By Lukman Dahiru Abubakar
Youths, they say, are the leaders of tomorrow. This is a saying we have heard since primary school days. Thanks to their productive and economically active age, youth should be frontrunners in nation-building. Adamawa State is blessed with educated and entrepreneurial people but tested with desperate and self-centred leaders who take advantage of these unsuspecting youths.
Please take a look at the administration of Gov. Murtala Nyako, CFR, GCON, from 2007 until his impeachment in 2014, spearheaded by incumbent governor Ahmadu Fintiri. Nyako ran the affairs of the state in an exemplary manner, leaving an indelible mark that won’t fade in the sands of time and making it almost impossible for his successors to fill his void. Nyako once described growing unemployment and unskilled youth as ‘enemy armies facing the nation’.
Gov. Nyako did not see the youths as commodities and tools for praise-singing on social media. He had a plan and a vision for them. His government established youth-centric empowerment programs for the benefit of all and sundry. Farming Skills Acquisition Centers were established all through the state. Vocational and technical training centres were instituted and equipped with German technology and managed by German expatriates. Monthly stipends were also given to the trainees for their upkeep.
Other youths were placed on the government payroll as special assistants. The Nyako Youth Empowerment Model was a visionary, focused, and purposeful one which paved the way for a promising future for the youths in the state.
Governor Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, riding on the change mantra in 2015, promised to revitalize and remediate these centres to ensure a continuum. Unfortunately, upon his ascension, he reneged on his promise, and because he doesn’t fulfil promises most of the time, he earned himself a nickname called digital. However, he had other plans for the youth and unveiled his youth empowerment package.
The Bindow Model includes the distribution of iPads for social media praise-singers and the disengagement of some staff from their places of work. This led to the birth of thuggery, criminality in the state, and even the Shila boys started around that time. The Shila Boys engage in street robbery and have been terrorizing the residents of Yola for years. He failed the litmus test and was kicked out of office in 2019.
Incumbent governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri assumed office in 2019. He looked the real deal at that time. However, he is in his third year now and doesn’t look like he has a cogent plan for the youths. Albeit last month it was reported that he purchased mobile phones for his social media warriors. This shows he did not learn from the blunders of his predecessor and is following in his footsteps, and until he adjusts, he’s likely falling into the same pit as ex-governor Umaru Jibrilla.
The youths must therefore rise and use the period of their youthfulness for something good and beneficial. Do not let politicians use you; use them instead.
Lukman Dahiru Abubakar wrote from Yola, Adamawa State, via firstname.lastname@example.org.