International Youth Day: A call to Jigawa governor

Every year, August 12 is set aside as International Youth Day. Jigawa youth should not be exceptional to celebrate, jubilate or express the horrible conditions they are experiencing especially at this crucial or material time when hope to better their lives seems to be lost.

According to 2023 population census pre-test Jigawa has about 7 million people with the youth in Jigawa constituting 50% of the population. 90% of the youth population is currently underemployed or unemployed. And the wages of those who are employed cannot sustain them.

Every youth has the right to good life, qualitative education, good health, right of expression and the right to job opportunity (employment) among others. Yet in the society, youths die due to lack or poor health care delivery, starvation, youth roam the streets in search of livelihood and employment with a hope for the future. I don’t know if this government has planned or is planning to assist the large segment of unemployed youths in Jigawa state. Mind you, even empowerment is another avenue to reduce unemployment but it is also not accessible (in place).

If people do not have work, they do not make any money, thus high unemployment leads to hunger, diseases, crime and chromic poverty. According to survey conducted by UNICEF, it shows that about 71% of Nigerians lives below poverty line. The poor are are categorized as 36% who are the core poor and 35% who are moderately poor; 29% are not poor.

People who are wealthy enough not to feel the pinch of hardship are only about 3% of the population, a negligible number in a country of over 200 million people.
Most disturbing is the frustration of poverty and unemployment in most Jigawans caused by the negligence of the abundant resources (potential) which if utilised will make all northerners, if not all Nigerians, happy but it is the contrary.

We hope and pray that in the Governor Umar Namadi administration, farmers in Jigawa state will enjoy the maximum support in food production, including the use of mechanised agriculture system. This will encourage fishing and livestock farming which will go a long way to halt or reduce farmers/herders clashes in the state. The APC government at the top should do something urgently to ensure that moribund industries such as the textiles and manufacturing industries (in Kano and Kaduna) that had provided jobs for millions of Nigerians are revived. The issue of reviving the production and export of agricultural produce like groundnuts, cotton and cocoa that had hitherto sustained the economy should be revisited with a view of creating employment for the youth, especially in Jigawa state whereby production of rice, wheat, onions, beans and other agricultural products are boosted through the encouragement and support by government just as fertiliser was recently subsidised by Malam’s administration in state.

The present situation whereby many youth are unemployed gives miscreants the opportunity to recruit them to perpetrate dastardly acts that have been on the increase of late in the country. The insecurity in the country especially in the north is perpetrated by youth, most of them unemployed.

We hope to have less youth in the streets and other places, more in schools and other employed. The Jigawa youth are responsible citizens. We will shun and say no to drug abuse, fraud, corruption and other vices. We say no to militancy, laziness and political thuggery. We are law abiding, committed and we promise to be great leaders of tomorrow. If youth continue to commit suicide or die due to frustration, deprivation, negligence and the like, who will take the mantle of leadership of the state and the country, Nigeria?

The youth should be reminded that their stage (youthful age) is the most critical phase in a person’s life. These are years or times that he or she is still energetic and full of vigour.

Youthful age is the period that determines the remaining period of his or her life when he or she does not have the strength to strive and struggle again if a youth uses this opportunity to do the right things by challenging him or herself to what is correct, meaningful and useful to himself, his family, his community, his country and to humanity in general. Jigawa of my dreams.

May God help us and guide us aright. Amen.

Adamu Muhammad Usman,
Kafin-Hausa, Jigawa state
[email protected]