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Youths Defy SSS, Police, Elect New President

No fewer than 100 security operatives besieged Agura Hotel in Abuja, the venue of election of new leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) at the weekend as Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere emerged as the National President of the Council.

A combined team of police men, the Director of State Security Service (DSS), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) and the Army had taken over the venue of the hotel apparently to stall the election. Source alleged that security operatives were drafted to the venue following a purported petition by the outgoing president of the council, Hon Henry Nwabueze, who claimed that about 409 youths were in Abuja to cause possible breach of peace.

Delegates for the election were restrained from going in and out of the hotel according to the council officials. Though the delegates for the election were said to have concluded accreditation Thursday nite at the same venue , but the election could not take place in the said hotel following the heavy presence of the security operatives.

The delegates were seen in their groups discussing the development. Leading contestant Mr Ugochinyere and the electoral officers were earlier invited by the FCT command for questioning. A press conference earlier fixed by the council to present the new leadership was aborted following the arrival of more security operatives including men of the Federal Road Safety Commission(FRSC).

The men of DSS and police were still at the venue when the briefing was rescheduled . The delegates were seen moving out of the venue as at 1pm to another location where the election eventually took place But the youths who vowed to resist any attempt by any body to impose any candidate on them rather moved to another location in Area 11 Abuja and elected officials of the council. The twist was to avoid possible arrest.


-Emeka Ekpunobi, Abuja

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