It was indeed a celebration of Excellence over the weekend as the Arewa Youth Council under the leadership of her National President, Hon Ambassador Dogo E Shagari organised Arewa Youth Leadership and Security Conference in Honor of Late Sir Ahmadu Bello, in Abuja.
This year’s conference with the Theme “Insecurity, Insurgency and poverty in Nigeria, The Boko Haram and Banditry question: North in Perspective” sought to find a lasting solution to the security challenges in the country.
Presenting his speech entitled “Youths as Catalyst for promoting peace in the Country,” the President of the group in his welcome address, did not hide his displeasure over the turn of events in the north.
According to him, “the North is now the epicenter and theatre of violence. From Boko Haram to farmers/herders conflict, banditry, kidnappings, ethno-religious conflicts, cattle rustling, etc., we are confronted with a crisis that is unparalleled in our history.”
Continuing, he said that “of the 19 northern states and the FCT, only Kwara State and the FCT are relatively peaceful or have the lowest rate of insecurity. But all the other 18 states are inflamed by one form of violence or the other.”
The AYC President added that to stem the tide of the rising menace, government at all levels and stakeholders must urgently begin to depopulate the pool from which youngsters are recruited into violence.
He added that it’s time for those who love the North to come out and begin the salvage mission.
The Guest Speakers Dr Ahmed Rufai and Alh Umaru Bako did justice to the topics and profer practical solutions to the rising insecurity and poverty in Northern Nigeria pointing out the role of young people in finding a lasting solution.
The Co. Chairman of the occasion Chief Engr Jude Eze [OBANE-EKU-OSHIMIRI] Igwe Elect Ugwunagbo Autonomous community, Nsukka LGA Enugu State emphasized the importance of unity and appreciate the efforts of the Leadership of the AYC. He further extolled the Executive Governor of Enugu State His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi for his Good Leadership in the State.
He also added that he looked forward for a more enriching Youth Conference of this nature.
The representative of the Chairman of the Occasion His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Prince Hon A.B Ahmad said that “to change a policy you must be part of the policy makers and to change a decision you must be part of the decision making process, hence young people must be actively engaged in all political processes.”
The FCT coordinator of the AYC Mallam Abdullahi Bilal, appreciated the high level of compassion, resilience tolerance and bridge building spirit of his Excellency Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Executive Governor of Enugu State over the rebuilding of the two Mosques rebuilt and handed over to the Muslim community in Nsukka and charged other leaders to emulate the Enugu state governor in calling for social interaction across Faith to replace the insufficient contact and interaction across faith.
He added that Truly “Enugu State is in the hands of God”
The representative of His Excellency Prof Babagana Umaru Zulum, the Governor of Borno State, Hon Abba Jatau applauded the Leadership of the AYC and prayed that the AYC will continue in its quest of rediscovering the north that is united, progressive and a home of all people of goodwill.
The Youth Leadership and Security Conference ended with Goodwill message from representative of Enugu State Governor, Hon. Oziokoja Ozioko Technical Assistant to the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Dr. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
In his speech Hon. Oziokoja said that all they do in Enugu state is to give God all the Glory.
Speaking further, he expressed his gratitude for the award.
“We sincerely appreciate the most outstanding, humble, peaceful and the youth friendly Governor: His Excellency Rt. Hon. Dr. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) the Executive Governor of Enugu State, for his unprecedented Good Governance, peace and Unity in diversity and the opportunity to represent Him on this remarkable ongoing Arewa Youths Council (AYC) Leadership Summit today in FCT Abuja, to discuss how to ameliorate insecurity Challenges that is bedeviling Nigeria especially Northern part of the country.
“Youths are the greatest reserve which any country can boast of and should be jealously guided for effective and positive utilization of her potentials and strength for the progress and development of the country.
“In order to effectively achieve this aim, youths should be committed to strengthening and promoting peace by fostering mutual understanding among themselves and not considering ethnic bias.
“Federal Government and the State should engage our youths through character education programmes/ reorientation. Kick off various youth Empowerment schemes, create jobs for the teaming jobless youths in the country who do not have any meaningful thing doing and other endeavours that would engage youths positively.
“This method of engaging youth would make them not to be idle because an idle mind they say is devil’s workshop.”
Hon. Oziokoja who received the award for the governor while expressing his optimism pointed out that “I am optimistic that at the end of this summit a new mindset would be inculcated into the minds of the youths for the good of the country and the appropriate authorities would swing into action to ameliorate the rising insecurity challenges in the country by doing the needful.
“May the Labour of our Heros Past never be in pain. We are beautiful people, we have rich Cultural heritage, we are blessed with lots of human and natural resources. All these blessings should be jealously guided for the progress of the country.
“In order to experience a Peaceful cooexistence and safe environment; •restructuring the security architectures in the country especially the Northern part should be done now than never; engaging best brains in security should be considered.
•Consolidating on the labour of our Heros past in the area of Security should not be jettisoned.
“This is because Nigeria Security System has been known as the best in the whole of Africa if not the World in General.
“I must appreciate Arewa Youth Council for organizing this summit geared towards brainstorming on the best way to tackle insecurity in our dear country.”
Finally, Hon. Oziokoja Ozioko Technical Assistant to the governor stated that ” given the antecedents of governor Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state, he is the leader that can unite thus country together.”
The high point of the occasion is the award of Leadership Excellence to the governor of Enugu state, Rt. Hon. Dr. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Dr. Chukwuemeka Asogwa SSA to the Governor and other dignitaries in Tue event.
From Pat Nnadi, Abuja.