Bayelsa: Crisis looms as youth leadership tussle gets messier
There is brewing tension in Azikoro, a metropolitan community in Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa State, as two warring factions in the community are set to go to war over the next youth president of the area.
Already, the disagreement has pitched the state government through the Commissioner for Sports and Youths Development, Daniel Igali, and the traditional leadership of the community, led by its Paramount Ruler, Ike Napoleon, against each other with both threatening fire and brimstone. Trouble started when the tenure of the former youth president of the community, Gentle Levi, expired in September 2020, and in the quest to hold another election, factions emerged among the eight families that constitute the community.
The Guardian gathered that the in an attempt to quell trouble, Napoleon wrote to the commissioner of youths and sports, who constituted an electoral body to conduct election, after the first committee championed by the former President was rejected by the community leaders. On 24th October, 2020, Napoleon and other members of his cabinet in a letter written to the Governor of the state, stated that election was held and declared same day, where Success Douglas was declared winner. In the petition, he called on the state governor to call his commissioner to order, as the latter came to the community when the new executives were being inaugurated and nullified the election without informing the traditional ruler.
The traditional ruler and his cabinet tasked the governor to hold Igali responsible for any breach of the peace in the community as tension mounts. The former president, recognized by the commissioner has refused to relinquish power while the elected exco led by Success Douglas, remains resolute. A visit to the community shows grave tension among residents as factions have emerged among the youths, especially during the collection of development levies.
Speaking with The Guardian, Napoleon said Levi’s tenure has expired and based on his nefarious activities, the community decided not to re-elect him for a second term. He said prior to the election, which brought in new executives, the community’s traditional leadership has excommunicated him from the community and is amazed by recent developments.
On his part, Igali said the traditional ruler and his cabinet are trying to play smart.
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