By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Commandant, National Defence College (NDC), Rear Adm. Mackson Kadiri, has identified unemployment as the major cause of youth restiveness and social instability in the country.
Kadiri said this at a Roundtable on “Youth Restiveness and Social Instability in Nigeria: Role of Governance” organised by the Centre for Strategic Research and Studies, NDC, in Abuja on Monday.
He said that there was a large youth population in Nigeria that had not been optimal managed to effectively contribute to national security.
Kadiri said the cumulative effects of the situation had created national security challenges, adding that the potentials of the nation’s youths could be put to good use with viable strategic options.
According to him, the inability of the youth to find meaningful life through honest means creates a social imbalance that makes young people prone to some socio-economic vices.
According to him, such vices include electoral violence, kidnapping, armed robbery, internet fraud among others.
“Unemployment is fingered for the massive migration of many youth to places where they believe they can find greener pastures.
“It is very clear that vulnerabilities of the youth, particularly their joblessness have degenerated to the complex national security conundrum we find ourselves today.
“The primary motivation here is that the youths are truly the future of Nigeria and trustees of national posterity.
“We have a powerful national potential in the youth and we must show the courage to change and innovate ways to improve their lot for national security and development,” he said.
The commandant said that the roundtable was organised to collectively brainstorm and close identity gaps on youth’s management and national security.
Also, Mr Adesola Olusola, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, said that good governance was a potent tool that could be used to address youth restiveness and social instability.
Olusola said that good governance comprised good citizen’s participation in decision making by the government; accountability of government; transparency in governance; rule of law as well as efficiency and effectiveness of governance.
He said that every government must strive to ensure openness, responsiveness and inclusiveness in order to boost citizen’s confidence in the government.
He also called for increased investment in sports as an employment opportunity to engage the youths.
According to him, youth restiveness is an extreme form of defiant behaviour among youth which is socially unacceptable in many societies.
“It is like a vehicle employed by the youths to coarse authority to do their bidding,” he said.
Olusola said that the major factors that encouraged youth restiveness include among other things, endemic poverty, unemployment, perception of high level of corruption in the society.
Others, he said, include inadequate flow of accurate information, low level or lack of education, poor infrastructural facilities and so on.
He added that the deployment of social media to often pass inaccurate and apparently poor information was another factor that encourages restiveness among youths.
“The impacts of restiveness range from colossal loss of national income as we experienced in the Niger-Delta region, damages to national income infrastructure as well as loss of lives and property with dare consequences for national growth and development.
“Religious bodies and families have roles to play in addressing the issue of youth restiveness in the society,” he said.
He urged the government to create conducive environment for youth engagement in profitable ventures.
Prof. Yusuf Zoaka, Guest Speaker at the event, said that the problem of insecurity in the country was largely perpetrated by the youths.
Zoaka said this was because the government had not been able to properly provide opportunities for them, noting that those with requisite qualification have not been employed.
He urged the government to increase the funding of employment agencies like the National Directorate of Employment to engage more youths in gainful employment in the country.
“Government should do more by encouraging the youths to get engaged in order to reduce or mitigate restiveness among them,” he said.