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Published On: Fri, Oct 6th, 2017

Urhobos In Search Of Unity And Progress In Lagos (PHOTOS)

L-R Chief Johnson Barovbe, UPU PG Olorogun Moses Taiga, Prince Austin Enajemo-Esire and others

L-R Chief Johnson Barovbe, UPU PG Olorogun Moses Taiga, Prince Austin Enajemo-Esire and others


LAGOS OCTOBER 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Last Monday, October 2nd, 2017 will go into the archives of Urhobo history as a day Urhobo sons and daughters who are in search of unity and progress for their great tribe came together in Lagos to brain storm on the way forward for urhobo nation.
It will be a gathering to remember hence the meeting cut across political groups, parties, dialects, clubs, religion and personal interest. The who is who in urhobo land were present, despite that it was held in Lagos. No fewer than two thousands urhobo sons and daughters were present. All the various urhobo clubs and organizations based in Lagos were ably represented.
Cros section of dignitories

Cros section of dignitories


Dignitaries present were President-General of Urhobo Progress Union ( UPU) Worldwide, Olorogun Moses Taiga, Chairman of Capital Hotels Limited, Chief Goodie Ibru, Chairman Board of Trustees of Urhobo Social Club Lagos and Managing Director of Westminster College, Chief Johnson Barovbe JP, INEC Commissioner in Akwa-Ibom State, Barr. Mike Igini, Ambassador Dan Aravwarien and Former WAFU President, Chief Jonathan Ogufere.
Others were Nolly Actor, Tony Akposhere, Fashion Designer, Mudiaga Enajeme, Editor of Guardian Newspapers, Abraham Okpodo, Former Deputy Editor of THISDAY Newspaper, Mr Eddy Odivwri, Former Delta State Commissioner of Finance, Bernard Okumagba, President Of UPU (Apapa Branch), Mr Ovie Oghenekaro and Chief Mudiaga Okumagba among others.
President General of UPU Olorogun Moses Taiga (C) UPU President (Apapa Branch) Ovie Oghenekaro (l) and James Uwanogho (r)

President General of UPU Olorogun Moses Taiga (C) UPU President (Apapa Branch) Ovie Oghenekaro (l) and James Uwanogho (r)


The venue of the gathering, Admiralty Conference Centre, Naval Dockyard, Victoria-Island, Lagos State was filled to capacity by Urhobo sons and daughters who were fed up of disunity and marginalization of Urhobo people and are therefore in need of urgent solutions to grab unity so as move forward in one boat.
All thanks go to Urhobo Social Club Lagos for the ability to sponsor the gathering of urhobo personalities in a programme tagged “A Day With Urhobo Social Club Lagos” and with the theme: “Urhobo Unity, Progress and the Way Foward”.
L-R Chairman Board of Trustee of Urhobo Social Club Lagos, Chief Johnson Barovbe brainstorming with UPU President-General, Olorogun Moses Taiga

L-R Chairman Board of Trustee of Urhobo Social Club Lagos, Chief Johnson Barovbe brainstorming with UPU President-General, Olorogun Moses Taiga


One Urhobo dignitary after the other came to the podium to express their opinion on how to solve the problem of disunity in Urhoboland.
Addressing the audience, President-General of Urhobo Progress Union {UPU} Worldwide and Chairman of the occasion, Olorogun Moses Taiga thanked Urhobo Social Club, Lagos for coming up with the event to discuss the necessity for coherence, harmony, stability and survival of the Urhobo Nation in this period of uncertainty in the socio-political and economic landscape of the Country.
Chief Goodie Iru addressing the audience on the need of Urhobo unity

Chief Goodie Iru addressing the audience on the need of Urhobo unity


He observed that the words; Unity and Progress; used as the theme of the event vividly echo the bane of Urhobo in present day Nigeria, adding that Urhobo people are faced with some serious challenges ahead of them that can only be tackled by being united.
“No single factor can retard the progress of a people as much as lack of unity, just as internal conflicts and discord clog the wheel of growth and development of any ethnic nationality,” he observed.
The UPU President-General noted that the degree of ‘Urhobo Ovu-ovo’ exhibited by every Urhobo person is the principal basis of peace, growth and development of our beloved Urhobo nation.
Dignitaries at the event

Dignitaries at the event


According to him, “The past landmark victories in our history, which were achieved by the Nationalist activities of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) in the face of stiff political and economic opposition, and our educational progress from the 1940s, became possible by the unity, determination and strong bond among us. In like manner, events have shown that Urhobo, that was officially accepted as having the largest population in the whole of the defunct Midwest Region, is weaker and almost irrelevant when individual components or interests work alone, and at cross purposes.”
He noted that one of the major purposes of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide is to unify all Urhobo people, assuring that under his leadership UPU is working relentlessly to change the narrative positively hence they have made remarkable progress in that regard.
Wives of members of Urhobo Social Club Lagos

