Fresh Calamity Befalls PDP – Minister Fired for Failing to Rig Youth Election
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sacked the minister of youth development, Inuwa Abdulkadir, for failing to ensure that a pro-Jonathan candidate Yakubu Shendam emerged the president of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) at its recent congress in Minna, the Niger State capital.
Shendam was beaten by Abdullahi Abdulmajeed, a candidate allegedly sponsored by the five northern PDP governors who had been traversing the country to hold discussions over problems in the PDP.
Niger State governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu hosted the youth council election in Minna after an earlier election on May 26, 2013, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, ended in a deadlock.
However, the governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, had gone ahead to declare Shendam winner and the former youth minister presented him to President Jonathan, leading to a flood of petitions questioning the credibility of the process.
The development led to a fresh election in Minna where Abdulmajeed defeated Shendam to emerge the president of NYCN. The emergence of Abdulmajeed was said to have infuriated the presidency which felt slighted that its candidate could not be made president of the council.
A terse statement issued by the secretary to government of the federation (SGF), Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, directed Abdulkadir to hand over the business of the ministry to the permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth Development.
The statement by the SGF announcing Abdulkadir’s removal expressed Mr. President’s appreciation to the former minister for the time he put in the service of the nation and wished him success in his future endeavours.
Meanwhile, Abdulkadir’s was also accused of installing a president of the youth council at the botched Markudi congress even without an election.
The congress of the NYCN was held in contravention of a subsisting Federal High Court, Lagos, order dated May 20, 2013, obtained by one Henry Nwabueze to stop the election of new officers.
The earlier scheduled NYCN congress for the election was to take place in April 2013 at Ondo State. Later, Benue was chosen as the place for the event and security was cited as the reason for the shift in venue.
Shendam Yakubu was named the new president of the council after the congress held on May 24 and 26, 2013, despite cries from some quarters that no election was held during the congress.
LEADERSHIP gathered that another election was held at Minna over the weekend but when the former president of the council, Oluwale Ajani was contacted, he said he did not know of any other president other than himself.
The ex-minister, Abdulkadir, had continued to maintain his innocence in the crises rocking the council, saying that those protesting were disqualified for having crossed the stipulated age of 35.
LEADERSHIP gathered in a telephone conversation with the assistant director (AD) of press, Olusola Abiola, that the ex-minister was not on seat but was in faraway Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Abdulkadir was appointed last year to replace the former minister of sports, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, who had resigned his ministerial appointment to contest the Sokoto State gubernatorial election.
The former minister of youth development, Bolaji Abdullahi, who was overseeing the sports ministry, was retained as the substantive minister there.
Mixed reactions trail minister’s alleged removal in Sokoto
Following Abdulkadir’s unexpected sack by the presidency yesterday, the Seat of the Caliphate was agog with mixed reactions, LEADERSHIP findings revealed.
While a cross section of the citizens speculated his possible replacement with former minister of transport Yusuf Suleiman, others wondered at the reason for his sudden removal.
For those who sat on the fence in the discourse, they said the man was sacrificed for political reasons: that it was a result of high-wired politics aimed at reconciling some aggrieved persons within the party.
Some told LEADERSHIP that he was the most unpopular minister in the history of Sokoto State.