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Published On: Sat, Dec 14th, 2013

UPU Election: Omo-Agege, Majoroh And The Future Of Urhobo


By Annabel Ogheneganre
LAGOS DECEMBER 14TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Elections into the National Executive Council of the Urhobo Progress Union were held on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Book makers were proved wrong to the effect that all the expressed and hidden fears about possible break down of law and order ended up a hoarse. There were no incidents. Mr Mike Igini lived up to his national reputation in giving Urhobo an indisputable quality of election. There were fears that the man would be rubbished by the well known PDP antics of crude election rigging. PDP did enter the ring but not to compromise the process, but to lobby and induce the delegates to get what they wanted. From when accreditation of delegates started to about 11pm when the results were announced, the delegates displayed a good sense of patriotism and commitment to the Urhobo cause.
Eventually, General Patrick Aziza was declared winner of the election with 391 votes to Chief Charles Majoroh’s 224 votes. While detail analysis of the results and the entire election will be discussed in the next few weeks, I have decided to enter into a careful discussion of the role of two eminent Urhobo patriots in the just concluded elections among many others whose dispositions, reactions and sense of patriotism have helped to shape the electoral process, its outcome and the gains of the exercise. I am sure this is the first time the UPU was putting the National Executive Council in place through an election of this class. I am glad that Urhobo got it right and Mike Igini and his team did not disappoint.
What I cherish most about the December 7 UPU election is the reaction of Chief Charles Oghenovo Majoroh to the outcome of the election. Prior to the poll, I got a lot of messages from some of my readers who expressed the fears that the Urhobo Progress Union will not only polarised Urhobo but will end up exacerbating the tensed political atmosphere of distrust among the Urhobo political class. But this first Urhobo and only Urhobo man so far to rise to the position of President of the African Union of Architects, was able to raise Urhobo interest high and above personal ambition and the glory the office of President-General attract. He took his defeat with a pinch of salt and went home to celebrate his exploit with his team without giving any thought to possible litigations. He could make Aziza have a tough time, leading Urhobo in the next three years but he accepted the result without a fuse. He quickly congratulated Aziza and attended the thanksgiving organised by UPU, a day after the election. In conventional politics, many people who lost elections, nurse grudges all their life, shunning every move at reconciliations. Majoroh, who was highly favoured by a cross section of Urhobo elite class for victory at the polls, took the result with the gallantry of a true and distinguished patriot. He is one of my heroes from the election. If elections are approached with the attitude of Architect Majoroh, the post election turmoil we witness after most elections would not be there. However, it should also not be lost on us that the credibility or otherwise of most elections is what fuels the disturbances and crisis associated with our partisan elections in Nigeria.
Another personality I truly desire to highlight from the election is the force behind the Aziza team in the Saturday UPU election. Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege really impresses me. Prior to the election, I alerted that Omo-Agege was going to ensure Aziza wins at all cost. The outcry did not deter the hard-fighting Ovie. I was told Ovie was in the hall till when the results were announced that Saturday night. He was there to pull necessary strings that could sway the delegates to support his choice candidates. He gave his time and money for the course. He mobilised his foot soldiers to do the needful, by reaching out to as many delegates that could be reached. If it were possible to compromise the election committee, that would have been done, but since a Mike Igini was appointed Chairman of the committee, he took the game into the arena to lobby the delegates. This is how to support a choice candidate and propel him to victory. This is why I keep saying that the PDP always think ahead of the opposition.
By the time the opposition wakes up from its slumber to try to court the favour of the UPU, the PDP may have moved too deep into the leadership echelon of the body. That is exactly what the PDP has done with Omo-Agege leading the charge. That is the way to play politics. There is no law anywhere barring practising politicians from showing interest in how UPU is administered. UPU is for all Urhobo people, irrespective of religious, political and social persuasions. With Omo-Agege’s firm grip on UPU as shown in the result of the election, he could well be said to be one of the most formidable force in Urhobo political firmament. When a man launches into a battle and get what he wants, that is the attribute of a successful fighter. As far as this writer is concerned, Urhobo can benefit from his forays into the political waters. During the last senatorial election, Omo-Agege, I learnt, was in the Area Commander’s office in Ughelli till about 2 am when the results were announced before leaving for home.
