Nigerian youths are key to securing the country, says Sanwo-Olu

By T.guardian.ng (By Gbenga Salau)

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said Nigeria will be highly insecure if she fails to secure the today and tomorrow of its youth.

Speaking yesterday at the third BRF-Gabest programme, with the theme, Generational gap: Youth inclusion and the leadership question in Nigeria, meant to celebrate the birthday of Babatunde Raji Fashola, Sanwo-Olu said it is why Nigeria needs to invest in education and create an enabling environment for the youth to thrive and advised the youth to fight for what they believe in. He noted that leadership is not by age but by knowledge, insight and responsibility. He added that with the election of youths as speakers in some states, though progress is being made, there is still a lot more to be done.

Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Dr Balogun, praised Fashola for being a visionary and versatile leader.

On his part, Fashola said young Nigerians must continue to have a positive mindset about the country. He also said there is a need to pay attention to organised crime as a critical element of insecurity the country is facing.

During one of the panel discussions, Banky W, who contested during the last general election, said young people need to loose the sense of entitlement they own, as no one owes them anything.

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Drug Abuse And Nigerian Youths -By Jerome- Mario Utomi

By Opinion Nigeria

I remember with nostalgia how participants at a focused group discussion held recently in Lagos, bemoaned infestation of our nation by social problems perpetrated consciously and unconsciously by her own people. Warning that under this condition, it may be thought audacious to talk of creating a better society while we are still battling with the problems of battered economy arising from corruption, social vices and decay of institutions.

Among these social challenges, it was clearly stated that the consumption of drugs in amounts and methods not authorized by medical professionals has become but a silent reality that Nigerians should worry about. Noting that though the act cuts across all strata, powerful statistics make it abundantly clear that the youths-majorly males with a sprinkle of females remain undefeated in this act. The gathering had as a theme; The Alarming Increase in Drug Abuse: What Did We Do Wrong? , organized by the Justice and Peace Development Centre (JDPC), Ketu, Lagos.

Indeed, the worries by the participants without fail has become a living reality validated by a reported sex romp by four students (three boys and a girl) at the sunshine Lodge, Ihiagwa, one of the satellite communities close to the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Imo state that left three out of the four students dead while the boys were taking turns to have sex with the girl after allegedly taking a mixture of tramadol, codeine and vodka.

Certainly, a striking human tragedy deepened by the awareness that it was avoidable particularly when one remembers that this incident occurred neither by accident nor as the first half of a reoccurring circle but rather the beginning of something new.

To explain; for decades, we have been warned with mountains of evidence that this was coming, yet, our leaders who are never ready to serve or save the citizens ignored the warnings describing it as a prank.

Now we have learnt a very useful lesson that we can no longer ignore.

The tragedy in a private hostel has additionally brought to the core governments wicKed underfunding challenge of, and incompetence in providing basic facilities such as hostel accommodation to the educational sector- a malady that runs deep through successive administrations.

If adequate hostel accommodation were provided within the school premises by the government, chances are that monitoring of these youths would have been enhanced.

But more important than all of these lessons is the urgent need to remap strategies to curb reassurance because if the results of the FUTO sex scandal looKs ugly and frightening, what is to come from what medical experts are saying may be worse if serious positive actions are not taken.

Going by these reports, there are but three main forms of drug abuse. They include the use of; mood-altering or psycho-active drugs, performance-enhancing drug and dependency drugs.

While mood-altering or psychoactive drugs such as Codeine, tramadol affect people’s reasoning ability and give the abuser wrong sense of wellbeing, performance-enhancing drugs such as cocaine, heroin drug give extra stamina or energy to the abuser. Dependency drugs on its part typify drugs people abuse in the course of trying to overcome some health issue or challenges or taken to maintain a particular lifestyle.

So what does this mean to our nation where every day ‘exciting progress” is made in the consumption of these substances without recourse to prescription. This stunning awareness in my views has made getting to the cause of this social challenge more compelling.

Certainly, it will by no means be an exaggeration to state that apart from negative peer influence, unemployment and a continuous avenue to escape problems and worries are the major reason why Nigeran youths take to the drug.

This, however, may not be the only explanation fueling this social evil.

Specifically, the deliberate desire by these youths to hide their weaknesses, failure on the part of the family to train the youths on the way they should go, broken home influence, and pressure to succeed at all cost also promote this social menace.

Regrettably, a common fact that abusers fail to remember is that aside from the wide belief that throughout history more people have silently been destroyed by substance abuse than any other cause, drug abuse according to psychologists, has never helped any individual involved.

As an illustration, it is factually supported that drug consumption in amounts or methods not authorized by medical professionals have in the past led to mental disorder, disrupted the abuser’s education and future, poor attitude to work, health problems such as lung disease, heart disease and deaths among others.

