The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalong, on Thursday urged government at all levels to engage youths across the country to curb their agitations and save them from vices.
Dalong made the appeal when he visited Gov. Samuel Ortom at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi during his working tour of the state.
He said that government at all levels should create space for the agitating youths to mitigate the growing insecurity in the country.
“Young people have waited endlessly for the future and the future is not forthcoming, so, the youths have no other alternatives but to resort to crime.
“Our leaders must create space for youths not to agitate to reduce the growing rate of insecurity.
“If we do not engage them, they will definitely engage themselves with the available things they see. They don’t mind destroying anything they see because they don’t have anything at stake,’’ Dalong said.
He regretted that the concept of “Youth Development’’ was handled wrongly in the past and should be addressed so as to change the Nigerian youth narrative.
He said that past administrations failed to effectively carry youths along thereby creating a negative impact in the minds of the Nigerian youths.
“Our young people are so corrupt and frustrated by history, making them to expect everything for free in life. They lacked respect, integrity, honesty.’’
Dalong also appealed to the governor to henceforth devote one-third of his security vote for the development of sports in Benue.
He disclosed that his visit to the state was to inspect sport facilities for necessary action.
Responding, Gov Samuel Ortom appealed to the minister to convene a National Youth Conference to refocus their mindset.
Ortom also urged the Federal Government to establish a national football academy in the state and upgrade the Aper Aku Stadium to meet international standard.
He promised that the government would establish recreational centers in the state to take the youth off the street.