25 January 2013

Nigeria: Crisis Looms in Bayelsa Community Over Emergence of Two Regents

Yenagoa — A KINGSHIP tussle is now threatening to tear apart the coastal settlement of Agrisaba in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State as the community's Council of Chiefs has distanced itself from the purported emergence of an Acting Regent in the community.

The coastal community, it was learnt, had been without an Obanema since the demise of its monarch, late King Ebi Oquara Agri VII in 2007 and Chief Douglas Awudulu, as chairman of the Council of Chiefs, had been the Regent pending when a new king would be elected.

But an election slated for December 27 and 28, 2012 to elect a new Obanema ended in stalemate, following alleged disagreement among members of the council over the mode of selection of the new king.

The election, it was learnt, was postponed with the Council of Chiefs calling for return to status quo, but contrary to the decision of the council, one of the chiefs, Sampson Eleli, the Vice Chairman of the council, allegedly declared himself the Acting Regent.

The Council of Chiefs, which addressed newsmen in Yenagoa, said contrary to the claim of alleged emergence of an Acting Regent, Chief Awudulu remains the community's Regent, adding that at no time was an Acting Regent elected.

Secretary of the Agrisaba Chiefs Council, Chief Joel Onyi, flanked by 10 other council members, dismissed the purported election of a new Acting Regent and urged the latter to stop parading himself as one.

He said the election could not hold because of disagreement among the chiefs council, adding, "this confusion was predicated on the fact that four chiefs out of the 15 chiefs who constitute the council insisted on conducting general voting involving every member of the community, while 11 chiefs wanted the voting to be conducted within the council of chiefs because that had always been the procedure."

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