“Nigerian youths have been bruised, we need to heal their scars,” says Donald Duke

“Nigerian youths have been bruised, we need to heal their scars,” says Donald Duke

Former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River says Nigerian youths have been neglected for long and left with no hope, due to wrong leadership in the country.


Duke said this in Calabar on Sunday, while reacting to the destruction of properties in Calabar by some hoodlums on Friday and Saturday.


Saying that the acts of destruction were not normal, Duke stressed that the youths felt abandoned and depressed, with no leaders to assure them that their tomorrow would be better than today.


He said that the youths, therefore, resorted to taking laws into their hands by destroying private and government properties.


He said that the videos and pictures of the looting in Calabar aptly reflected that the youths largely felt neglected and abandoned by leaders.


“We often want to blame these happenings on criminals and miscreants but they are no such people; we created them, they are human beings.


“I find it deplorable when people regard others as miscreants; they are our children.


“If you don’t provide for them, train them and give them hope, they will take laws into their hands but the point is that we need to rise up and correct these things.


“We must mean what we say and say what we mean. When the youths feel that your words are empty statements, they won’t take you seriously anymore,” he said.


Duke noted that if the tragic incident that occurred in Calabar should happen again, the state would be “finished”.


The ex-governor, who urged the government to be ready to find solutions to the problems that led to the crisis, said that the uniqueness of Cross River State’s hospitality had been affected.


“The youths have been bruised and we need to address that and heal their scars. My desire is to reach out to them, speak to them and ask for forgiveness; so that we can forgive them too and create a better society.


“We love Cross River; the soonest we come out, we will encourage others to do same. We need the support of everyone to do this. We should encourage the government to succeed, regardless of what we think.


“Some of the protesters are idle, if they are employed, they won’t be on the streets. You can’t say you have a right to life without given a right to livelihood.


“When you see someone carting away a used toilet base, you should know there is a big problem. We need to help our young people to succeed. We need to educate, equip and sustain them,” he said.


Duke said that the furniture, cars and other properties that were destroyed could be replaced, adding, however, that no human life could be replaced.


He, therefore, appealed to the youths to sheathe their swords.


He said that the youths had been passing a strong message to the leaders but not through words.

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