Benue People Quest for New Governance: A Need for Benue Youths Arise Forum.
Before going into discussion, the aim and objectives of this meeting, lets first of all know who is a youth and the role of a youth in the future society.
A youth is any person between the ages of 15 years to 45 years regardless of the gender.
Unfortunately, the youth are the backbone of a society and hence they determine the future of any given society.
This is because, all other age groups the kids, teenagers, middle aged and the senior citizens rely on the youth and expect a lot from them.
This makes the youth to be an important age group in both todays society and the future society than other groups.
Therefore, due to the high dependence on youth in the society, we the youth have a role to play because the future of our families, communities and the country lies in our hands.
The role of the youth is simply to Youths have a role to renew and refresh the current status of our society including leadership, innovations, skills etc.
Youth are expected to advance the current technology, education, politics, and peace of the country.
On the other hand, youths have also to maintain the culture of our culture, all good values in the societies, development projects etc.
First of all, kids and teenagers need to be advised, taught and encouraged by the youth.
Youth also have to be a good example to the younger generation.
The youth have to teach both the teenagers and kids, show them the way so that they grow up the right and the wrong.
Youths have to advice and encourage teenagers and help them to solve social educational, physical, emotional and various problems they encounter in life, youth have the role of teaching the younger once what teachers can not do.
Keywords: Benue, Development, Youths, Government, Leadership
Benue Youth Arising Forum is a united body created to tackle the problems confronting Benue State politically, physically, economically, socially etc.
This Youth body has nothing to do with any political party or party affiliation and it does not give room for any politician to control the affairs of this movement. Though, it does not stop members from belonging or supporting political parties.
The laws made by this government should be supreme and restricted to the youths between the ages of 15- 45 years.
Aims and Objectives of Benue Youths Arising Forum (BYAF).
Benue Youth Arising Forum aim to provide a high quality service which is accessible to all young people aged 15-25 and 30-45 years age range, focusing on areas of disadvantage and under-achievement.
Therefore, this body aimed at achieving the following objectives.
1.Promotion of peace and unity in the state.
2. Offer young people new and challenging experiences that will stretch their knowledge, skills and attitudes in a way that enables them to reflect upon themselves as individual in other that they fulfils their potential to contribute as positive members of the community.
3. To ensure young people have opportunities to have their voices heard in democratic, political and decision making processes and to provide programmed of recreational and sporting activities.
4. To bring young people together from all tribes, educate them and fight for our rights.
5. To provide security, wash away tribalism and stop tribal / communal crisis in the state.
6. Provide quality and exemplary leadership.
7. Initiate and execute projects in the state. (Such as opening of mini shops, factories and business centers for ourselves).
8. Reshape Benue state, promote our talented Youths.
Why a Youth Government?
When the United State formal president Barak Obama visited Ghana, he told Africans that Africa does not need strong men but strong institutions and organizations and this is what African youths lack.
Therefore, the idea of Benue Youth Arising Forum is similar to the Fascist Movement of October 1922 led by Benito Mussolini in Italy.
The Italian term Fascism is derived from Fascio meaning a bundle of sticks the fascist came to associate the term with the ancient Roman fasces or a bundle of rods tied around an axe, the symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity. A single rod is easily broken while the bundle is difficult to break.
Meanwhile the coming together of the youth will help achieve so many things through unity.
You all must have heard about the phrase United we stand, divided we fall we know that unity gives us courage power and strength.
We are aware of a story where a father call his four sons and gave them one stick each and ask them to break them, they all broke the sticks easily but when he gave them ten stick tied together to break, non of them was able to break.
And this happens when you stay together, when you are not united anybody can fight and defeat you but when you are united no one does it.
It is also good for Benue Youths to have a governing body that will stand as a guide to Benue Youths movement, this youth government will stand as a protection to Benue people, it will make laws that will control correct any bad behavior from the youths.
Another important role of this government is to tackle the problems confronting the State, there are also many things affecting this new age and if we can not do any thing to stop them, we will wake up one day discover its too late.
These things are:
Ballot Boxes snatching
Religious/political battles and riots.
