National Youth Council meets in Abuja, appoints Mustapha caretaker President
The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), the apex youth body, on Sunday held an extraordinary Congress in Abuja, appointing an Interim National Executive, and berating former Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Darling, its officials once pandered to..
The meeting which had in attendance, the Board of Trustees (BoT), National Advisory Council (NAC), state chairmen, heads of various Voluntary Youth Organizations (VYOs), the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youths Development and other stakeholders, appointed Kogi-born Asuku Abdullahi Mustapha, as a caretaker chairman for a period of two years.
The Congress, amongst other things, resolved: to investigate the encroachment on the piece of land given for Youth Village by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It also empowered the BoT to recover all assets and property of the Council; to amend the 2012 constitution of the Council; to sanction anyone impersonating officials or any organ of the Council; to laise with the Ministry of Youth, to review the recently launched National Youths Policy Document, on which the Council was not duly consulted.
Recall that, the BoT had in May 2019, withdrawn recognition to all factional executive committees in a letter to the former Minister of Youths presidency, and heads of various security agencies in Nigeria.
The Board hinged its decision on the order of the Nasarawa High Court, after the Gombe National Convention, where Comrade Bello Bala Shagari emerged national president, with other national executives.
Shortly after that, Comrade Shagari, in a press release last month, declared that he remained the national president and that BoT had no powers to remove him.
Also, former leader of the Council, Comrade Ikenga Ugochinyere appointed former aspirant at the Gombe Congress, Oladele Nihi, from Kogi state as national president two weeks ago.
The third factional president of the Council, Comrade Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubu was also appointed by former Minister, Barr. Dalung in his office, Abuja, a week to the expiration of his tenure as Minister.
But the extraordinary Congress held in Abuja on Sunday, did not only declare all existing factional executives illegal, it also faulted Barr. Dalung of meddlesome in the affairs of the Council.
Speaking at the extraordinary Congress, Chairman of the Board, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, lamented how the Council had been hijacked by “strangers” whom he also said are engineering the lingering crisis.
“I want to make this abundantly clear. Any organization that is registered with the CAC, the only people recognized by law or Company Allied Matter Act, are the Incorporated Trustees.
“Thus, nobody can meet legally to take critical decisions about the National Youth Council of Nigeria, without the knowledge of the Incorporated Trustees.
“Of course, the NEC has its own powers, the state chairmen also have their own powers, the Advisory Council can also meet and exercise its powers. But when it has to do with critical decisions or teething issues affecting the Council, no stranger is permitted to meet anywhere and take decision on behalf of the Council.
“It is in this regard, that we have decided that we are not going to tow the part of what others are doing, but to invite all the stakeholders here, with the view to resolving the crises that are bedeviling the Youth Council.
“Presently, for the first time in the history of the Youth Council, we have three ‘national presidents’ parading themselves. Some of the leaders we have thought would call the youths to order, also find solace in whatever they are doing. This is highly alarming and threatening!
“The idea of calling people into a beer parlour, inviting clergymen, film actors, retired politicians and even political office holders sitting and adopting a particular person as the national president of the Youth Council is very dangerous to the collective existence of the Nigerian youths”, Akoh lamented.
He emphasized that, it was very wrong to delve into the mater which was still in court and the order given has not been vacated, adding that it would amount to illegality and nullity to be acting against the law.
Akoh said the BoT was not happy with the way the former Minister was manipulating the Council and a letter of protest was written to him early this year, citing undue interference by the Minister and the ministry staff.
“The ministry replied us on 15th April, 2019, that we should meet urgently and the meeting was held on 18th April, 2019, with the permanent secretary and senior staff of the ministry, where I pointed out to the Minister that whatever he was doing was illegal and would further aggravate the crisis in the Youth Council.
“When we saw how the ministry was fraternising with one of the factional presidents and the way things were going, the Board took a decision, to de-recognise all the executives, in line with the court order. We wrote to the Minister and copied the presidency and all heads of security agencies. Anyone parading himself or herself as an official of the Youth Council now is impersonating.
“For now, there is no EXCO in the Youth Council, the youths are being denied the opportunity of patronage and we shall not fold our hands and allow this to happen. That’s why we have called this extraordinary Congress, if we cannot hold elective Congress to fill the vacuum, because of the court order, we can as well discuss the way forward, because the constitution empowers this gathering to find solutions to issues as this.
“One of the steps we can take to resolving the issues, is to appoint interim committee or caretaker committee to oversee the affairs of the Council for a specified period of time, when we would have resolved these whole issues”, Akoh added.
On his part, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Olusade Adesola, said he was confident that the extraordinary Congress would find “a way forward that could enhance your unity and cohesion in advancing the Youth advantage in Nigeria”.