From this standpoint, it is a clear socioeconomic problem that we collectively as a nation will have to determine how to solve- as the future strength of our nation depends on these young people.

Catalyzing this process will among other solutions require the government and its agencies to come up with effective reforms and teamwork that will tackle the challenge from its roots.

I hold an opinion that what the government is doing in this direction is but a palliative which only relieves temporal distress, but leaves the disease and its ravages unaffected.

To succeed in this job, an effort expected from the government must have skill development and job creation for the youths at its centre. This approach to the problem is not without successful precedents. Addressing the perennial education sector funding and the infrastructural challenge will also be a right step taken in the right direction by the government.

Re-orientation on our cultural values by faith-based organizations and the civil society groups will assist the youths to drop illicit consumption of drugs and unwholesome behaviours that endanger their lives and threatens the society.

Parents and guardians must strive to influence which people capture their children imaginations and always be aware of who their friends are and what places they frequent. And always put the youths in the presence of people of great accomplishment whom they want them to emulate.

These in the words of Ben Carson are things that used to be done quite routinely by caring guardians but now many young people derive their identity from their peer groups and their social network which can be extensive.

Youths on their part must recognize that ‘the future is full of promises as it is fraught with uncertainty. And should, therefore, develop the capacity to seek activities laced with highest values

Source Opinion Nigeria

Nigeria: United will bounce back, says Maikaba

Plateau United Manager Abdul Maikaba has assured fans of the Nigeria Professional Football league side that the team will return to winning ways in the coming fixtures.

Maikaba stated this in a chat with http://www.brila.net that it is not too late for his side to come back to a Champions League spot on the NPFL table.

“If you look at it mathematically, we are just ten points adrift the top of the league, if we can have a good run of 6 to 8 matches unbeaten we can overcome this psychological trauma that the team is passing right now. Maikaba said.

Source Brilla

Nigeria: Willy Udube happy with Go Round NPFL season

By Kolade Oni

The Omoku-based side handler has explained some of the challenges his team is facing in their second season in the top-flight

Go Round head coach, Willy Udube has expressed his delight at the club’s form in the 2019 Nigeria Professional Football League despite the challenges that come with playing against other top-flight teams.

Despite only missing out on a place in the relegation zone last season by the whiskers, the Omoku-based side have been turning heads in their second season in the elite division and Udube is thrilled that his inexperienced side is coping in the elite division.

He noted that it has not been easy for him and the rest of the technical crew to ensure that the club remains very competitive amidst experienced clubs in the top-flight who have the financial power to spend big in the transfer market.

“The games are tough, but this is the case because we have a young and inexperienced team,” Udube told the club media.

“I have said it before and I will continue to say it that I have a very average team. Go Round FC is a modest club that does not have the financial power to bring in experienced players to the team.

“All this time, we have been trying to see how we can blend the players we have. It is not easy for us. It is a very big job for us, but I strongly believe that with the little we are putting in, this team will pick up before the middle of the FA Cup.”

Go Round are presently in the sixth spot in the NPFL Group B with 21 points from 14 matches and they will up against FC IfeanyiUbah this weekend in another top-flight action in Nnewi.

Source Goal

Nigeria: Lobi Keep Up With MFM With Sunshine Stars in NPFL

By Ridwan Yusuf

Sikiru Alimi‘s 42nd-minute goal is all Lobi Stars require to collect maximum points and rise from No 8 to fourth in Group A of the Nigeria Professional League (NPFL) 2019. For Sunshine Stars, they drop one place to No 10, allowing Bendel Insurance to gain one spot after the MatchDay 14 tie.

Concise News reports that with two matches outstanding (both away – to Sunshine Stars and Rangers), Lobi Stars are now only three points behind leaders MFM.

At the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi on Monday, the two-time Nigeria champions took the game to their visitors from the blast of the whistle with Alimi Sikiru and Samad Kadiri combining well and posing a constant threat to the away side’s defence. However, Sunshine’s Ayo Ojo prevented his team from going down to an early goal pulling some impressive saves.

The defence line of the Akure-based club would be breached in the 42nd minute when tormentor-in-chief, Alimi scored from an assist by Samad.At the start of the second half, Sunshine Stars improved their game, creating some chances, but Lobi shot-stopper, John Lawrence was at his best to help his team clinch all three points.

Following the victory, Lobi Stars have moved to the fourth position with 20 points from 12 games on the Group A log, while Sunshine Stars dropped further into the relegation zone, occupying 10th position with 16 points from 13 games.

