The Presidency has opened up on the reasons behind the sacking of Inuwa Abdulkadir, minister of youth development by President Goodluck Jonathan
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Sep. 9, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
HIS commitment towards conducting free, fair, credible and transparent elections at all levels is immutable. That, probably informed the sacking of Inuwa Abdulkadir, minister of youth development. President Goodluck Jonathan on August 26 sacked Abdulkadir for alleged imposition of candidates at a recent election conducted by the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN.
Reuben Abati, special adviser on media and publicity to President, in a statement, said Abdulkadir’s failure to provide appropriate leadership towards open and transparent youth council elections was unacceptable to the president and his administration. He said because he was committed to ensuring that the Nigerian youth were given the best possible upbringing and orientation, Jonathan expected all officials of his administration to exhibit greater rectitude and sensitivity on issues related to youth development. The President added that he expected his appointees to comport themselves at all times in a manner worthy of emulation by Nigerian youths.
He, however, denied media report that he sacked the former minister for failing to ensure that the President’s candidate emerged as president of the NYCN. Describing the report as baseless, President Jonathan said he regarded all Nigerian youths as his wards and constituents and there was no reason for him to prefer one candidate over the others.
The statement read, “We have noted with regret the several false speculations in the media on the reason for the termination of the appointment of the former Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir by President Goodluck Jonathan. While many media outlets erroneously attributed the minister’s sacking to his disloyalty or closeness to a particular governor or governors said to be opposed to the President, the most disingenuous and malicious speculation was by a national newspaper which claimed that Alhaji Abdulkadir was fired for ‘failing to ensure that a pro-Jonathan candidate emerged as president of the NYCN.
“We wish to assure the general public that nothing could be farther from the truth. President Jonathan regards all Nigerian youths as his wards and constituents. Claims that he had a preferred candidate in the NYCN elections are completely baseless and without justification as there was absolutely no reason for him to prefer one candidate over the others. President Jonathan remains sincerely and unwaveringly committed to doing all within his powers to promote the credibility and integrity of the electoral process at all levels in the country.
“He firmly believes that a culture of free, fair and credible election must be constantly nurtured and encouraged amongst Nigerian youth and all other sections of the country. In point of fact, it was Alhaji Abdulkadir’s regrettable deviation from this presidential commitment in the management of the NYCN elections that led to the decision to relieve him of his appointment as minister of youth development. President Jonathan was very displeased with the mishandling of the NYCN elections in Makurdi and Minna by the Ministry of Youth Development which resulted in the unfortunate factionalisation of the youth council.
“The President found the ministry’s failure to provide appropriate leadership towards open and transparent youth council elections unacceptable. President Jonathan is sincerely committed to doing everything possible to ensure that the Nigerian youth, on whom the country’s aspirations for a bright and prosperous future depend, are given the best possible upbringing and orientation,” he said.
Realnews investigations revealed that the minister was sacked after aggrieved youth groups who are sympathetic to President Jonathan’s re-election in 2015 called for the removal the minister for allegedly causing crisis in the council. “With this action, the minister has shown the entire world that he lacks the integrity to still continue as the youth minister in a government that preaches adherence to the rule of law and prides itself as government of transformation. The action of the minister was an aberration and a deliberate attempt to incite the entire Nigerian youths against the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, having considered the challenging security situation in Nigeria. We have refused to be provoked and to go on the street as civilised youths of this great nation. We humbly appeal that President Goodluck Jonathan should, with immediate effect, relieve the minister of his position since he has been disconnected from the president’s transformation agenda in the management and administration of youth development activities in Nigeria,” the youths said.
Apart from falling out of favour with the youths, the sacked minister is reported to have lost touch with members of the National Assembly Committee on Youth Development shortly after being appointed into the cabinet. It was also revealed that the minister did not enjoy a smooth working relationship with the members of the National Assembly. He frequently clashed with the members over the implementation of projects earmarked for the ministry.
Arewa Youths Forum, AYF, said the decision was a welcome development and praised President Jonathan for removing the minister because he no longer related to issues regarding youth development and welfare. Gambo Gujungu, national president, AYF, said that the group sees the sack of the minister by President Jonathan as a good step. He further advised that whoever is going to be appointed to fill the position must be competent and the replacement should not be based on political considerations in order to move the sector forward.