By Yemi Itodo
Honourable Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barr. Solomon Dalung and the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), have intervened in the leadership crisis rocking the youth body.
The body, which is the umbrella body of all youths and ought to pursue their interests, has been enmeshed in a divisive leadership battle of attrition; further worsened by the split of the leadership along partisan lines of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A knowledgeable source said: “As a result of these battles, most youths cannot point to one nagging issue affecting their lot that the council has pursued to its logical conclusion or how the council affect their lives in any way, other than bickering officials massaging their own egos or chasing financial and other favours”.
The Council had held its national convention in Gombe, 2018, amidst controversies, with another faction approaching the court for intervention.
Mr. Shagari Bello who emerged as National President of the Council from the Gombe convention was also recommended for suspension by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the body.
Consequently, Barr. Dalung, on Thursday, summoned the BoT with a view to finding lasting solutions to the lingering crisis.
The meeting which was attended by top management officials of the Ministry and the BoT, arrived at far-reaching decisions concerning NYCN.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting held behind closed doors, Chairman of the BoT, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, said the Board and the Ministry had decided to wade into the leadership crisis rocking the Council, with a resolve to addressing issues surrounding the crisis.
Akoh agreed with the Honourable Minister that there was a need to reposition the Council for the benefit of young people.
To this end, a National Management Meeting involving all stakeholders is to be convened to address the challenges facing the Council.
Akoh said the Minister had also mandated that “the Board of Trustees will now oversee truly, as prescribed by the constitution, the affairs of the Council, to avoid people that are not qualified or outsiders coming to hijack the affairs of the Council”.
The BoT Chairman frowned at divisive nature of the Council at the moment, which was caused by the partisanship of some of the executive members.
He stressed that the Council remained apolitical and emphasised that it should not be aligned to any political party.
On the infiltration by outsiders, the BoT Chairman advised youths interested in the Council to go through due process and avoid impersonation.
“We have the powers to file criminal complaint against anybody impersonating the youth Council in any capacity.
“If you want to be a member of the Youth Council, go and join any of the affiliate members, follow the constitutional process to get to whatever leadership position you want to get to, if you meet the age requirement and other conditions specified in the Constitution”, Akoh said.
The National Management Meeting, including the Ministry, BoT, Advisory Council, NEC and other stakeholders of NYCN, according to Akoh, would take place soonest, to look into the suspension of Mr. Shagari and other salient matters.