All is not well with the Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs as some members are calling for change of leadership.
The present leadership of the council headed by King Joshua Igbagara was constituted in 2002, by the administration of Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
Signs that trouble was brewing in the council became public during a function last week, when King Igbagara in a speech said a traditional ruler had been arrested for embezzling community funds.
He did not however give the name of the traditional ruler, nor elaborate on the issue but The Tide investigation revealed that the said traditional ruler was among those calling for him to step down having exhausted his tenure.
A group of 11 traditional rulers, led by His Majesty, King S. F. Amgbare has written to the state government on the need to appoint a new chairman and deputy for the council, contending that King Igbagara and his deputy King Jonathan Kubo have exhausted their tenure, and were, therefore occupying the seat illegally in the past five years.
According to them Cap C. A. Section 15 of the state chieftaincy law, provides that “the chairman shall hold office for one year and shall be eligible for reappointment for further term of one year and on no account shall a chairman of the council hold office for more than two consecutive terms at a time”.
Following this development, The Tide gathered that the agitating members have been meeting to strategise on how to make the governor appoint a new chairman for the council.
At one of the meetings, the royal fathers exclaimed a white paper which government had earlier issued on the matter, in which it was stated that the office of the chairman should be rotated among the senatorial zones in the state.
The issue which has factionalised the council is now generating bad blood among the traditional rulers, as accusations and counter-accusation trail the council.
The Tide gathered that a traditional ruler from the eastern senatorial axis of the state who is desperate to occupy the stool is the brain behind the crises.
As a result of the disagreement, activities at the council’s secretariat along Hospital road, Yenagoa has been grounded as the aggrieved royal fathers have vowed to frustrate further administration of its affairs by the Igbagara and Kubo team.
Efforts to reach King Igbagara and his deputy was not successful as none of the staff at the council could disclose their phone numbers, or agree to speak on the matter.
One of the staff who pleaded that his name should not be mentioned said that two previous occupants of the seat left in controversial circumstance, revealing that while one died, the other was struck down by stroke.