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Battle Lines Drawn As Traditional Ruler, Bayelsa Commissioner Squabbled Over Youth Leadership Tussle 

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Battle lines seem to have been drawn as a traditional ruler and serving commissioner in Bayelsa State squabbled over a messy youth leadership tussle in Azikoro, a fast growing metropolitan community, in Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa State.

BIGPENNGR.COM understands that the development is brewing tension in the community as two youth factions – one supported by the traditional ruler and serving commissioner are spoiling for war.

Their bone of contention is who controls the soul of the oil producing Azikoro’s youth body.

It was gathered that the development had pitched the Commissioner for Sports and Youths Development, Daniel Igali, against the traditional leadership of the community, led by its Paramount Ruler, HRH Ike Napoleon.

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Sources said that the duo are “threatening fire and brimstone” over who cut the shot on the youth presidency seat.

It was reliable gathered that the traditional ruler had thrown his weight behind one Success Douglas who was declared winner of the youth presidency position but the commissioner reportedly opposed it saying election was yet to be held.

The commissioner is insisting that the outgone president of the youth, Gentle Levi whose tenure expired since September, 2020 should remain in power since the youth body has been polarized. 

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Trouble started after the youth body became factionalised among the eight families that made up the community on account of the said Gentle’s refusal to leave office.

It was gathered that the monarch, sensing that there might be crisis in his domain had written to the commissioner of youths and sports, who then constituted an Electoral body to conduct the election after the first committee set up by the former President, Gentle was rejected by the community leaders.

However, on the the 24th of October, 2020, for reason yet to be fathom, the Paramount Ruler and other members of his cabinet, in a new letter to the Governor of the state, Douye Diri, stated that election was held and declared same day in favour of one Success Douglas.

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In the petition, the paramount ruler called on the state governor to call his commissioner to order, stating that the commissioner came to the community when the new executives have been inaugurated and nullified the election without informing the traditional ruler.

“Surprisingly, however, on the evening of Saturday, 24th October, 2020 the Commissioner of youths and sports, Daniel Igali, made a radio announcement that there was no election and that the former youth President continue to act”, the traditional ruler stated in his petition.

The traditional and some of his cabinet members told our correspondent that the action of the commissioner was capable of inflaming crisis in the community and urged the governor to hold his commissioner (Igali) responsible for any breach of the peace in the community.

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“As it stands, the former President, recognized by the commissioner has refused to relinquish power, while the elected Exco led by Success Douglas, remain resolute.

“The stand of the Traditional Ruler and the commissioner has not help matters as both are not willingly to shift ground, while the commissioner insisted on the former President to continue on acting capacity, the community ruler insisted that election has been conducted where Success Douglas emerged”, source said.

Meanwhile, tension have continued to mount in the community as one faction is claiming to be in charge of collection of development levies, a development which almost resulted to a bloody clash if not for the quick intervention of the police on Wednesday.

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When contacted the monarch said that the former President, Gentle Levi, tenure has expired and based on his alleged nefarious activities, the community decided not to re-elect him for a second term.

He said that prior to the election which brought in the new executives, the community traditional leadership has excommunicated him (Gentle Levi) from the community, but was amazed by recent developments.

On his part the Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Daniel Igali, said the “traditional rulers are his cabinet were the ones trying to play smart”.

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He said that he only intervened when matters where going out of hand during the election and therefore asked that the election been postponed while the former President remain in acting capacity.

He said, “we don’t have two president in Azikoro, 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.”

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