Omo-Agege may have offended Urhobo in the past. He may have run against the mood and current of Urhobo political interest in the past. But considering the fierceness of his political and leadership charisma, I am of the view that if given a second chance, this man can undo the damages of the past and bring Urhobo to the shores of glory in the coming dispensation. On this note, I have decided to understudy Omo-Agege’s political moves and engagements so as to ascertain the direction of his political course vis-a-vis the interest of Urhobo in 2015. As I proposed when I wrote on James Ibori earlier this year, I am of the view that in the fight to regain Urhobo lost ground politically, all Urhobo political war lords should be assembled and given the charge to lead Urhobo out of the woods. It is on this note that I want to appeal for understanding for Obarisi and his political family in the quest for a better Urhobo land. He had shown class in his fight for Aziza re-election. He can do it for Urhobo on the political turf too.
As we look into the future, I wish to urge Omo-Agege to reach out to Chief Majoroh and Great Ogboru in the quest to reposition Urhobo for greater glory. With the UPU election feat, Omo-Agege and his UPC has effectively benched UPF, because whatever the two bodies are out to achieve, there must be a platform and Urhobo is the platform for all. Omo-Agege and his UPC led the charge for Aziza’a re-election and they have won. To take this lead from Omo-Agege is going to be difficult if not impossible. His men are neck deep into the inner caucus of UPU and no decision taken by UPU could ever relegate Ovie into oblivion. He has played his cards well and inspite of my previous misgivings, I must congratulate this man for an impressive and maiden outing as National Chairman of Urhobo Political Congress. It is on this premise that I want to commend for bringing out the man in him in the fight to enthrone credible leaders for UPU.
As Aziza and his new team settles into the task of re-engineering Urhobo political, social, cultural and religious life for a better tomorrow, I wish therefore to add that his victory on December 7 could only be a plus for Urhobo, if he can stand on the side of the people always even against the PDP where necessary, on issues that bothers on the well being of the people. While I acknowledge the role plays by the PDP and particularly Omo-Agege in his re-election campaigns, I do wish to caution against any over-bearing attitude from any quarters that could paint UPU in unfavourable colours. Urhobo are highly republican and any attempt to drag the people into an unpopular course would be resisted by the people. Omo-Agege should also build on the gains of this glorious feat by engaging in popular decisions, because he is still under serious scrutiny by the people. Anything he does would be viewed with suspicion until such a time that he would win the confidence of the ordinary man on the street. What I celebrate in him is his fighting spirit. I did not say he has completely changed to embrace Urhobo popular course. If I see negative traces of anti-Urhobo posture in him, I will definitely cry out. I want Urhobo to assemble all the war lords, both the good, the bad and the ugly for the 2015 battle. Our son, James Ibori with all his shortcoming should also be courted for ease of our struggle to regain the lost glory. All those who were used by the forces from Oghara to drown Urhobo in the politics of 2007 should be recalled into the field. All hands must be on deck. We need everybody, Omo-Agege inclusive.
Therefore, I will not be part of any fight to deride any Urhobo son in whom I see some values that could help our course. Omo-Agege falls within that class. If he derails and attempts to drag UPU into battles that would limit Urhobo interests for personal gains, he will be on the wrong side of history, because we shall fight him with our pens like bees until he retraces his steps.
Urhobo is on the march again. We cannot afford to let the people down. As things are, only Prof Amos Utuama seemed interested in running for Governor in 2015 from the PDP. Great Ogboru may also be interested as well as O’tega Emerhor. If Urhobo cannot get it in 2015, we shall all sit down, weigh our strength and decide on where to go. But to close the door on any possible Urhobo Governor in 2015 is invitation to chaos. We must fight hard and tell the world we are serious with it. That is the only way to be taken seriously. Now that the UPU election is come and gone, Senator Aguariavwodo has settled down into the seat of Delta central in the Senate, what is left is the Governorship for 2015. Those who will not support this fight should leave and hide their face while the men of war take the centre stage. It is possible because we can!

Miss Annabel Ogheneganre writes from Garki, Abuja. (08092569702 SMS only or e-mail ananabel4christ@hotmail.com).

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