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Published On: Wed, Mar 12th, 2014

CONFAB: What has Urhobos Done Wrong to Jonathan?

By Urhobo Conscientious Youths
LAGOS MARCH 11TH (URHOBOTODAY) We wish to condemn in strong terms the near exclusion of the Urhobo people from the proposed National Conference due to commence on the 17th of March.
To say we have been marginalized once again by the Administration of a supposed Brother (GEJ) is small compare to how we feel about this act which seeks to subdue our voices and reduce it to nothing at the National Confab.

A brief history about the Urhobo Nation showed that our ethnic nationality has been in existence for over five centuries long before white men came into our shores and even more before the highly disputed amalgamation of Southern and Northern Nigeria. Our highest socio-cultural association called the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) is one of the oldest and few surviving pre-independence socio-cultural associations in Nigeria dating back to the early thirties (30’s),
Twenty five percent of Nigeria’s oil revenue is gotten from our back yard based on the enormous oil reserve found in our land and within our land is home to the biggest gas reserve in the whole of sub-sahara Africa. We are blessed with a vast area of land mass and a population of over three million people which makes us the 5th largest ethnic nationality in present day Nigeria and as a people, we are bigger than over 70 countries recognize by the UN. Amongst our people are top retired and still serving military personnel in the ranks of Generals and Major Generals who have fought resiliently to defend the Nigerian territory and her sovereignty. We have numerous outstanding professors in the education sector and business moguls cut across the banking industry to media and oil & gas industries. It is pertinent to note that our youths are one of the most peaceful ones in the Niger Delta whose values are more of education than thuggery or oil theft which makes us one of the most learned tribes in southern Nigeria.
We wish to state that it is an insult by the Federal Government of Nigeria for a people like us to have been exempted from all categories of nomination saves for one nomination slot (Prof. G.G Darah) from the state. If Mr. President who is supposed to be a brother yet has constantly shown his disdain for us could not nominate an Urhobo man or woman under the presidential nomination category, why were we also excluded from the socio-cultural and south-south categories when all historical records attest to UPU’s long outstanding existence and Urhobo being the second largest ethnic group in the south-south? Is any of our youth not also fit to represent us in any of the youth associations or our ex-military officers who many fought on the side of Nigeria during the civil war to keep the country as one not fit to be nominated or any of our monarchs?
We are aggrieved and therefore condemn this dastardly act which we now view as a calculated attempt to rubbish us as a people irrespective of the sacrifices of the Urhobo people in this entity called Nigeria. We wish to state that to reduce our voice to nothing at a time when other ethnic Nationalities shall be sitting to discuss their corporate existence as one Nigeria deciding the way forward and their stakes is evil and preposterous by whoever or whatever set of cabals who drafted the National Conference Delegate list. The said list is a doctored one apparently orchestrated with an intention to ridicule us as a people and we therefore declare a “loss of faith” in the process because we are not slaves or a conquered people whose voice is worthless in such a process that will ultimately decide our future.
We therefore call on other ethnic nationalities of conscience and the international communities to join us prevail on the GEJ led adminsitration to review the National Conference delegate list to reflect our wish because as a people we are absolutely sure we deserve far more better considering our huge ecomonic and human resource relevance to Nigeria. The fact that we do not take up arms to destroy government properties or maim and kill fellow Nigerians to express our grievances like others do does not make us weaklings but an honourable tribe which believes in the sanctity of life and partners in progress for a better Nation. A National Conference which does not represent fairly the totality of all Nigerian People and diverse ethnic nationalities is a course already defeated and we the Urhobos will not sit and watch while these predetermined marginalization upon us persist.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed, Let the Presidency do the needful to address this anomally.
Ikpan Samuel Aaron (Convener) & Emmanuel Upaka (Sec)

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