Youth leader seeks collaboration with politicians in fight against insecurity
By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
The Chairman of a foremost youth group in Cross River state, Nka Ikemesit Mkparawa Essien Efik Duopeba, Mr Ekpo Ekeng, has appealed to political leaders in Cross River, particularly those of the Efik extraction, to collaborate with the youths so as to stem the tide of insecurity in the state.
In a chat with our reporter in Calabar, Ekeng charged them to also create mentorship and empowerment platforms for youths, saying doing so would drastically reduce security challenges.
He appealed to Efik sons and daughters to draw the youths closer and to endeavour to come up with programmes which could give Cross River youths a sense of belonging, saying security ravaging the state was fueled by joblessness, frustration and anger.
The youth leader believed that if governments at all levels and the political class, particularly those from Cross River, would take job creation as a priority, part of the problem would have been solved.
“It is possible to reduce drastically cases of insecurity of only our political leaders would show concern. They need to passionately organise and talk to our youths and let them know they still have a future. We have to start talking to our youths and also create a pathway for them to walk in light.
“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Idleness creates opportunity for youths to join evil and destructive gangs. If our political leaders would priotise empowerment of our youths, accommodate and create jobs for them, I tell you, a greater percentage of whàt we see destroying our country will reduce drastically.
“From my investigations, frustration and anger seems to be responsible for spates of attacks the youths are unleashing on the country. Our leaders should also know that the stick approach, employing violence to stop violence, will not achieve anything. Guns do not stop such issues, it is the peaceful talks that could play the magic,” he said.
While lauding the Cross River government for establishing and for the success story of Operation Akpakwu security unit, he said things could turn around for the better if the elites would have the love to draw the rampaging youths closer, sit them down and talk to them as leaders, father’s, ain’t and senior sisters.
Ekeng also appealed to leaders at the local government level to do in their locality whatever the federal and state government were doing to give youths a sense of belonging.
“The federal and state government are trying to initiate empowerment schemes for youths to benefit from, leaders at the local government should do same because the local government is nearer to the people,” he stated.
“Calabar is our heritage, our Paradise city, and we don’t have anywhere to run to. Build companies in Efik land and lift our youths from poverty and frustration,” Ekeng advocated.