By Segun Awofadeji
The Coalition of North-eastern Patriots (CONEP) has called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency increase the revenue grants to the north eastern states considering the insecurity challenges facing the sub-region.
The Interim Chairman of CONEP, Mr. Suleiman SK Bauchi who made the call yesterday during a meeting of the coalition held at the Command Guest House, Bauchi lamented that the “entire zone is being faced with the highest rate of youth unemployment than any other zone in the country”.
He expressed worry that “despite the fact that the governors in the zone are desperate and willing to employ more youth into the public service, it became impossible due to insufficient revenue which results into considerable increase in youth recruitment into violent groups”.
He, however, noted that the North-eastern zone “is the most blessed area in terms of agricultural and mining investment resources but despite much efforts, the state governors are trying to convince investors for patronage which could have reduced considerably the over dependent on the public service, proved abortive due to fear of insecurity affecting the zone”.
Bauchi used the occasion to “ sympathise and commiserate with the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umaru Zulum over his predicament on the recent unfortunate deadly attacks on him and his convoy in the course of discharging his leadership responsibilities to the good people of Borno State “.
He then called on all citizens of the zone to include all “ our leaders in their daily prayers for peace, for without peace, we say good bye to all forms of development in the zone “.
He urged all the governors of the north-eastern states to unite themselves irrespective of partisan politics and come up with a strong means of tackling insecurity matters locally rather than solely relying on federal government.