Why Urhobos Need Moses Taiga as UPU President General
By Francis Ewherido
LAGOS NOVEMBER 19TH (URHOBOTODAY)-After the storm and the seeming calm comes the election. In the first week of December 2016, elections will be conducted to fill executive positions of Urhobo apex body, the Urhobo Progress Union.
At every point in time prevailing circumstances should determine the choice of leaders who can rise up to the prevailing situation. That of the Urhobo Nation is not different. So this is not just an election; it is an opportunity to put in place an executive that can help the Urhobo Nation take on all the challenges confronting it. We need a UPU that can reposition the Urhobo Nation to take its rightful place among other nationalities within and outside Delta State. The bitter truth is that for some time now the Urhobos have been mouthing fifth or sixth biggest ethnic group in Nigeria without the corresponding clout.
I was therefore very happy Urhobo Social Club Lagos and Urhobo Historical Society based in the Unite States drafted in Olorogun Moses Taiga for the position of the President-General of UPU. He has also presented a blueprint of what he wants to accomplish as President General, PG. Among other things, he promised to renovate Urhobo College, Effurun, one of my alma maters; help to establish an Urhobo University named after Mukoro Mowoe, the pioneer president of UPU; give the UPU Uvwiamuge House a massive uplift and start a micro credit scheme for Urhobo rural women as a catalyst to uplift the standard of living of our local communities across the Urhobo land.
The bible says where there is no vision, the people perish. That is why vision is one of the major qualities of great leaders. When the Israelites were languishing in captivity, God sent Moses to rescue them. Coincidentally a Moses has arisen in Urhoboland to reposition the Urhobo Nation for optimum performance and greatness, if given the mandate. Olorogun Moses Taiga is intimidating in stature; even more intimidating are his credentials and the Urhobo Nation should be happy to have him at this time.
He is a man of great vision, intellectual rigour and originality. He is an international citizen and at the same time Urhobo to the marrow. He is not going to the UPU to use it as a platform to amass wealth. He is already blessed with great wealth. He is not going to use the UPU as a platform to become well connected and influential; he already has both. If anything, he is going to use his enormous wealth, influence and connections to bring development to Urhoboland and a purpose-driven leadership for Urhobos.
The Urhobos deserve a President General with clout and connections, whose reputation goes before him, whose name opens doors. We do not need a President General who knows the person, who knows the person, who knows the person, who knows the personal assistant of our target. We need a Presiden General who will call our target direct and our target takes the call or returns it, if he is not available at that time. What we need at this point in time is an accomplished Urhobo man as President General, somebody with ideas and capacity.
For those asking the question of “who he help,” my question to you is, who have you helped with your God-given talents? Every Urhoboman, big or small, rich or poor, is in a position to render some help or service either to the Urhobo Nation or others around him. Give your account of stewardship, before you ask others to give theirs. This mentality of always wanting to receive without even knowing you can also give is one of the mindsets we need to redress.
But for the records, Olorogun Taiga donated an ultra modern church building to the Catholic Church in his hometown, Okpare, earlier in the year. Urhobo sons and daughters also work in his companies; his companies also award scholarships every year to Urhobo sons and daughters.
In his private capacity, he has helped many others. Must we all gather pressmen or cameras before carrying out humanitarian gestures? It would have been wonderful, if we could have consensus candidates, but we are in a free world. So all those interested in positions should come out and tell the Urhobo Nation their plans. Taiga has laid out his plans. Leave mudslinging aside and give the Urhobo Nation your manifesto. The Urhobo Nation needs the best at this critical time, leaders who can move us forward. We want vibrant and conspicuous, not feeble, representations at regional and national gatherings. A strong UPU will be a blessing not only to the Urhobos, but the entire Niger Delta. A strong Urhobo Nation means a stronger Niger Delta. For some time now, politicians, opinion leaders and some corporate organisations have been giving Urhobo youths fish. This has not taken them anywhere. Urhobo youths need to leave their comfort zone of collecting fish and learn how to fish. That is the pathway to self-sustenance and independence. It is also more enduring. We need to engage the youths in fruitful economic activities. That is partly what Taiga’s presidency is going to address.
We need a viable platform outside government to move the Urhobo Nation forward. Even if the current Delta State governor were to be Urhobo, you cannot use that government platform to advance Urhobo interest, because it belongs to all Deltans and the government ought to be fair to all. That is where the UPU platform comes in. But the UPU platform can only be viable and effective if you have selfless, visionary and transformational leadership. I believe a Moses Taiga-led UPU will offer that.
Finally, the process that will bring the new executive must be violence-free, transparent, free and fair. Nobody should throw the Urhobo Nation into another round of crisis because of inordinate and selfish ambition. The interest of the Urhobo Nation should be supreme. Mr.
Francis Ewherido, an insurance executive, wrote from Lagos.