What are we Struggling For?
We are not looking to be heroes, we are not looking for fame, we are looking for wealth, we are not looking for tittles or good names but we want freedom for our parents ourselves, our children and generation unborn.
We want a better living for our people. Benue state is wealthy enough to be among the richest states in Nigeria, but it is not because of our corrupt leaders, a state that would have been the most comfortable state in Nigeria is now the hottest in the whole African continent.
But our leaders dont want us to be comfortable in our land, and they uses so many ways, so many techniques to make things difficult for us and some uneducated, unemployment, selfish and foolish youths have joined them for lack of knowledge and love of money to add salt to injury.
These devilish and demonic politicians know that if everything is perfectly okay with us, they wont achieved their evil aims, so they create things they will make us un-steady.
These things are:
1. Disunity and War Against Our Brothers:
Our leaders know exactly what we can do if we are united, that is why they do everything possible to separate us, they make us hate our brothers because of the evil things and fake stories they tell us about them.
We have three major ethnic groups in Benue State Tiv, Idoma and Igede but can some one tell us why Tiv people can not marries from Igede? I once ask an Igede girl that why is it that Igede people dont marry from Tiv people?, she replied it is a taboo! and she was unable to provide a meaningful reason why it is a taboo.
I ask my father the same question and he said it is against the tradition but he could not explain it to me.
Our leaders make us have this feeling that every body from other tribes is an enemy, and we dont seek to know the cause and how it started but we go on hating them.
Even among ourselves there is no unity, those people make us to fight for things we know nothing about, we kill ourselves, destroy properties and sometimes it is party interest, and when this happen, these people go back and reconcile their differences and we continue killing ourselves for nothing.
Now if you ask most of Tiv youth they will tell you Idoma and Igede are not good people, if you ask a youth from Idoma and Igede they will tell you Tiv are not good people, but ask them WHY? and they will have no reason to tell.
Even among Tiv, we have Masev, Ihyarev, Ukum, Shitile, Kparev, Kwande etc. and these groups are not friends to each others, if you ask someone from Masev, he will tell you Kparev are not good people and some will said they are too wise.
This is how they tore us apart and they are using us to achieve their evil aims.
There is a direct correlation between poverty and civil unrest. When a good number of people are poor and helpless the repercussion is civil unrest.
About 75% of Benue politicians seen as the vast number of Benue people are in object poverty, they us it as a campaign strategy but after wining elections they rather bring things that will increase poverty in other to pave way for another administrationto come and use the same method.
When people are hungry, they have no other choice than to accept whatever the rich says just to get food whether they like it or not.
This therefore means that an ordinary Benue youth cant save up to N150 a day and that is the more reason why most Benue people do not own houses and cant afford to pay house rent of N60,000 at the end of year.
if one cant save up to N150 per day, how can he save enough to educate his or her children and for that reason most Benue people are illiterate.
These are the categories our politicians employ as political thugs to cause problems, they can do anything they are ask to do because they do not know their right.
If you know your right, first of all you will ask these men that always send us dangerous mission where his son is? Is he among us? people are poor and hungry and there is a saying a hungry man is an angry person”.
And this sometimes happen as a result conspiracy against our education.
4. Conspiracy Against our Education:
There is a high level of conspiracy against our education system by the rich; a system of education that prepare people to be job seekers rather than entrepreneur.
To add salt to injury, there has been a plot of recent to kill public school system, most of our leaders were are part ant parcel of the public school system and that is why some of us became educated, but of recent, the rich has conspired to kill our public school system to pave way for private education to take over. Who are owners of these private schools?
The rich, our past and present leaders whose fees are not out of reach by poor; they operate it as if its a business centre. Incessant strikes have taken over the educational system, from primary to tertiary level, making it unattractive.
The rich have resorted to sending their children abroad to obtain quality education, come back and take over from them.
Our institutions at home continue to degenerate day-by-day with our Universities and other tertiary institutions on yearly basis producing what most people refer to as half-backed or unemployed graduate.
