Stakeholders at a one day dialogue for security, peace and election matters have called for the productive engagement of unemployed youths by deliberate and direct employment or skills acquisition by both government and multinational oil companies to stem the tide of criminality in Bayelsa state.
The one day dialogue, which was convened by the Bayelsa State Conflict Management Alliance, BCMA, in association with Institute for Niger Delta Studies, INDS, Niger Delta University, NDU, and the Association for Rural Chiefs Peace and Development Initiative, ARCODI, also called for the establishment of a Peace and Non-Violence Institute to cater for issues of friction in the polity.
The meeting, which was chaired by the chairman of State Council of Traditional Rulers Council, and Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diette-Spiff, was also attended by traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the academia and civil society organisations.
In a communique issued after the meeting and read by the Director Institute for Niger Delta Studies, Niger Delta University, Professor Ambily Etekpe, the forum observed that, “uncontrolled peddling and excessive use of sycophatic substances by youths is a contributory factor to crime, criminality and insecurity.
“That the large armies of unemployed youths lend themselves to electoral violence because they are readily available for engagement by the political parties during elections.
“Communities should provide relevant information about crime and criminality to the relevant security agencies in the state,” and also call for “the establishment of Non-violence Institute to train people on values skills and techniques of peace building.”