Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Country Director/Executive Director, Global Society for Anti Corruption (GSAC), Mrs Amaka Nweke, has said that poverty and unemployment were responsible for the current rising crime rate by youths in Enugu State.
She said this on Saturday while speaking with Journalists in Enugu on the backdrop of upsurge in criminal activities by youths in the state, especially in Enugu, the state capital.
Nweke said though the State Government was trying in the area of empowerment and provision of employment for the youths, it needs to do more.
“I can say that, the current rise in criminal activities, being perpetrated mostly by youths is a result of increasing poverty and high rate of youth unemployment in the state.
“Today, in Enugu State, youths engage in different crimes including cyber crime, phone snatching, armed robbery among other criminal activities,” she said.
She said that many youths were pushed into crime by greed and the urge to live large.
She, however, said that, many youths who engage in cyber crimes can be rehabilitated and made to be more useful to themselves and the state.
“Some of these youths can be rehabilitated while facing prosecution and made to be better citizens because some of them are brilliant youths, who, for one reason or the other, went into crime.
“So, they can be reformed for the good of the society,” she said.
She advised the youths to take advantage of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) programmes of the State Government to better their lives instead of taking to crime.
Nweke also stressed the need for security agents in the state to live up to their responsibilities in the area of crime prevention by being proactive in fighting crime.
“People are taking laws into their hands because in most cases the security agencies were not on hand.
“Sometimes, even when you report these cases, not before long you will see the same criminal on the street again, ” she said.
The GSAC director also condemned the recent incident where some youths in Mmaku Community in Awgu Local Government Area of the state stripped a widow naked in public for allegedly violating their culture.
“GSAC condemns in totality the action of the youths; it is not only barbaric but shameful and unacceptable in this modern society.
“We will continue to monitor their prosecution until we see that justice is done,” she said.