From EBEN ENASCO KINGSLEY, Benin City
THE leadership of Edo Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) has alleged that it lost forty of its members to death as a result of the hardship caused by the disbandment of the scheme since 2015.
The State Public Relations Officer of the scheme, comrade Obamedo Friday made the allegation while piloting his disbanded colleagues on a protest march yesterday in Benin City.
Comrade Obamedo revealed that certain Patrick, Olotu Mercy, Martha, Ade have died as a result of the disbandment of the scheme, saying, “others who could not cope with the hard condition, have relocated to their villages while others were forced to abort their academic pursuit.
“For the past thirteen good months, it is painful to me to say this, that you might sympathize with us, we have recorded more than forty of the member of this scheme who have died. Some have lost their husbands, wives,children,and some have even relocated to their Local Government, Apana, Jettu, Iyamo all across the eighteen Local Governments,” he said. He said they were surprised to have heard the state government saying they were picked up from the street stating that they are not from the streets as only mad men that could be picked up from the streets as the scheme is made up of graduates and others who are skillful in their various fields who applied for the scheme.
He lamented that by such statement, it means the youths have no rights to apply for jobs and be gainfully employed in the state.
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On the part of the president of the scheme, Comrade Victor Oluseugun Idonigie, he pointed out that the fifteen thousand members who were formerly in the scheme before it was disbanded have served the Government for seven years and so demand compensation and regularization of the scheme which should be implemented by the state government.
Oluseugun noted that it is only the implementation of the regularization that could make the youths to actively participate in the forthcoming election in the state just as they did in the past election where each member mobilized at least forty persons.
“This scheme ensured that they mobilized forty-forty persons in their each houses in this APC government. We are saying that we need that urgent regularization and that without that,there should not be campaign, there should not be election in Edo State,” he said.
He stated that the state government should stick to his promise of providing jobs for the ten thousand youths which he earlier promised as there are shortages of staff in the various ministries and that the reabsorbing of the disengaged workers could be of help in those ministries
“All civil servants are crying out for staff. Go to school, no more teachers, go to all ministries, no more staff. But how long shall we wait?
This is one year now and we are still waiting,” he said.