Taming surge of unemployed youths | Tistalents
Taming surge of unemployed youths

Taming surge of unemployed youths

A t various times, security experts had drawn the attention of the government to a common and worrisome sight of an army of unemployed youths in different parts of Abuja. Many of these youths and even middle aged men, usually gather at specific locations under the guise of seeking for menial jobs to do. They are often seen, armed with shovels, diggers, head pans and other work implements. These people usually gather in large numbers in places such as Mabushi, close to the Federal Ministry of Works; Apo by AP filling station, Gudu market junction, Garki 2 around the Regina Pacis School and the perimeter fence of one of the adjoining recreation centres. Investigations have shown that some of these people who gather at designated points as skilled and unskilled labourers waiting for prospective clients to hire them for daily jobs are homeless. A check around the city also showed that many of the jobless young people are often found under bridges and subways. There are fears that while security agencies intensify their operations against bandits and terrorists in different states, some of these bandits may have relocated to Abuja. These escapees may join the assembly of the unemployed youths in the city.

Security risk

Dr Francis Chikwado, a security expert who resides in Gwagwalada Area Council, has argued that the efforts of government to combat insecurity in Abuja may be counterproductive, if the surging numbers of these idle youths was not checked. Chikwado noted that while it may be illogical to conclude that all the youths who gather under the guise of seeking menial jobs are criminals, if they are properly profiled, there may be some criminal elements among them. He called on relevant agencies of government to find a way of using reasonable intelligence to mount a surveillance, with the intention of fishing out criminal elements In recent weeks, the Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA) intensified its onslaught against kidnappers, bandits and other criminal elements, but security experts have advised that attention should also be given to the surging number of unemployed youths roaming the streets, CALEB ONWE reports who may want to hide under the umbrella of the so called menial job seekers.

“In Gwagwalada where I live, there are some areas where these youths have taken over. These are able-bodied young men, who idle away, without engaging in any positive productive activities. “While I agree that it is impossible for government to provide jobs for everybody, especially these ones who seemingly do not have any employability skills, I want people who always gather in public places to be properly profiled fir security reasons. “We have heard reports of bandits and terrorists relocating from both northeast and northwest parts of the country to Abuja, seeking for safe haven. How are we sure that they will not start by hibernating in cloaks of job Seekers?”

Job seekers

Inside Abuja had sone informal interactions with some of these youths at Mabushi and it showed that there are many genuine job seekers among them. Standing about 30 minutes to observe the activities of these people one morning, revealed more about the situation. It was observed that once a vehicle pulls up or attempts to stop there, an uncountable number of the youths will besiege the vehicle with great expectations. It was learnt that they usually rush to the vehicles with the belief that the occupants have come to pick labourers. It was also gathered that construction companies or individuals who need skilled and unskilled labourers usually come there to look for them. Jobless and homeless Investigation revealed that many of these youths who troop out to the streets and other public places, pretending to be job seekers, are homeless at the same time. It was also learnt that while many of them squat in places of worship, others lodge in any available shanty on the streets. The recent raid of under bridges, subways and tunnels in the city centre of Abuja, by officials of FCTA has also supported the reports that many of these jobless youths live under the bridges. Just recently, the Federal Capital Territory Administration Taskforce combed under the bridges and subways, dislodging homeless squatters and people suspected to be drug peddlers.

Inside Abuja gathered that the sting operation which lasted for about six (6) hours, showed that many jobless and homeless people have taken over the subways and under bridges in Abuja. Some of the notorious flashpoints, include, the Yar’adua Centre/National Mosque triangle, the Ministry of Finance to Women Affairs subways and all the tunnels in the Millennium Park. It was gathered that at the time of the operation, either that the illegal occupants of these place got wind of the raiding and disappeared or, they have gone out in search of food. Only three suspects were Taming surge of unemployed youths Unemployed youths at Mabushi said to have been arrested during the operation. The Director, FCT Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima who led the combined taskforce, said the raid had become necessary to check activities of people who have illegaly taken over the bridges and tunnels. Resolution Galadima noted that the administration have decided to expand efforts towards solving the insecurity in FCT, hence the need to look into some of these places. He explained that the FCT minister, Nyesome Wike had directed the JTF to take necessary action to rid the territory of these criminal element and ensure the safety of residents. “We have received complains from residents in the city regarding the misuse and abuse of the subways and under bridges. So, the honourable FCT Minister directed that we should take necessary action, and today we are a fact-finding mission, to know what is really happening under the bridges and subways. “From today, we can come out with our plan of action on the next step to be taken. “With what we have seen today, it is really unfortunate that these things are happening in the city, where informal activities are taken place under the bridges and subways, as well as people of questionable characters are living there. “We have to step up our action on combing and monitoring these facilities and activities taken place there,” Galadima.

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