Wives of members of Urhobo Social Club Lagos


Reiterating the need for Urhobo Nation to speak with one voice, and under the UPU, the Urhobo leader stated, “While it is agreed that we are a nation that is immensely blessed with dynamic, resourceful and intellectually enlightened people, and so have different perspectives to issues, we must, however, guard against presenting contradictory views to the outside world. “The cacophony of voices emanating from Urhobo on local, national and international issues, especially in the media, make complete mockery of us as an ethnic nationality, and greatly calls to question our strength, structure and harmony. It also creates entry for others to penetrate our ranks. We must always speak as one, indivisible body.
L-R Chief Goodie Ibru, Chief Johnson Barovbe and Olorogun Moses Taiga

L-R Chief Goodie Ibru, Chief Johnson Barovbe and Olorogun Moses Taiga


“Urhobo can win again! Yes, we can achieve speedy growth and development, if we exorcise the demon of disunity, divisiveness and selfishness fingered as threat to our progress as a people. Yes, we can dominate Southern Nigeria, and of course, Nigeria, by invoking the true Urhobo Spirit of the 1930s to mid 90s where our voice was bold, fierce, respected and courted. And the time to do so is now.
“Our numerical strength should not be our undoing. We need to understand each other. We must be able to embrace, as strength, rather than weakness, our diversities, in terms of religious, social and political affiliations and differences. It is disheartening that politics, and political competition, which ordinarily should be a tool to influence our growth and development have created schism, distrust, suspicion and bitter rivalry in our ranks.”
He advised that political partisanship should remain within the corridors of the party, adding that outside the party Urhobos must be Urhobo patriots, selflessly seeking the good of all, irrespective of creed, ideology or political affiliation.
Urhobo cultural dancers in action

Urhobo cultural dancers in action


He urged every Urhobo person, at home and abroad, to act towards restoring the communal spirit and harmony that are essential precondition to economic development of a dynamic ethnic nationality as ours.
Hear him, “I particularly call on our Urhobo people in Lagos, including Urhobo Social Club to take up the challenge of working selflessly at supporting the UPU’s ongoing efforts at uniting Urhobo worldwide.
“As we begin this very important discourse on Urhobo, let me, again, re-echo the words of Chief T.E.A Salubi, in one of his letters written in the 1940s, where he wrote: “Let us admit that for the moment our Ship has shattered and we have to retrace our steps. We have to begin again…”
L-R Chief Goodie Ibru, Chief Johnson Barovbe and Olorogun Moses Taiga
L-R Onoriode Barovbe and Tugba Barovbe

L-R Onoriode Barovbe and Tugba Barovbe


Speaking in the same vein, Chairman Board Of Trustees of Urhobo Social Club Lagos, Chief Johnson Barovbe JP said the reasons for the gathering is to get to know each other more and more, to forge a united front, to forgive each other where there was misunderstanding, to create a forum for Urhobo leaders from different clans or kingdoms, clubs and associations to meet from time to time in Lagos, to appoint leaders that will frequently or occasionally meet to interact with our Kings, President Generals, UPU executive, Urhobo Women and Youth organizations in Urhoboland and to get closer to our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters residing overseas, especially those in the United Kingdom and United States of America.
Item 7. Time for feasting to varieties of assorted food

Item 7. Time for feasting to varieties of assorted food


While advocating for a strong centralized UPU Branch in Lagos, Barovbe said, ”We in Urhobo Social Club Lagos, believe that its time for Urhobo in Lagos to have a centralized and vibrant UPU branch in Lagos. We cannot call the UPU branch in Ajegunle, the Lagos UPU. We need a strong and centralized UPU in Lagos, which can cater for the Urhobos in Lekki, Victoria Island, Surulere, Apapa and Ikeja to be headed by a man with a strong personality, a man of influence and means as the President.
R-L UPU President Apapa branch, Mr Ovie Oghenekaro and hs Secretary Chief Ikpimi

R-L UPU President Apapa branch, Mr Ovie Oghenekaro and hs Secretary Chief Ikpimi


“Lagos must have a strong voice in UPU. When the late Dr Esiri and late Chief Salubi were in Lagos, as Secretary and President of UPU in Lagos, the National Headquarters at Okere relied on their wealth of experience and intelligence until both of them left Lagos for Urhobo land and they both ended up as President General of UPU world wide. We must move with the time.”
(R) UPU Apapa branch Youth Leaders, Austin Ajameruaye, his daughter, wife and friend

(R) UPU Apapa branch Youth Leaders, Austin Ajameruaye, his daughter, wife and friend


While delivering his welcome speech earlier, President of Urhobo Social Club Lagos, Prince Austin Enajemo-Isire wondered why Urhobo being the largest ethnic in Delta State and fourth in Nigeria blessed with natural and human resources should be in the back waters?
He disclosed that it is the wish of Urhobo Social Club Lagos that Urhobos in Lagos have convergence point in Lagos where they can discuss, articulate and come up with a common front as toform a united front tomove Urhobo forward.
“This does not necessarily means shedding our individual or club identities, but even in diversity we can be united for the common good of Urhobo nation,” he stated.
(R) UPU Apapa branch Youth Leaders, Austin Ajameruaye, his daughter, wife and friend

(R) UPU Apapa branch Youth Leaders, Austin Ajameruaye, his daughter, wife and friend


Before the closing prayer, leaders from different clubs, organizations and clans were appointed to meet and brainstorm in an undisclosed date on the unity, progress and way forward for unity, progress and the way forward for Urhobo nation.

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