By Onozure Dania
The founding fathers and leaders of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC in Okrika, Rivers State, have nullified the purported election that recognised Mr. Eric Omare as its IYC president, just as Udengs Eradiri faction insisted the later was duly elected.
The elders and IYC youths at the convention suspended the IYC constitution and also constituted a 10-man electoral committee with a mandate to conduct fresh elections.
IYC elders and leaders present at the Okrika convention were Elder Timi Ogoriba, Jon-John, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Elder Ateke Tom, Mr. Felix Tuodolor, Dan Ekpebide, Alabo Negi James, among others.
Elder Ogoriba, who led the founding fathers, elders and stakeholders, said the stakeholders of IYC decided to intervene to resolve the improprieties and illegalities allegedly committed by the immediate past Eradiri’s tenure.
But Eradiri in his reaction maintained that Mr. Omare remains the duly elected President of IYC at the Burutu, Delta State convention which, he said, was well attended by Ijaw youths worldwide.
The former IYC President described the Okrika convention as not a reflection of IYC gathering, stressing that the Nigeria’s constitution clearly states that for one to be a youth, he or she must be within the age bracket of 18 and 45 years.
Eradiri enjoined those in doubt about the controversy surrounding the emergence of Omare as the new IYC President to consult the IYC constitution which he said was duly followed.
But Ogoriba said, due to the emergence of two conventions at Ibaka-Okrika led by Eradiri and the other convention at Toru-Ebeni by the other group, the elders called a meeting at Patani were the two conventions led by the factions were all dissolved.
He said in defiance, Udengs went ahead to conduct his election at Burutu which Ogoriba said was an illegality.
Also at the convention, Jonathan Lokpobiri moved a motion for the suspension of the IYC constitution which was seconded by Mr. Esuku Nicholas. A draft constitution was adopted mandating the forthcoming IYC executive to put forth a new working document.
The 10 man electoral committee include Ebi Waribigha as chairman, Moses Agede, Badia Igewei, Sobasuogha Odum, Elder Iyalagha Tamuno, Chief Preye Agama, Jonathan Lokpobiri, Harry Matawa and Pereagbe Andakuro, with a mandate to conduct election within next three weeks.