Kogi’s Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, Mr Arome Adoji has charged youths to support efforts by the federal and state governments toward tackling security challenges in the state.
Adoji gave the charge on Monday in Lokoja, in a speech at the maiden edition of Kogi West Youth Empowerment Summit, and the launch of “Kogi Must Remain Safe” campaign.
The commissioner said that the support and contributions of the youths was crucial to the success of efforts to tackle security challenges because they were always at the centre of such challenges, either as perpetrators or victims.
He said that the security summit was timely and would complement effort by the Kogi government toward ridding the state of crime and criminals.
The official lamented that government was spending huge sums of money on security, saying that such monies would have been better deployed into development projects to improve living standards.
Adoji, however, expressed happiness that the efforts had yielded fruits as the state was now safer.
Mr Deola Eseyin, Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth Empowerment, Sports and Students’ Affairs, equally described the programme as “timely”, saying that it would complement government’s efforts in that direction.
“This programme will unveil the importance of youth empowerment as a pivotal mechanism in dealing with insecurity.”
“Youths are the machinery through which the foundation of security can be firmly built; once youths are positively engaged via productive empowerment, they will have no time for deviant criminal activities,” he said.
Mr Adebanji Aiyelabowo, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Empowerment (Kogi West), in his remarks, said that the essence of the summit was to complement the efforts of the governor toward securing lives and property.
“I want the youths to collaborate with security agencies in their efforts to fish out and deal with criminal elements. That should be their prime contributions to our efforts,” he said.
Mr Edward Onoja, Chief of Staff to the Governor, commended the organisers of the event as security was a key priority of the Gov Yahaya Bello-led Administration.
“Insecurity was the other of the day in the past few years. Gov. Bello was a direct victim of that dark past because his 80-year-old mother was kidnapped and kept in an unknown destination for 93 days.
“Today, the story has changed; Kogi is now safe. Government efforts have been successful and such efforts have even attracted numerous awards both locally and internationally,” he said.