The pace of insecurity we are experiencing in this country today has its roots from many years of corruption.
As I said earlier, poverty and insecurity are twin brothers, idle youth when they see our leaders and politicians spreading money around, they also enticed to also be like them.
Sometimes same politicians use them during campaign and dump them after elections.
Being uneducated members of the society, the only way out for them is to take to crimes which include armed robbery, kidnapping and others which have degenerated to the level of insurgency in the country presently.
6. Voters Apathy:
Most Benue people including youths no longer bother themselves to go out and vote during election. If you ask them, they will tell you even if they dont vote; they (politicians) will still win.
Politicians of recent have devised a do or die approach to elections where they employ political thugs to snatch ballot boxes, another set will multiply vote for them. In case of court case investigating the eligibility of their votes, they employ political thugs to disrupt court proceedings. People vote for a particular candidate and at the end of the day a different candidate emerges through the above mentioned methods.
The direct consequence is that; wrong people continue to emerge as leaders and because people do not vote for them they do nothing to develop their constituencies. Also about 40% of our youths dont have PVCs, this is because some people are not educated, they dont know whether they have right to vote and be voted for, some think they are Christians and it is not good for a Christian to involved in politics, they strongly believe that voting is a sin and all politicians are bad people.
While some that educated are denied of their rights to register during voters registration, this happen when INEC refuses to give enough time for voters registration.
In every election we have at least 3 or 2 good people Out of many aspirants but we don’t for vote them, we prefer going for those who 200 Naira to vote for them. our major political parties always refuse to give tickets to the good ones and when they come under the platform of unknown parties, our people don’t vote them, though, they always have much supporters during campaigns but these their supporters are always people with no PVCs or people who don’t vote at all.
And after elections you hear them saying ‘we voted for him but another won’ you and who voted for him?? Just because he had so many supporters during campaigns and you think people voted for him?? When you could not even vote??
All these so-called Christians are the worse, according to them they only pray for good governance but don’t come out during elections, they believe voting is only for politicians, even some Youths have the same believe, my younger brother once said “I don’t belong to any party or anybody, I’m going to vote for anybody that will give me 500 Naira to buy recharge card. No 500 no vote from me”
These are the challenges that we have and it’s because many people don’t know but some really know but they do it because of poverty, greediness, and selfishness.
7. Brain Drain:
Another thing that our leaders use to worsen our situation is Brain Drain; the high level of brain drain in Benue State is as a result of high level of unemployment in the state.
Brain drain can be described as a situation where qualified individuals because of lack of job in their country travel abroad in search of greener pastures.
There are so many Benue youth serving humanity across the world, in most cases they are even better than their European counterpart.
As they migrate abroad contributing to the development of such countries or states, our institutions in the State continue to degenerate day-by-day sometimes due to outright neglect.
These are the qualified youths that would contribute a lot to our development and would have stand to say enough for this mess but they are not here, so they no nothing about what we are passing through.
So, the situation become worse when old people who are due for retirement keep changing their Date of birth to make sure they remain in the office when they are supposed to give way for fresh people with fresh ideas to come in.
But my advice to Benue youths abroad is that; the best you can be in another mans land is only to glorify refugees let them come back home and fight for our people and make our place a better place to stay.
Can we Really Achieve this?
YES WE CAN, if we unite ourselves, its so easy to achieve the problem is we totally submitted to our leaders and we think there is nothing we can do, and we also support those evil men and start to blame people at end.
But if Nigerian leaders had submitted to our colonial masters without making any effort, Nigeria would remain a dependent country till date.
So we can achieve this through communication, if we communicate clearly our goals, aim and objectives and we unite ourselves, we can do it.
Even now that everything is getting out of control, everywhere is silent and everybody is looking for who to blame, some people are blaming Iyorchia Ayu, some are blaming George Akume, some are blaming Samuel Ortom etc. but I am to blame likewise you and every Benue youth is to blame, because we gave ourselves to them thats why they are using us.
But its never too late, there is still hope but we can do it, if we can pray till kingdom come but nothing can change because, prayers without work is useless so lets work and pray to God.