……Warns against keeping youths on streets
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
The Federal Government, Monday, said that it was working on the artisanal refineries in the Niger Delta area and that the project would soon be launched.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, disclosed this at the inauguration of Francis Olabode Johnson Foundation in Abuja.
Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson popularly known as FOJ was the President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN before his death two years ago at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Senator Enang, who explained that work was in an advanced stage on the policy, said, “We are still working on the artisanal refineries in the Niger Delta. It will soon launch off.”
He described the late Johnson as a reliable and practical labour union leader before his death two years ago.
Speaking on security matters, the former Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business said insecurity in the country was getting too hot.
He said, “Things are getting too hot. This is not the Nigeria we thought would be. Please, Nigerians come to the table to discuss whatever are our differences. We would never resolve this with the barrels of the gun.
“I would want to tell Nigerian leaders that the youths are not looking for accommodation, they are looking for rights to participate. They are looking for equal opportunities. Let us, by our actions and words, engage the youths intellectually and create jobs for them.
“Let us not be happy keeping the youths on the streets and telling them that they are leaders of tomorrow. That tomorrow we told yesterday is today.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board, Ahmed Bobboi, in what appeared as posthumous commendation said that the late Johnson ran PENGASSAN in a selfless manner and exhibited uncommon leadership skill which was rare to find within the labour movement and Nigeria as a country.
He contended that the collapse of quality teaching at the primary school level as well as the collapse of local government administration in the country were responsible for the leadership bankruptcy confronting the country.
He said, “There is a leadership challenge in Nigeria. Leadership is key and we lack it. I think Nigeria gets it wrong from the base which is the primary schools and local government administration levels.
“I think we need to focus very seriously on grooming our leaders right from the beginning which is the kindergarten level. Leadership traits should be inculcated in our children. The primary school system is collapsing just as the local government system has collapsed completely. We need to pay attention to these.”