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Those hoodlums should be rehabilitated

By Temitope Martins

Hoodlums became a trending word during the ENDSARS protest. I must say that they have always existed before now but with variants in agberos, political thugs etc. They are ubiquitous in political party conventions, meetings, peaceful protests, elections, and any other social gatherings even with/without an invitation.

During the protests, they were noticeable in trying to attack and disrupt protests. After the protests, the same hoodlums decided loot shops, stores, markets to burn down buildings and cause mayhem in the country. This just signifies that we had better rehabilitate them or the society suffers the menace that they have become.

Imagine; Nigerians clamoured for a speech from the president. After the speech, hoodlums went on to loot palliatives and create more mayhem.

The president praised himself for doing well and reiterated his plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty through the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSME Survival fund, registration of businesses, grant to artisans, guaranteeing traders market, Farmermoni, TraderMoni, Market Moni, Npower, Ntech , NAgro and other programmes .

The government has good programmes but how about this section that’s always clamouring for presence? The hoodlums don’t understand the basic programmes or intention of government but he who has the capacity to sponsor/pay them.

Where did we get it wrong? Hoodlums don’t understand President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech. Hoodlums don’t do N-power; they don’t do N-tech, or whatever empowerment programmes the federal government has in place.

So, no matter the billions of money put in place by the government for programmes, it does nothing to help, reform or improve their welfare.

Hoodlums are basically the most vulnerable in the society and responsible governments take care of their most vulnerable. Thee menace of hoodlums is the result of the failure of government to put a functional, affordable education and welfare system for all.

The same government that won’t ban them but sponsor them during election and other events; use them to their evil advantage then frown at them when they are longer needed.

The hoodlums are Nigerians. They need to be rehabilitated. If the government is on the mission to being a civilized nation, it needs to rehabilitate them.

The Lagos State government has rolled out a huge fund for business and employment programs for youths through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. How do these programs reach the hoodlums considering their illiteracy and educational background?

The government needs to create a system of informal/adult education to rehabilitate, re-educate or re-orientate our disadvantaged youths. Without proper informal/formal education, they would still be induced and manipulated to create mayhem in the society.

It was Chief Obafemi Awolowo who said: “The children of the poor you failed to train (educate) will never let your children live in peace…” Very true!

Temitope Martins, Lagos.

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