John ODHE, Yenagoa
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has enjoined youths of Bayelsa state to dessist from acts of destroying government properties in their localities.
The advice came on the heels of a one-day youth sensitization and public enlightenment campaign against destruction of public properties organized by NOA at Ogbia town in Ogbia Local Government area of the state.
Addressing the hundreds of youths that attended the event, the Director General of NOA,
Dr. Garba Abari said the core mandate of the agency was to inform, educate and enlighten the public on government’s policies and programmes.
Represented by the Director of NOA, Rivers State chapter, Dr. Young Ayotamunor, the DG lamented that over 500,000 barrels of crude oil is being lost to vandalism and theft on a daily basis, thereby bleading the nation’s economy.
“As youths, the future of this nation belongs to you. Whatever action you take today will mar or shape your tomorrow. I therefore urge you to take ownership of and protect public assets around you.
“You can use your technological gadgets such as phones through the help of the social media to track and report those destroying public assets to the security agencies.
“Say no to vandalization of oil pipelines, vandalization of government properties and infrastructure, drugs and substance abuse, kidnapping and ritual killings, sexual and gender based violence, cyber crime, cultism and other antisocial vices.
“My dear youths of Ogbia and Bayelsa state, vandalism is not only a crime against the state but also leads to untimely death. l urge you therefore to embrace peace, dignity of labour and self-reliance.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Bayelsa state director of NOA, Patricia Maduemezia thanked the youths for their peaceful disposition and for availing themselves for the programme.
She called on the participants to take the message to their respective communities.
A resource person and former Director of NOA in the state, Pastor Ide Oduasekpar in a keynote address called on Nigerian youths to imbibe the spirit of patriotism to the country by rearranging their mindset towards guarding public properties.
He admonished the youths to engage in noble ventures rather than acts capable of destroying the environment as well as cut their lives short.
He also urged governments at all levels to provide an enabling environment for private businesses to thrive as well as build favourable institutions such as affordable education for the youths in order to reduce poverty.
In their response, the youth president of Otuabagi community, Comrade Walson Awumade and a former youth president of Oloibiri community, Comrade Azibaizoloman Biate said the programme was important in the sense that it reoriented the minds of the youths towards realizing that they are part of the ownership of government properties and had made them to see the need to protect public assets.
The event also featured drama presentation by officials of NOA on the dangers of vandalization of public properties, as well as interactive session between the youths and officials of NOA.