Apologize To Sacked Minister—HURIWA Asks Jonathan

And Argues The Dismissal Was Wrongful And Deceitful
By Emmanuel Onwubiko

Convinced that the public explanation offered by the presidency for the recent dismissal of minister of youth Development and a life member of the prestigious Nigerian body of Benchers- Alhaji Abdul-Kadir Inuwa from Sokoto state, was 'deceitful', 'wrongful' and 'absurd', a Democracy inclined Non-Governmental group-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has demanded public apology to be tendered to the sacked cabinet member.

In a statement issued to the media after a consultative meeting in Abuja where its management deliberated on burning national issues, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA said it was wrong for President Jonathan to anchor the removal of the youth minister on the premise that he [Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir] failed to provide leadership for smooth conduct of the election of the National youth council of Nigeria since according to HURIWA, the National Youth Council of Nigeria is not legally an agency of the Federal ministry of Youth Development but rather a Youth-Focused voluntary coalition of divergent registered youth related Non-Governmental bodies.

Besides, HURIWA said it was a serious symptom of dictatorship that the Nigerian president elected and sworn in democratically under a democratic constitution could order the public disgrace of his cabinet member through a press statement endorsed by a low profile official in the office of the secretary to the government of the federation even without the president extending to him (Alhaji Inuwa) the democratic courtesy and decency of allowing him return to Abuja from a National assignment in Calabar, Cross River state during the just concluded National yearly conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

HURIWA said the action which was meant by the Presidency to demean the person and dignity of the accomplished legal luminary [Alhaji Adbul-kadir Inuwa] because of his affinity with a political adversary of the current President in the person of the governor of Sokoto state who is reportedly opposed to the President 2015 second term ambition, ironically turned out as one of the most damaging public actions of the current administration.

The group stated that the poorly and hurriedly packaged reason by the Presidency for the youth minister's removal made matters worse for the public image of the President because all rational thinkers know that the National Youth Council of Nigeria is not an integral agency under the direct supervision of the minister of youth development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA expressed disappointment that President Jonathan with all his democratic credentials as a former university teacher could approve the deployment of military 'gestapo' tactics through public media broadcast by a lowly rated media assistant in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to announce the removal of his federal cabinet member who in this instance is not merely a career politician but a consummate professional lawyer who has been elevated to the prestigious pinnacle of joining the ranks of life membership of the Nigerian Bodies of Benchers.

HURIWA stated thus; 'The way and manner that Mr. President humiliated his immediate past youth Development minister has sent wrong signals to observers around the world that our new-breed politicians are yet to leave behind the dictatorial vestiges and vices of military dictatorship. Mr. President should apologize for this wrongful way of termination. We acknowledge that as President of the federal Republic of Nigeria, he can hire and fire but along the line of hiring and firing, courtesy demands that the dignity of such office holder must remain intact and clear, concise and legitimate reasons for the presidential action communicated to the populace devoid of half truths and deceit'.

HURIWA faulted the Presidential Adviser for asserting that the immediate past youth minister Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir was removed for failing to provide leadership for the conduct of the election of the National Youth Council of Nigeria even as HURIWA said the Youth Council like any other Non-governmental body is a registered independent entity accredited by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

'Supervising the National Youth Council of Nigeria is not the statutory duty of the youth minister since even under the appropriation Act, it would be illegal and unconstitutional for government to necessarily make provision for the constant funding of a strictly non-governmental organization but government ministries can at best partner with all legitimate organization to serve public interest', HURIWA affirmed.

The Rights group recalled that by law the Youth Council is the umbrella body for all voluntary youths organization within their area of jurisdiction and it serves as the bridge between the youth and the government, public/private sectors, Educational institutions and the diplomatic corps. It's a corporate membership and it is not political.

'The National youth council of Nigeria was founded as the voice of the Nigeria youth and the coordinating body of all youth organizations in the country. The national Youth council of Nigeria is duly registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). the council is non governmental, non -partisan, and non-profit making'.

President Jonathan, it would be recalled, had stated that the immediate past youth minister was removed for 'mishandling the National Youth Council of Nigeria's election', which produced several factions. But HURIWA said this line of defense was illogical and unacceptable.