In the year 2013, there was a scholarship program that was brought to Deltans (youths especially) to help empower the youths and eradicate poverty in Delta, and it was to be held in Egbokodo Itsekiri in Warri, Delta state. About 4000 candidates applied, sat for the exams across Delta state and out of that number, 150 persons were selected and I was one of the lucky few.
The program started formally in February 2014 and It was slated to last for 2 years with our result coming directly from London. (We got a few of the results, I included it as attachment to this letter as proof). The program was in conjunction with United Nations and the certificates were to bear City and Guilds of London Institute. Then it was the former governor, His Excellency Emmanuel Uduagha that was on seat. The program went smoothly through out 2014, so many of us had built a future already because we were focused and determined to succeed.
Then in 2015, after the governorship election, as his Excellency Dr Ifeanyi Okowa stepped into office, we were told that in his first 100 days in office, he was coming to not only see our works and worth, that he was coming to officially Inaugurate the center. We celebrated that news but we never saw him and after that year the center was closed down.
The 150 youths that were promised Employment or empowerment were just left to wonder the streets of Delta. Ever since that program ended unexpected, many of us who had left what we were doing to focus on the program because it was a full scholarship program have not been able to find our feet.
Job hunting has not been funny thereby forcing many who were unable to cope to enter all manner of jobs just to make ends meet.
The governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has brought so many youth programs to Delta and it has made a huge impact on the lives of our youths, but what about those 150 youths whose lives had been filled with failed promises from the past and present governments?
Can they be visited? Called upon? Empowered or even employed?
I met a former instructor some weeks ago in Asaba, and we got talking and he told me that since the centre was shut down, it has not been easy for him because he had little or no time to prepare for the storm that came rushing in.
I write this day with hope that anyone can read and find the urgency to look into our matter.
Benedict Israel obianuju wrote from Delta State.
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SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)