PROLONGED STAY AT HOME CAUSES YOUTH RESTIVENESS – SAYS TARABA SPEAKER
Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Joseph Albasu Kunini PhD, has faulted the inability of the Federal Government to reopen the tertiary institutions as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 and settling the lingering face-off with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), stressing that the prolonged stay of the students at home for over six months caused the recent #ENDSARS protests and youths restiveness across the country.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the 2nd Diocesan Synod and 25th Anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo on Thursday, 29th October, 2020, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral, Mile Six, Jalingo, the Speaker stoutly argued that if the Federal Government had put in place the necessary measures to reopen the tertiary institutions as a result of COVID-19 and to also settlers the ASUU strike, the unpalatable actions by the youth across the country would have been avoided.
He, therefore, enjoined the federal government to hasten the reopening of the tertiary institutions by settling its differences with ASUU.
Besides, the Speaker condemned in strong terms the acts of vandalism and massive looting of both government and private property during the protests in some parts of Taraba State, specifically in Jalingo, the State capital.
He wondered how the #ENDSARS peaceful protests by some youths eventually snowballed into wanton destruction and looting of government and private property in the State.
The Speaker cited the pet project of the First Lady of Taraba State, THE HOPE AFRESH FOUNDATION, where youths and women were trained on skills acquisition and the Taraba State Broadcasting Service (TSBS) where the hoodlums destroyed and carted away all the equipment and machineries, thereby grounded the two organizations.
“The colossal damage of the two organizations was a great loss not to the government but to the youths themselves who happened to be the major beneficiaries of the activities of the two organizations,” the Speaker maintained.
Against this backdrop, he called on the youths to sheathe their swords and allow the federal government address their grievances, just as he appealed to religious and traditional leaders, including parents and guardians, to sensitise the youths against unpatriotic acts.
The Speaker also advised the youths in the State to shun all forms of negative tendencies and hooliganism, since the State Government has already set up Judicial Commission of Inquiry against Police brutality.
Responding, the Catholic Bishop of the Jalingo Diocese, Most Rev Dr Charles Hammawa, assured the Taraba State Government that the Catholic Church in particular would never incite the youths to embark on unpatriotic acts.
“As a Church, we will never, never incite the youths to protest; the Catholic Church will not do that. Take our word for it. We pray for government all the time; we pray for better days ahead,” the Bishop stressed.
The Catholic Diocese of Jalingo which was created in 1995 started with only 20 priests, but presently there are 105 priests and several religious and educational institutions.
Highpoint of the closing ceremony was investiture of Papal knights and presentations of medals and awards to some outstanding individuals.