Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has laid the blame for the perennial clashes by street urchins in Lagos Island on the doorsteps of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Recall that two persons were killed last week when rival gangsters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) clashed in the Idumota area of Lagos State between hoodlums from Idumota, Balogun, Martins, Kosoko and Oluwole areas of Lagos Island.
The clash affected trading and other commercial activities while the Lagos State government also placed a ban on NURTW activities.
Speaking in an interview, George who was born in Lagos Island said many youths have taken to thuggery and are joining the NURTW because of a lack of jobs and the failure of the state government to create skill acquisition programmes for them.
He said, “Lagos Island is where I was born and I also grew up there. The difference between my time and now is like day and night. What has the government of Lagos done to assuage the pains of these young people?”.
“There was a programme under former President Goodluck Jonathan that they call skill acquisition programme. It was specifically targeted at and designed for youths”.
“Whatever skills you want to learn, maybe tailoring, hairdressing, carpentry, shoemaking and so on, the government will advertise, people apply and the government trained them at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi. After they have completed the training, the government now hook them into cooperatives and give them interest-free loans.
“With all the resources at the disposal of the Lagos State government, what are they doing in that direction? Like the Europeans will say ‘a man who has no job is a ready tool for thuggery’. We also have a popular saying here that ‘an idle hand is a devil’s workshop’. When the youths wake up in the morning with no job, they are in a state of helplessness and hopelessness. Yet, somebody is getting N30 billion every month.
“My advice to the Lagos State government is, go and create jobs for these young people. Even graduates are now staying at home in Lagos Island with no job. It is unemployment that is driving these youths into becoming members of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW)”.Follow us on social media