I wish to use this medium to firstly commend His Excellency, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode for the timely choice of an eminent personality as the commissioner in charge of Youth Development in Lagos State.
As a youth and a Young Nigerian, who cares so much about the progress and development of my dear country and her people and most especially the progress of Lagos – being the heart of the nation, I cannot but be concerned and bring to the fore any issue which borders around its socio-political and economic well-being. Indeed for me, Itesiwaju eko, loje mi logun.
No doubt the success of any government depends on the sum total of the contributions of its people and their readiness and commitments to supporting it in its quest for the attainment of its strategic developmental objectives.
A key component of this support is offering positive suggestions and engaging in constructive criticism with a view to making it perform better.
Therefore raising my pen as a conscious youth who believes in the progress of Lagos State and Nigeria at large.
I hereby write FIRST THING FIRST to the Distinguished Commissioner, Hon Humazat Akinbile-Yusuf in order to bring your attention to an important issue that needs urgent attention given the fact that it borders on welfare and progress of youths in the state.
Currently the state of Lagos youths and organised bodies representing them leave little to be desired.
This is not only alarming but indeed incongruous with the identity built by Lagos over the years as the unbeatable centre of excellence which sets the pace while others follow.
The ongoing crisis rocking the Lagos State Chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) needs a delicate and matured handling for a fruitful resolution.
I can recall that the recent crisis can be traced back to 8th November, 2014 when the Congress Planning Committee (CPC ) was set up to oversee the transition period of the Lagos State Chapter, getting to the end of Comrade Gbadebo tenure expiration.
After so many tussles and bickering, the then Leadership of the Council resolved the question of who should lead the Congress Planning Committee of the Youth Council Lagos State Chapter – settling for Comrade Kayode Odunuga.
Rain fell and dried, issues arouse. Then I wrote COULD THIS BE A THREAT OR INTIMIDATION to calm the situation of the council then. As the issue intensified, I joined in putting in my quota. Off course I believe in settling matters using Conflict Resolution Approach.
However as the issue deepened, I felt as a trained Constitutional Student, right from my University and as someone who considers himself in continued leadership training provided by your distinguished ministry under the auspices of Lagos State Youth Parliament, I needed to act again.
Consequently, I sought to re-orientate and redirect my fellow Comrades on the need to resort back to the provisions of the NYCN constitution as a guide – hence my write-up NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL OF NIGERIA, WHAT SAYS ITS CONSTITUTION.
Distinguished Honourable Commissioner Ma, let me set the record straight concerning the timeline of major issues of the current impasse:
15th – 16th May, 2015: National Youth Council of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter held their Congress and Comrade Otunba Qudus emerged as the Chairman. However some complained, they were wrongfully disqualified.
3rd June, 2015. : Then Ministry of Youth, Sport and Social Development, Lagos State called for a meeting demanding for another Congress. Some believe, the Ministry committed an aberration because the ministry is not constitutionally empowered to call for a management meeting of the Youth Council. Then after the meeting, I learnt the matter was taken to High Court of Lagos, Ikeja Division and the Ministry fully aware of it. The case is still pending till now.
12th June, 2015. Another Congress that produced Comrade Otunba Oreshile was held. Some argued that those emerged at the second congress were people disqualified by the previous Electoral Committee due to some reasons best known to the then Electoral Chairman, Comrade Malik of the Sheriff Guard.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode set up a committee led by formal permanent secretary, Office of Head of Service, Mr Akodu to look into the crises in the Youth Council but to my dismay, it was a deadlock and the committee ended its dialogue on 6th of August, 2015 without any formal report, conclusion or way forward (my opinion).
Since then, we have two chairmen of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter till date. I have waited so long in anticipation of who would emerge as the Custodian of the affairs of Ministry of Youths Lagos State till His Excellency, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode on Oct. 19, announced an eminent personality whose antecedent as a mother show high integrity and moral standard.
Once again, I felt I needed to contribute my quota to the distinguished office, the office that builds the future leaders. My conviction is that if the ministry gets it right, the entire Lagos will and remain peaceful and innovative.
Therefore to achieve a landmark feat through this Ministry, there is the urgent need for FIRST THING FIRST.
The first thing is to settle the crises surrounding the Organised Youth in Lagos through a transparent, impartial and credible mechanisms which not only allows JUSTICE and EQUITY TO PREVAIL but also SEEN to have been done by all parties. May the Almighty God assist you in this task.
Thanks in anticipation.
Yours in youth Development,
Saliu Adekunle AFRICA
General Secretary, Kosofe Local Chapter.