The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has been described as the most youth-unfriendly and youth-oppressive government in the history of Nigeria.
Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), the umbrella body of all youth groups in the South-East geopolitical zone, which gave the description, accused Buhari of relegating Nigerian youths to the background.
This is as the group has also issued seven-day ultimatum to resolve the protracted strike by university lecturers or brace up for the wrath of the Nigerian youths.
COSEYL, in a statement by its President General, Comrade Goodluck Ibem, yesterday, further alleged that “Buhari’s policies are particularly targeted at oppressing Nigerian youths from achieving their goals economically, educationally, politically and otherwise.”
The statement made available to newsmen, read:”There is indeed a thick conspiracy against the Nigerian youths aimed at holding her perpetually on the ground in all ramifications never to rise up but they will fail.
“It is on record that the All Progressives Congress (APC), raised the cost of her nomination/expression of interest form above the reach of the Nigerian youth.
“The Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of APC and PDP are all old men and during elections, they will be coming to the youths to vote for them. This is really retrogressive.
“In the Federal Executive Council (FEC), made up of ministers, there are no youths. The youths are completely excluded from the governance of our nation and scheme of things.
“If you are not old and moving with a walking stick, you are not allowed near this present administration. The gate pass or entry permit of this government is to be an old man or woman, and you will be given an opportunity to hold any political or elective office.
“The present administration gives opportunity to only old men and women. This is what has brought our nation today to her knees both economically, educationally and politically.
“Our youths join Boko Haram, ISWAP, bandits and kidnappers today because that is the only opportunity created for them by this present administration. Our youths were termed lazy youths by President Muhammadu Buhari in a speech outside the shores of Nigeria.
“The only place where this administration created opportunity for our youths is in the world of crime and drug abuse using the instruments of hardship and unemployment which it created.
“All the bandits, kidnappers, Boko Haram and ISWAP are all youths. Why? Because this administration does not want our youths near the corridors of power, governance or even in schools as the government has blatantly refused to resolve the ASUU strike so that our students who are mostly youths will remain in their homes doing nothing.
“We can now understand that the main purpose of this strike is to create room for our youths to be easily available for crime and drug abuse.
“Statistics has shown that the index of drug abuse has drastically increased because of the prolonged strike by our tertiary institutions.
“The bedrock of any nation is the youths. No nation can achieve greatness and success without the massive contributions of her youths.
“We, therefore, demand that the Federal Government should resolve the ASUU strike within the next seven days so that our youths can go back to school.
“We demand that the Federal Government should reverse her retrogressive policy of excluding the Nigerian youths from governance and political participation.
“We demand that the Federal Government should provide gainful employment opportunities for our youths. Our moribund industries should be revitalized in order to provide employment our youths.
“We demand that the Federal Government should provide empowerment schemes for our youths. This will help to make them unavailable for crime”.
Substance Abuse Becoming Thing Of Concern -Odu
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Prof. Ngozi Nma Odu, has lauded the important role pharmacists play in the wellbeing of the society.
Odu gave this commendation while playing host to members of Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The deputy governor said while others are sleeping, pharmacists work hard “to ensure we all live in a better society, especially when you talk about the dangers of substance abuse.”
Odu stressed that, “It is really becoming a thing of great concern because of the level of children getting involved in this thing. It is even coming down to primary schools which now increases the burden of what you are doing, so we appreciate you for what you are doing for the society which we all are living in.”
The deputy governor extolled the lady pharmacists for the scholarship scheme they were sponsoring, noting that it was “amazing because when you change the narrative of somebody’s life, you become what they call a destiny helper.”
The deputy governor added, “So, for me, it is something I would encourage. Even the Bible says when you do it for them you have done unto God. It is a thing we get a lot of blessings out off, you may not see it now but some day it will definitely come.”
She expressed gratitude to them for their support for the Fubara-led administration which according to her has continued to spur them into action.
“Let me thank you for upholding the governor and myself in prayers, because without prayers we won’t be here, many people have prayed and God has heard, please do not stop, even for good governance, we need God to grant us the wisdom and knowledge of what to do”, she said.
In her remarks, Chairman of the Rivers State Branch of Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, Ebelechukwu Odom, said they were at the Government House to identify with the Governor Fubara-led administration in the ongoing restructuring of the state, and pledged their allegiance and unflinching support to the administration.
She assured that they would utilize the competences of Lady Pharmacists in Rivers State and synergize with partners for improvement in health, education, research development and socio-economic wellbeing of humanity through relevant and appropriate interventions, projects and programmes.
RSG Denies Rumours Of Cholera Outbreak In Soku
The Rivers State Government says it is not aware of any cholera outbreak in Soku community in the Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the State.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt by the State Ministry of Health.
According to the statement signed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Chidinma Oreh, the clarification was necessary following numerous enquiries from the media over a purported outbreak of cholera in Soku community.
The statement read in part, “The Rivers State Ministry of Health has received numerous enquiries from the Press regarding an alleged outbreak of cholera in Soku community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area.
“Public health teams dispatched to investigate these alleged cases and deaths have so far received no confirmation of such.”
While describing cholera as a waterborne infectious disease, the commissioner said that the disease is notifiable, warranting escalating reports from disease surveillance and notification officers at the community level.
The statement clarified that the ongoing medical outreach in Soku community is in no way related to any outbreak of cholera.
“Outreaches have always been a way of getting accessible health care to underserved and vulnerable population, however, all such outreach activities must be conducted with approval from and in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health and as such no entity should be conducting outreaches outside the coordination of the ministry”, it warned.
The ministry further said that all infectious diseases of this nature are reported, managed and escalated by the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
Dr. Oreh said the statement should serve as a strong warning to anyone conducting or planning health activities without due recourse to the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
She added that any such activities found to be carried out without the knowledge and clearance of the State Ministry of Health will be fully investigated and dealt with in order to ensure the protection of the lives of the people.
“Therefore, the general public and members of the Press are advised to disregard the rumours making the round on an ongoing outbreak of cholera and the death of some citizens of Soku community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State as it is presently unfounded, misguided and capable of causing panic amongst citizens and residents.
“The general public is thus urged to remain calm and rest assured that the Rivers State Ministry of Health will continue to be a veritable source of public health information in the state”, the statement concluded.
Bill On State Police Scales Second Reading
The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading a bill to provide for the establishment of state police in the country.
Sponsored by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu and 14 others, the bill seeks to alter the relevant Sections of the 1999 Constitution to pave the way for states to establish their own policing outfits.
As lawmakers took turns to contribute to the debate on the floor of the House during yesterday’s plenary, Kalu who stood in for the Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen, urged members to look beyond political ambitions and think about the safety of Nigerians and Nigeria.
Also speaking, Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos) said, “It is the job of the police to maintain law and order. We have a population of over 200m people but we have a police strength that is less than 400,000. State Police should be created to address the internal security challenges of Nigeria.”
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