By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan

The Yoruba Council of Youth Worldwide (YCYW) Friday evening rose in defense of newly appointed Chairman of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Adeolu Akande as a thoroughbred professional, tested administrator, academic icon and trail blazer in the field of journalism.

The group in a press statement made available to THISDAY described Akande’s appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to head the board of NITDA as a good omen for the Yoruba race and information technological advancement of Nigeria.

A report purportedly from ICT stakeholders had expressed their displeasure over NITDA governing board appointment which they described as faulty and lacking in professionalism.

But the youths in a signed press statement by its country’s Publicity Secretary, Asiwaju Samuel Oloyede stated thus: “First, ICT has so much evolved that one do not need to possess a degree in computer science or information technology to be a professional. If this was so, where were the ICT stakeholders when a lawyer was made Minister of Communication; the supervising Ministry for NITDA?

“Curiously to note, the NITDA Act, 2007: Part II: (2, a, b (i-v), c , d, e, f), (3) , which stipulates eligibility of the governing board members composition has not in any way been breached. In fact, (2b) provides for representation from professional computer bodies as members of the board.

“The board does not need a chairman with such background. Chairman does not take decision in isolation but collectively through inputs from members.

“It is noteworthy to raise that the two names in the said news item are Yorubas  ( Mr. Rogba Adeoye of Nigeria Computer Society, and Mr. Lanre Ajayi of Pinnet Information) which informed our concern about “Pull-down” syndrome of some Yorubas on issues of National assignment whenever notable Yoruba sons and daughters are given federal appointments, what we do is to pull them down and in most cases, Yorubas end up being the loser as such appointments usually go to other regions who know how to protect their own.

“The man in question, Professor Adeolu Akande cannot be regarded or described as naive in the ICT world going by his cumulative experiences that span decades as a technocrat, a former deputy /Acting Editor of Sunday Tribune , special Assistant Communication Strategies in the presidency, former Chief of staff to Oyo state Governor, Print media sub-committee of the Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation and a professor of political science could not have excelled that much without knowledge of ICT. He is eminently qualified. 

We enjoin our elders to always be conscious of Yoruba interests in what they do.”