Bayelsa Elders under the aegis of the Ijaw Youths Elders' Advisory Council have intervened and halted a possible violent confrontation among Ijaw youth in the Central Zone over the chairmanship position after the elevation of the Chairman, Hon.Tari Porri, as the a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly representing Ekeremor Constituency 2.
The succession battle, which has provoked tension among the Ijaw Youths under the Central Zone, was fuelled by the lack of a transition plan for the replacement of the elevated Chairman of the IYC central zone.
The Elders' Advisory Council under the Chairmanship of Mike Wenobowei set up a 10-man committee headed by Elder Warri Welman to shop for a credible replacement for Porri from his zone of Sagbama/Ekeremor axis to complete the remaining months of his tenure.
Speaking in Yenagoa on Sunday while submitting a seven-page report to the IYC Elders' Advisory Council, the Chairman of the Committee, Comrade Warri Welman Ombu, noted that the committee consulted widely and superior argument prevailed, leading to the emergence of three candidates: including Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, Miss Emi Egbe and Thomas Tenkiri.
"Following the records process, Comrade Thomas Tenkiri emerged as a worthy successor," he said.
The Committee, in its report, made available to newsmen, also recommended that "the outgoing Chairman of the IYC, Central Zone would be honoured with a comprehensive send-forth programme and be properly consulted towards a successful exit and handover on or before 19th of April, 2019".
Receiving the document from the committee, Chairman of the Elders' Advisory Council, Hon. Mike Kenibowei, dismissed the claims of complicity against the council, and said the committee was allowed to reach out to all concerned, including Porri and Governor Seriake Dickson.
"The decision to intervene on issue of succession was done in good faith and to save IYC Central Zone," he said.
"It will be recalled that some factions of the IYC central Zone had wrongfully claimed that the Vice-Chairman of the council, Amiebi Turner, was nursing the ambition and scheming to take over from Porri, who had insisted that he was not under any constitutional obligation to resign his appointment."
It was also learnt that the Chairman of the Elders’ Advisory Council, Mike Wenibowei, was accused of working with Turner to undermine the interest of Porri.
Replying, Porri announced the dissolution of the advisory council and removed Wenibowei from his position, saying the elder stepped beyond his bounds.
Porri said the position of central zone chairmanship of IYC was zoned to the western part of the state, adding that if he decided to resign voluntarily someone from the west would take over from him and complete his tenure.
He insisted that Turner, who hails from Ogbia, the eastern part of the state, was not qualified to replace him in the spirits of the zoning arrangement.
He expressed disappointment at Wenibowei for trying to sow the seed of discord in the council, saying that his tenure would elapse in 2020.