From Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
After months of internal crisis within the Edo State National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), a new leadership led by Sarah Igunbor, yesterday, officially took over administration of the youth body even as some members protested the handover exercise, claiming there was no proper election.
The inauguration of the executive was heralded by sporadic gunshots by members of the Edo State Security Network ostensibly to ward off would-be trouble makers.
In her inaugural speech, Igunbor said her focus was to work for the empowerment of the young, adding that she participated in the election following all the laid down rules and was elected by delegates from 12 out of the 18 local government areas that make up the state.
She promised to set up a committee to look into the grievances of the aggrieved members.
“This is another opportunity for us to serve and we must prioritise the interest of Edo youths at every given time, we must drive programmes, skills acquisition programmes, training that will sharpen the mindset of our youths. We have a lot of entrepreneurs among us and one thing we will be doing is to seek partnership, funding for the young entrepreneurs and organise training that will help them polish their skills. This is a mantle to serve and on this mantle we will never fail”, Igunbor stated.
In their comments, Chairman of the Congress Planning Committee, Aigbaingbe Emmanuel and the Secretary of the Election Committee, Comrade Eguavoen Cynthia, said the election was credibly conducted after a management meeting was held on November 15, 2022 and a date was picked for the election in line with the constitution of the Council.
Also speaking, the immediate past chairman of the NYCN, Comrade Osahon Obasuyi, said “The management of the Council met and fixed a date for congress and election, 14 days notice was given and the meeting was presided by the chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief (Mrs) Elizabeth Ativie and we all agreed that congress should hold on the 29th and 30th of November and we set up the Congress Planning Committee and the Electoral Committee and today I have handed over to the new exco”.
He, therefore, advised those aggrieved to follow due process in airing their grievances.
An aggrieved member of the management team of the NYCN, Osazuwa Frederick Nosa, in a statement yesterday, alleged that the State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, his wife and the Commissioner for Youths and Gender, Adaze Emwanta in connivance with Ativie, manipulated the process to impose Igunbor who he claimed was not qualified to contest in the election.