The Bayelsa State Government has pledged to support a youth empowerment programme initiated by a pressure group in the state to provide more economic opportunities for the youths.
The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the pledge when members of the group known as “Bayelsa Youths at Peace With Diri and Law” paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo lauded the youth group for their good initiative and assured them that government would build on the success they had already achieved by redesigning the programme to make it sustainable.
He said government was interested in recalibrating the scheme from its current cash transfer model to something more beneficial and enduring by encouraging the beneficiaries to acquire useful skills to become self-reliant.
The Deputy Governor, who also commended the group for their unrelenting support for the Governor Douye Diri-led Prosperity Administration, promised to carry along the teeming youths of the state in the scheme of things.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo seized the opportunity to announce that the Bayelsa Sports Festival which had earlier been scheduled for this December would now hold in the first quarter of next year.
According to him, the sports festival is being packaged to meaningfully engage the youths across the eight local government areas of the state in competitive sports.
A statement issued on Thursday by the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Deputy Governor, Mr Doubara Atasi, explained that the shift in date was due to some unforeseen circumstances and the desire of the state government to make the upcoming sports meet, a reference point.
The Deputy Governor said: “We want to commend you for that positive step you have taken. We believe we need to redesign what you are doing now to make the youths get maximum benefit from it.”
“So we really want to see how people can identify their areas of endowment. We will give little things, but let us make it sustainable.
“We can use this to draw the youths to competitive sports. That is why we are organizing the Bayelsa State sports festival for the very first time, in January, and by the grace of God, we are going to sustain it,” he said.
In his presentation, the leader of the “Bayelsa Youths at Peace With Diri and Law”, Comrade Doubara Kumoko, said their support for the Prosperity Government was predicated on the peaceful disposition with which the Governor and his Deputy govern the state.
Comrade Kumoko, popularly known as the ‘youth governor’ expressed gratitude to Governor Diri for giving opportunities for the youths to prosper through political appointments and skills acquisition schemes.
He, however, appealed to the government to support the Group’s youth empowerment programme from which over 300 youths have benefited across the 24 electoral constituencies in the state.
Comrade Kumoko also called on youths of the state to take full advantage of the opportunities being created for them by the present administration, and remain peaceful before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.