Two days after its National President of
National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN),
Ikenga Ugochinyere resgned his position, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the council has disbanded the Executive Committee.
Ugochinyere, who got involved in opposition politics in the build-up to the last general elections in February and March had accused the Youth and Sports Minister, Mr. Solomon Darling, of perpetrating the crisis in the youth body that got split down the line between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
The BoT gave thirty days ultimatum to any member or group in possession of the land documents or involved in the unlawful sale of any portion of the land to contact the Board or face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Recall that Ugochinyere had claimed at a press conference that his Executive Committee had identified the location of the Five Billion Naira Youth Village land that was illegally sold and some of the persons who were involved in the sale.
“This discovery was a major reason why we were opposed as many persons in government were involved in the illegal land transaction,” he claimed.
The disbandment of the Executive by the BoT was in obedience to two subsisting court orders given against the constitution of the executive and attempt to “chart the way forward” for the apex youth body.
Rising from an emergency meeting in Abuja on 15th May, 2019, the Board, in a communiqué signed by its Chairman, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh and Secretary, Comrade Sola Oladeji, also raised issues surrounding the land allocated to the Council by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo for the proposed Youth Village in Abuja.
An official letter was consequently written to convey the decision of the Board to Honourable Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Barr. Solomon Dalung.
The letter was copied to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the National Security Adviser, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Inspector-General of Police, the Department of State Services and also made available to the press.
“It was resolved that the combined forces of the High Court of Justice of Nasarawa State Order in Suit No: NSD/MG104/18, Motion No: NSD/MG104/18 dated Tuesday, 30th Day of October, 2018, wherein the Court ORDERED the setting aside of the Gombe Congress, and the suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/833/18, holding at Federal High Court, Abuja Division on Tuesday 11th September, 2018 where the Court made an order against the inauguration of Bello Bala Shagari as the President of National Youth Council of Nigeria pending the determination of the substantial suit, coupled with several constitutional breaches such as politicization of the NYCN by the leadership; disobedience against the provisions of the Constitution of the National Youth Council of Nigeria in the handling of the NYCN affairs.
“The Board of Trustees, after a critical meeting with the officials of the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development held on the 18th April, 2019 at the Conference Hall of the Ministry, wherein the Court Orders stopping NYCN from holding any Elective Congress and nullifying the Gombe Congress were thoroughly considered, embarked upon wide range consultation with stakeholders and renowned legal experts was left with no option but to abide by the law of the land by derecognizing any of the National Executive Council (either Gombe or PortHarcourt)”, the communiqué reads in part.
The Board therefore said, that a National Management Committee Meeting will be convened soon to chart the way forward, even as it suggested a caretaker committee of two years, in the Minister’s letter.
The BoT, according to the letter, said it has “decided to liaise with the Ministry with a view to constitute a National Executive Council with 2-Year Tenure, during which it is expected that all crisis in the Council and all issues related to the amendment of the Constitution be resolved”.
Recall that an Elective Congress was held in Gombe state, July 2018 where Comrade Shagari emerged as National President with other executive members.
Prior to this Congress, however, there was a Court Order from the Nasarawa State High Court retraining the NYCN and its BoT from conducting the Congress.
The BoT though denied receiving any Court Order before the Gombe Congress, claiming the order only got to their knowledge after the convention.
Shortly after the Gombe Congress, a factional convention was also held in PortHarcourt in 2018, with Comrade Sukubo Seraigbe Sukubo emerging as the National President with other executive members.
Said Ugochinyere last week in Abuja: “Following my deep involvement in opposition politics during my leave from the youth council particularly as the spokesperson of the Nigerian opposition, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and as the National Chairman of Action People’s Party (APP), I have come to the informed conclusion that l may not be in a position to be totally neutral to lead Nigerian youths as the President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria.”
“My long absence and foray into opposition politics has created a huge vacuum that has led to the emergence of factional leaders and splinter groups who are destroying the unity of the Council.
“I have all it takes to sustain my leadership and claim to the presidency of the National Youth Council with the court judgment and my financial resources, but I have decided to make this great sacrifice of voluntarily stepping aside and call for early congress to institute a leadership that will unify us all and move us to greater heights….
“Despite the affirmation of the legitimacy of our leadership by the FCT High Court, which is still valid and subsisting till today, the ministry (of Sports) has continued to disobey the valid orders of the court. The distraction from the ministry really slowed our pace.
“With the negative actions of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, we were able to achieve within the time the launching of the NYCN Football Club, The Bulldozers which is presently doing very well in the FCT League.
“We were also very prominent in the processes leading to the passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill by the National Assembly which has since been assented to by the president and which has made it possible for a lot of young Nigerians to
contest for elective offices in the country”.