From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Tension is brewing in Azikoro community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State with two warring factions are at loggerheads over the leadership of the community.
The looming crisis has already pitched the traditional leadership of the community against the state government.
According to investigations, trouble started in September 2020 when the tenure of the former youth president, Gentle Levi, expired and an attempt to hold a new election polarised the community.
The Paramount Ruler of the community, Ike Napoleon, waded into the crisis and wrote to the state government through the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Daniel Igali, pleading for it to help resolve the crisis.
Chief Napoleon on October 24, 2020, wrote to the state government announcing that Success Douglas emerged winner at the fresh election.
However, the election was not accepted by Igali who declared that the community did not follow due process with the electoral body set up to conduct the election.
This has not gone down well with the community leadership and it has written a petition to Governor Douye Diri expressing displeasure with Igali for allegedly nullifying the results of the election.
‘The Commissioner of Youths and Sports, Daniel Igali, made a radio announcement that there was no election and that the former youth president continues to act. As it stands, the former President, recognized by the commissioner has refused to relinquish power, while the elected executive led by Success Douglas, and remain resolute,’ the monarch said.
Chief Napoleon explained further that Levi’s tenure has expired and based on his nefarious activities, the community decided not to re-elect him for a second term.
Igali in defence of his action accused the traditional rulers and his cabinet of trying to play smart with the election of the youth body.
He said he only intervened when matters were going out of hand during the election and therefore asked that the election be postponed while the former President remain in an acting capacity.
He said, ‘we don’t have two presidents in Azikokoro, whose terms has elapsed but because of the political solution to a problem, he is still holding power until we do another election and whoever wins takes over, they did not conduct any election.
‘The way forward is for them to elect an Electoral Committee (ELECO) and do their election and we are waiting for them to do the needful.’