The Presidency on Wednesday said Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, the sacked Minister of Youth Development was removed from the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan because of the way he handled the two elections of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN held in Markudi, Benue State and Minna, Niger State.
The Presidency however described as “most disingenuous and malicious” speculations that Alhaji Abdulkadir was fired for “failing to ensure that a Pro-Jonathan candidate emerged as president of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN)”.
In a statement issued by Reuben Abati, special adviser to President Jonathan on media and publicity, the Presidency asserted that President Jonathan had no special candidate for the NYCN election, but was rather concerned about the poor handling of the election by the Minister which eventually led to factionalisation of the Council.
“President Jonathan regards all Nigerian youth 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 others,” said Abati.
The Presidential spokesperson said 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 fractionalization 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.
“The President therefore expects all officials of his administration to exhibit greater rectitude and sensitivity on issues related to youth development, and comport themselves at all times in a manner worthy of emulation by Nigerian youth,” Abati concluded.