Recruit 185,000 youths as forest guards to fight insurgency, group tells Tinubu

A group under the aegis of Northern Christian Youth Professionals has called on the president, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to consider recruiting 185,000 young Nigerians as forest guards to protect citizens against the dreaded Boko Haram.

The president, the group said, should take this decision in his first six months in office.

The appeal is coming barely four days after the Voice of America reported that authorities in northern Cameroon have requested more troops from Nigeria and Chad to be deployed to their common border following a report that Boko Haram terrorists had killed no fewer than 12 persons including six soldiers on Tuesday.

Military and government officials in the Central African state’s northern border with Nigeria disclosed that the decision was taken at a crisis meeting after a fresh wave of the insurgents’ attacks were reported.

Although reports say Boko Haram may have been weakened as a result of constant dislodgement by troops of the Nigerian army and its Cameroon counterpart around the northern borders, evidence suggested that the terrorists are still actively attacking communities.

Speaking with The PUNCH, a group of Arewa youths under the umbrella of Northern Christian Youth Professionals expressed outrage over the resurgence of the dreaded Boko Haram.

Chairman of the group, Isaac Abrak, pleaded with President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the insecurity challenges ravaging the north, saying experience over the years has shown that the troops alone cannot fight insurgency.

Abrak, therefore, urged the Federal Government to consider recruiting 185,000 youths to complement the efforts of the military in line with its drive to provide one million jobs for Nigerians.

He said, “We would like to highlight your promise to revitalize the forest guards, an initiative that holds immense significance in securing our forests from the threats of Boko Haram, bandits, and other violent groups. We recognise the magnitude of this task and the impact it can have on national security, the revitalised forest guards can recruit and employ one hundred and eighty-five thousand young Nigerians within the first six months in fulfilment of one million jobs promised from the digital economy.

“Drawing from your experience as governor of Lagos State, where you successfully utilised mass youth employment through the establishment of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency and your Vice President, Kashim Shettima’s instrumental role in establishing the Civilian Joint Task Force as governor in Borno, we have great confidence in your ability to make this ambitious plan a reality within the first six months of your administration.

“Congratulations on your inauguration as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. May the Lord grant you wisdom, strength, and divine guidance as you navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We eagerly anticipate witnessing the positive changes your leadership will bring to our great nation.”