In this online interview, president of the Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Oweilaemi Pereotubo, speaks on the recent comments by the president, Muhammadu Buhari tagging Nigerian youths as lazy. He also speaks on the investments of the Bayelsa State government on education. He spoke with OFONIME UMANAH.
What do you think of the goings on in the education sector in Bayelsa State?
You know Governor Dickson as a visionary leader declared state of emergency in the education sector. Governor Dickson, by my judgement, has done excellently well in the education sector. He has built model primary schools in almost all the local governments in the state. For Governor Dickson, money spent in the education sector is an investment and not an expenditure . He is very passionate about the education of Ijaw people because his educational investments are going beyond Bayelsa State. I say so because the governor of Bayelsa State has acquired land in Ijaw local governments in Edo State to build schools for the Edo Ijaws . He has established trust funds for students who are less privileged and unable to pay their fees to secure loans in order not for them to drop out of school as a result of lack of funds. Investing in the education sector is investing in the future of the youths.
Let me say this unequivocally, the Ijaw Academy built by Dickson in Kaiama is not just about Kaiama or Bayelsa State. Students in the Ijaw academy are drawn from all the Ijaw speaking states in the Niger Delta. You have students from Edo , Delta, Rivers etc, as far as you can show that you are from an Ijaw speaking community in the aforementioned states. And one good thing about Ijaw Academy is that all fees are paid by the government of the state. School uniform, books, feeding, boarding facilities, etc, are provided by the government of Bayelsa State. Now, talking about the African University in Toru
Bayelsa State. Now, talking about the African University in Toru Orua, you will agree with me that the governor is desirous of moveming the state educationally to compete with the best universities in Africa as the name connotes. I say so because most of the top management staff are brought in from outside Nigeria, particularly Ghana. Dickson is deliberately investing in the educational sector because he feels that is the best he can bequeath to the generation that will take over from the present leadership. So what he needs from us is to continue to encourage him for him to do more for our youths.
Like I said governor, Dickson has done a lot in the education sector, including NDU, as a state owned university. So we as youths who are the direct beneficiaries of the investment will continue to pray for him and ensure that these laudable ideas are sustained after him.
Mr President recently described Nigerian youths as lazy.....
Ijaw youths are not lazy. Niger Delta youths are not lazy. It is unfortunate that the president of a country like Nigeria chose to insult the future of his country. The youths are the future of this country and for Mr. President to say we are lazy or we crave for only free things and we are uneducated is an insult to the next generation of leaders and we take exception to that and we call on him to immediately apologize to the youths of Nigeria or he will face revolutionary movement by the youths. As president of Ijaw youth council (IYC) worldwide, who also doubles as president general of ethnic nationalities youth leaders forum of Niger Delta , we are not lazy and we are well read. The president should look inward and name any youth around him that he knows that is lazy and not Ijaw youths or Niger Delta youths. I would have expected Mr president to have provided a conducive environment for the youths give scholarship opportunities and not insult youths outside the shores of Nigeria, instead of attracting investors to come and invest. No country or any business will be willing and ready to invest in a country where its youths are lazy and uneducated as erroneously painted by the man majority of the youths voted for in 2015.