Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Presidential Adviser on the Amnesty Programme, Gen. Paul Boroh, has said the federal government is preparing beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta for life after oil.
This came as the Rivers State chapter of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) said it was prepared to launch a campaign against hate speeches by youths and ethnic groups.
Speaking at a forum in Port Harcourt to mark the United Nations 2017 International Youth Day, Boroh urged the youth in the region to take advantage of the gesture as oil would not last forever.
He called on the Niger Delta youths to prepare for life after oil by making use of the skills, knowledge and experience they gained while undergoing training.
The forum was put in place by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Nevido Media in collaboration with NOA with the support of the Nigerian Youth Council and other bodies.
Boroh called for paradigm shift in thinking and focus among the youths and beneficiaries of the amnesty, saying, â€œsince it has become clear that oil will not last forever, there is need to prepare the youths for the future.â€
He noted that the federal Amnesty programme had the mandate to train 30,000 youths out of which it had already trained 16,000.
Represented by the Head, Monitoring and Evaluation in the federal amnesty, Mr. Bestman Probel, Boro explained that this was why â€œthe youths have been drawn into training in agriculture and skills while an exit programme whereby the youths after training are mobilised to start practicing the trade they learnt.â€™â€™
In his remarks the Rivers state Director of NOA, Mr. Oliver Wolugbom, expressed concern that Nigerian youths have abandoned the old cherished value system and taken to kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery, thuggery and other odious practices that debase humanity.
â€œIt is equally a source of concern that all the centrifugal forces such as separatist movements by ethnic bodies and their accompanying hate speeches are being bandied by the youths,â€ he said, adding that for peace to be built in the society, the youths must be properly positioned while the leadership restrategise to plan for them.
Earlier in her welcome address the Convener of the forum and director of Nevido Media, Miss Vivian Douglas, said that her organisation put up the forum to mark the youth day and use it as a wakeâ€“up call for the Nigerian Youth to look up to the future by refocusing today.
She said since this yearâ€™s international youth celebrations theme is â€˜Youths, Pioneers for Peace,â€™ the Nigerian youths should realise that he should be the conveyor belt of peace in his community in order to ensure his own development and the general development of the society.