Posted by Nelson Dafe | 13 June 2013 | 5,721 times
Minister of Youth Development, Hon. Inuwa Abdulkadir, has been asked to resign over the “barbaric” role he played in the disputed election of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN). A key member of NYCN, Mr. Carl Oshodi-Isibor, made the call while speaking with News Express Correspondent Nelson Dafe from Abuja recently. Oshodi-Isibor alleged that the minister organised a kangaroo election that has precipitated crisis in the council. He also answered other questions related to the NYC. Below are excerpts of the interview.
News Express: What is the National Youth Council of Nigeria about?
Oshodi-Isibor: The NYCN is a body set up to cater for the socio-political and cultural needs of the Nigerian youths. It is however not a political group in the sense of attaching itself to a political party. It is a significant pressure group that aims to improve the leadership qualities of Nigerian youths so that they can help shape a better Nigeria.
What are the facts surrounding the crisis that has recently engulfed the NYCN?
The congress of the council scheduled an election from the 23rd to 26th of May to elect members of the executive committee of the body in Makurdi. However, some of the candidates stayed away from the venue of the election, unfortunately. The congress in its wisdom and in the spirit of fair play decided to dissolve the then executive and appointed a transition committee headed by Olawale James Ajani to oversee the organisation of fresh elections.
We were however alarmed to hear that the Minister of Youth Development, Hon. Inuwa Abdulkadir, in consonance with the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, had organised a kangaroo election from which one of the candidates, Yakubu Shendam, had emerged as president of the council.
We, the members of the council, who are in the overwhelming majority, reject this imposition, and we make it clear that this interference and oppressive act of the minister in the NYCN would be fought.
We also wish to make it clear that we, as well as majority of Nigerian youths, support the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, but the conduct of the Minister of Youth Development as regards his meddling into the affairs of the NYCN is testing the sense of independence of the generality of the Nigerian youths.
What evidence do you have to prove that the minister interfered in the so-called “kangaroo” election that saw the emergence of Yakubu Shendam as president of the NYCN?
There are pictures, as well as video and audio tapes to show that the minister masterminded the sham election that brought in Shendam.
How are you and your group going about seeking redress?
We are currently embarking on nation-wide protests that include going to the National Assembly. We are seeking, among others, the resignation of the minister for his attempts to destabilise the body. Our lawyers are currently working on the case.
What do you think is the minister’s motive in interfering in the affairs of the NYCN?
It is all about the hunger for power. It is about the desire to install party loyalists in order to influence the direction of the youths come 2015. But most members of the NYCN understand that we have to maintain political neutrality, and that is why we refuse to be pawns in the hands of politicians. We want politicians to stay away from the youth council. They should allow the youths to assemble, debate and find solutions to their challenges themselves.
How would you describe the effectiveness of the NYCN in the past as a pressure group?
Sadly, I must say that the NYCN has not had much impact, even before the tenure of the present minister of Youth Development. This is because of the strangle hold that politicians have strived to have on the body. They monetised the body, thereby causing unnecessary friction within it. However, there are many vibrant youths within the council today, who are refusing to the used by politicians to satisfy their selfish aims; youths who are more vigilant and aware of the need of the country to have fearless youths who value a corruption-free society for the betterment of the nation.
•Photos shows Minister of Youth Dev., Hon. Inuwa Abdulkadir.
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