Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Wednesday in Yenagoa disclosed that over 11,000 youths from the eight local government areas in the state have denounced cultism.
Speaking during a parley with youth representatives at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Yenagoa, the Governor described the willingness and acceptability of the affected youths to jettison cultism as a product of his administration’s Restoration Agenda which is centred around youths.
Warning the youths against involving themselves crimes and criminality, the Governor said no state or nation thrives in an atmosphere of chaos.
Condemning the killing of security operatives at Azuzuama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, he said Bayelsa was gradually becoming the centre of attraction and will not tolerate any incident that would breach the existing peace in the state.
Expressing his administration’s readiness to further partner with the youths in the State, the Governor disclosed that a Youth Summit would soon be organized for repentant cultists as a first step towards reintegrating them back into the society as well as contribute their quota to the development of the state and the country.
Hon. Dickson, therefore warned the youths against being used by selfish and position seeking politicians to foment trouble in the state, stressing that era of politicking is over for now.
‘Let me warn some of you, it is not yet time for politics and politicking. We will not tolerate such activities in the system for now, we want to perform. When it is time for politics, you will hear from us. We want you to focus on working with government to ensure that we make life more meaningful for our people. Your duty is to preach the gospel of peace and cooperation to other youths and make sure you are not used by misguided elements.
On the Subsidy RE-investment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, Governor Dickson, explained that the programme was targeted at young people who do not have a means of livelihood.
He noted that the funds from the SURE-P were the first batch of payment and everybody cannot benefit from it and appealed for understanding since it was an ongoing exercise.
In his remarks, the Special Adviser on Youths Mobilization and Empowerment, Hon. Timi Ogoriba, said the SURE-P funds were strictly meant for people residing in the local government areas pointing out that in the first batch, 300 forms were distributed amongst the 105 wards in the state and assured that nobody would be shortchanged.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Youth Empowerment, Mr. Akpoebide Alamieyeseigha hailed Governor Dickson for identifying with the youths and urged them not to maximize the opportunity.
He noted that the idea of disbursing the SURE-P funds to the rural dwellers was for such people to have a sense of belonging.
In their separate responses, Chairman of the National Youth Council, Mr. Bright Igrubia as well as youths from Southern Ijaw and Sagbama local government areas, Oyinkarina Ebidou and Godfrey Alagoa, spoke on the need to establish a Peace and Discipline Corps in the state.
They also appealed for increment in their allowances and logistics to enable them carry out their duties of mobilizing other youths to key into the restoration agenda of government.