As the spate of violence in the Northern region of the country continues unabated, Arewa Youths Forum, AYF, has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to engage youths in meaningful dialogue with a view to proffering lasting solution to the menace.
AYF said the only tool that could bring about peace in the troubled northern Nigeria is dialogue. The pan-northern group attributed the immediate cause of the insurgence to poverty, illiteracy and neglect by successive governments.
The group, headed by Alhaji Ibrahim Gunjujgu, rose from an emergency meeting, yesterday, in Abuja, calling on President Jonathan to emulate the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua who introduced amnesty in then troubled Niger Delta region when the youths were agitating.
AYF said: “The cost of maintaining security in the north is quite alarming as it is to the detriment of core development that we are lacking.
“It is only when the President listens to the aggrieved youths in the north that he will be able to know their pains and therefore, take practical steps to proffering lasting solution to the poverty, illiteracy and dearth of social amenities that resulted in the seemingly unending violence.
“We refer to the case of the Niger Delta youth militancy, which posed a serious threat and challenge to our nation where the late President Yar’Adua, in his wisdom, took a giant stride by introducing amnesty programme for the restive youths.”
“Today, these men and women who were hitherto fighting the government have been trained in various fields and now have a sense of belonging. Today we can say with all sense of modesty that the amnesty programme was a huge success.
“It is this same line that the Arewa Youth Forum is calling on Mr. President to tow. There is no gainsaying that the violence and terror in the north is even worse than what we had in the Niger Delta. And unlike in the Niger Delta, the violence in the northern region is targeted at lives, security agents, property and even livestock. In short, life in the north is miserable to say the least.”