Better communication means using the same definitions. The words that are used by the petroleum industry to describe the amount of production, waste and loss are not clearly defined. Transparency is absolutely needed and communication with the IOCs must be improved. The petroleum industrial sector must be held responsible for what they say and what they do. Unravelling the doublespeak in written and spoken messages from the IOCs needs to be a serious goal. The people of the Niger Delta can be involved in translating the dialogue and regulatory intentions of the IOCs. They live in the reality and involving the youth in holding the petroleum corporations accountable will be an excellent example for NNPC and other government agencies to emulate.
The numbers of successful programmes that have rehabilitated young people formerly involved in youth restiveness are diverse. The programmes that work are not mysterious or difficult to design. Youth restiveness can be stopped with programmes that engage teenagers and young people everywhere including but not restricted to music, sports, poetry workshops, well equipped schools and libraries, and internships. The youths need to have access to modern libraries, computer labs, science labs and vocational programmes.
Youth have the energy and idealism necessary for a country to progress and eventually take over from the older generation the governance. Therefore, youth need to be treated with respect and given a way to express their opinions about the decisions that affect their lives and futures.
Diversification of the economy is essential so that the youth can chose from many type of career opportunities such as in agriculture, the environment, science, governance, literature, diplomacy and the whole spectrum of careers that create stability and security.
Transparency and honesty are needed if the youth are expected to stop interdictions. In order for the youth to respect the IOCs and the NNPC, the youth need to be respected by the IOCs and the NNPC. What exactly the IOCs are reporting and what the NNPC is reporting need to be clearly defined. The amounts need to be compared to reality. The entities that do not report need to be contacted so that at least realistic approximations can be made of their petroleum production, waste and loss.
Youth involved in youth restlessness activities need to be interviewed about their deeper motivations for becoming involved in the activities. The reason that they are unemployed is not enough to explain the illegal activities and the dangers faced. The assumption that bringing international attention to the human rights and climate injustices in the Niger Delta can be explored, in order to learn how to best empower youth. For example, would the youth be motivated to fulfil education requirements if they could make a difference on the international scene in through positive and legal activities?
Ojakorotu (2010: 12) observes that the militant groups in the Niger Delta have proliferated to the point that many have “questionable credentials” and symbolize the “degeneration of the oil violence to the despicable level of sheer opportunism.” Therefore, research needs to separate the intentions of youth restiveness from the underground black market intentions or show how they are related. Is the youth restiveness movement a tool of the black market? Are the perpetrators of criminal activities and black market enterprises foreigners or a youth generation who are now adults?
Youth restiveness takes the place of court cases in bringing attention to the situation in the Niger Delta. The options for youth are limited. Gembre and his supporters wanted to put the issue in the international limelight, but that was not accomplished. Ironically, the court case won in New York in the United States was more successful at initiating international discussion on the problem. The human right to live in a clean environment and to have a say in the state of the environment is an underlying foundation (if not the foundation for youth restiveness). The most convincing argument for how to end youth restiveness was to establish high quality libraries. Good libraries are the hub of a community. Youth need knowledge and access to information so they can realistically plan for a successful future. Youth are an important national resource and must be given access to knowledge of internal and external affairs and academic studies. Youth needs to be engaged in activities that better their futures and develop their minds and intellect.
It is pertinent to know that good governance, peace and economic growth are the foundation and pillars for a greater Nigeria. Corruption is a feature that causes youth dissatisfaction. Transparency is necessary for governance to gain the respect of the people it proposes to represent. The Nigerian government must stop underestimating the need for clean water and a consistent supply of electricity for the population from a human rights perspective, and if the dream of reaching the status of a ‘developed country’ is going to be achieved.
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