them change their perception from the violence that had enveloped the states, as a result of Boko Haram crisis.
According to him, there was need to rehabilitate all the youths in the Northern parts of the country to make them shun all acts of violence that may result in crisis again, noting that Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states were selected as pilot states due to the state of emergency declared there by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Minister said since the youth constitutes the driving force of the society, there was need to re-mould them, so that they could continue to contribute to the development of the country without engaging in violence.
Speaking on the day’s theme, Youth Migration, Moving Development Forward, the Minister said most youths migrate from Nigeria to flee persecution, escape economic hardship, among others reasons.
He said: “Poverty, crowded and unsanitary living conditions and the challenges of finding decent employment are regular features of young migration. These are unacceptable.”
Also speaking, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Students Matters, Mr. Jude Imagwe, said I Sign 4 Peace was formed in response to the need for action to bring peace and unity to the country.
He said the project was the first of its kind in the country to practically mobilise, and re-orientate Nigerian youths towards the restoration and sustainability of peace.
He said: “The President is committed to building a better Nigeria, but we cannot achieve this without peace.”
In his inaugural speech, the Coordinator of the project, Mr. Charles Olufemi, said youths must play their part to ensure the wellbeing of Nigerians and direct their energy towards driving the country forward.
Olufemi said: “The goal of this initiative is to curb insecurity in the country.”