Source Concise

Curbing sports bet menace on Nigerian youths

Jerome-Mario Utomi

Talking about young people, the human development experts have described the stage as a moment of the storm, a stage in the developmental growth where young adults would want to explore and express self, as well as want to know more about the world.

This uncensored urge naturally comes with an inherent challenge which adversely affects the youth’s education and promotes social vices such as; premarital sexual escapades, instant gratification, the proliferation of fake news and erosion of societal values.

But looking at recent commentaries, it’s no more an overstatement that our effort to create a more humane nation has recently witnessed a setback with the advent of sports bet on our shores.

This should however not be construed as a prediction of doom.

To explain; sports betting as a form of lottery or game of chance is neither restricted to a particular age nor sex but fueled by the grinding poverty and starvation with which our country is currently afflicted.

In this context, there is nothing essentially wrong with sports betting if well regulated, but looking at the number of minds so far corrupted, and ‘destinies’ destroyed by this game, it becomes unfortunately true that like a turbulent ocean beating great cliffs into fragments of rocks, so has sport betting submerged our country sides- bringing social, moral cultural and economic devastation upon our youths with their future now hanging on the balance.

Given this preceding awareness, nothing becomes more self-contradictory than the realization that its operation is backed by an enabling Act. Interestingly as it appears, the Act among other things provide for the establishment of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission charged with responsibility for the regulation of the business of national lottery in Nigeria as well as the establishment of a National Lottery Trust Fund.

Similarly, while some pro-sports bet advocates have argued that it cannot be called a gamble as it has a regulatory agency; others at different times and places expressed similar sentiment saying that; since the winnings of sports bet are usually predicted on outcome of legitimate games of soccer, addressing sports bet as a gamble cannot square up with logic as no good means can give birth to a bad end..

Arguably a well-chiselled position particularly when one remembers that sports betting provides a means of livelihood for the teaming operators. But before celebrating the vision and wisdom behind the above, it becomes more important that Nigerians first look at the crowd of young adults that daily fraternizes with sports betting centres, review some ‘exiting progress’ recorded in this direction, and instincts coming from the larger society.

Going by reports, the cold truth is that beyond this advantage, its negative psychological effects such as; loss of fortune, loss of businesses, depression, death through suicide, assassination or heart attack, loss of sleep (insomnia) insanity, marital problems between the gambler and the young spouse as the gambler is always temperamental and agitated- on our youths, out ways the usefulness.

But, even more, some well-meaning Nigerians had recently begun to question its usefulness to National development in the face of sterling beliefs that sports betting acts as a gateway to, and possesses the capacity for luring addicted players into criminal acts such as internet crimes (yahoo-yahoo in the local palace) and armed robbery.

The questions that now confront us as a nation are; how did parents suddenly lose control over their children to yield obedience to the power of sports betting? How many of the youths in Nigeria would overcome the temptation currently posed by sport bet? Who will stop those that cannot apply the virtue of moderation? Shall we entrust the future of our youths to the present regulators? Or must we as a nation allow the useful and the useless like good and evil go on together allowing our nation to reap whatever fruit that comes in the nearest future?

For one thing, if an attempt is made to provide answers to these questions, it will definitely establish a link between the proliferation of sports betting centres and the high unemployment challenge in the country.

My reason is not far-fetched.

The unruly behaviours of some youths notwithstanding, the lack of political will on the part of the government to tackle unemployment challenge in the country from its roots, or see the urgent necessity to cease politics and turn outwards to look for constructive and creative channels to fight the enemy called unemployment in the country contributes to the ever-increasing number of youths that throng different sports betting centres in all the major cities of the federation.

But this may not be the whole explanation.

Nigerians have learned through painful experience that greed, peer pressure, and laziness among some of these youths have conjoined to give a boost to this newly adopted culture by our youths.

In my views, this is a clear socioeconomic problem that we collectively as a nation will have to determine how to solve- as the future strength of our nation depends on these young people.

To get started, apart from coming up with more efficient regulatory framework, government at all levels-federal state and local government areas must take politics out of our education and concentrate on empowering the youths through creation of jobs that will keep these youths gainfully engaged as well as prepare the youths for jobs of the future-the leadership of our nation. In addition to the above, skills acquisition to these youths and financial empowerment to those trained and actively regulating the business activities of this lottery outfits will be another step taken in the right direction by the government.

On their part, faith-based organizations and the civil society groups as change-agents should develop the people’s capacity to welcome new ideas, reject unwholesome behaviours that can endanger individual lives and that of the entire society.

Finally, let every youth in the words of Mahatma Gandhi develop a habit of accounting for everything that comes into, and goes out of his/her pocket and be sure he is the gainer at the end.

Utomi writes from Lagos via (jeromeutomi@yahoo.com)

Source The Sun