The Edo State Government on Friday announced the closure of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) secretariat, to forestall the breakdown of law and order following the leadership crisis that is rocking the council.
The closure of the Council’s secretariat along Akpakpava Road, Benin City, came just a section of the youth group earlier on Friday called for the sack of the Edo State Commissioner for Youth and Gender Issues, Mr Adaze Emwanta, over his alleged meddlesomeness in the leadership structure of the council.
Emwanta was alleged to have appointed somebody the aggrieved members claimed, is unknown to them to run their affairs.
Announcing the closure of the secretariat, the commissioner, in a statement endorsed by him said that the transition committee, which some leaders of the Council were kicking against, would be operating from a location to be provided by the ministry.
He added that the deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, would meet with stakeholders in the council the following week.
The statement reads: “It is hereby announced for the information of the general public, that the Edo State Government has ordered the immediate closure of the Secretariat of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Edo State Chapter, which is situated along Akpakpava Road, Benin City.
“This closure became necessary due to the leadership succession crisis rocking the state Chapter of the Youth body. Security agencies in the state have been informed of this decision and have the mandate to apprehend any person or group who volunteers to violate this directive of the government.
“In the meantime, the Transition Management Committee, which was set up to organize the Youth Council election will operate from a location to be provided by the supervising Ministry. A meeting of all critical Stakeholders in Youth Council Affairs in the State with the Deputy Governor will be held early next week.
The warring factions must continue to maintain the peace during this period of transition, as the state government remains committed to promoting the welfare and social inclusiveness of all youths in the state,” Emwanta reiterated.
Meanwhile, there was palpable tension around the NYCN secretariat in the early part of Friday morning as some of the members called for the removal of the Commissioner for Youths and Gender Issues, Adaze Emwanta for an alleged attempt to foist his crony as the head of the new leadership of the Council.
Armed uniform and plain cloth security personnel were deployed in strategic locations at the secretariat popularly called Youth House.
Speaking to journalists, the chairman of a five-man transition committee set up to conduct an election into the association in the next two months, Ehis Osagie demanded the sack of Emwanta saying “the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Edo State chapter have been witnessing a rift in the past few weeks following the failure of the suspended Executive committee led by Comrade Osahon Davison Obasuyi to put machinery in place to usher in a new administration.”
He said based on this “the management committee which is the second highest decision-making organ of the organization after the congress, in its wisdom, constituted a five-man caretaker committee to put in motion, modalities for the conduct of an election in 60 days which the dissolved executive failed to achieve.”
He called for the retraction of a statement credited to Emwanta where he stated the appointment of one Sarah Igunbor as the chairman of the transition committee to oversee the affairs of the NYCN for the next six months.
“A Transition Committee Chairman to function for another six (6) months, which is in total disagreement with the management decision made on Wednesday 26th October 2022 on setting up of a five Man Caretaker Committee, with a duty in conducting an inclusive election within next 60 days.”