He said the youths of the country, being the largest component of the population, were disenchanted and pessimistic.
“Long before our country was forced into a recession by a global downturn in the economy, unemployment had become a major social and economic problem.“ Religious or ethnic motivation for some of the conflicts that we are experiencing across the country is real and tangible.
“Today, with inflation at 18 percent and unemployment at an all-time high of 13.9 percent, the socio-economic challenges posed by youth unemployment are gradually evolving into a security threat; a simmering keg of gun-powder whose explosion, if not prevented, will have serious implications for our country and its security.
“Indeed, unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, and weak family ties have been identified in several studies as making youths susceptible to radicalism and recruitment into insurgency groups.
“Certainly, the raging poverty and inequality plaguing the country suggest a causal link between despondency, insecurity and other threats to peaceful co-existence,’’ the governor said.
He urged participants at the forum to explore other perspectives, identify and examine the nexus between poverty and unemployment on one hand and insecurity and disharmony on the other.
“The conference should clamour for creating more opportunities for the economic empowerment of the youth, a greater voice for the disadvantaged and a reduction in the levels of poverty prevalent in the country.
“The truth is that beneath the ostensible reasons proffered for the insecurity and violence in our country and elsewhere, an often unacknowledged root cause is the quest for control of or access to economic resources,’’ he added.
Earlier, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, had said insecurity should not be seen from a narrow understanding that it was limited to a particular region .
He said insecurity was visible everywhere across the country and manifested in assassinations, kidnappings and ritual killings.
The monarch, however, said those who use the name of Islam in engaging in insurgency were anti Islam and would face the judgment of God.
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, said those behind acts of insurgency were mere criminals.
He urged Christians and Muslims to embrace peaceful co-existence and collectively work toward the peace and progress of the country.