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Published On: Thu, Nov 6th, 2014

The Position of Urhobo Nation in 2015 General Election

LAGOS NOVEMBER 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-In November 4th, 2014, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) addressed a world press conference which they declared their position towards the 2015 general election.
The press conference addressed by Chief (Engr.) Joe Omene (JP),
President General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Urhobo held on to ‘Uvwiamuge Declaration’ which stated that PDP should pick its governorship flag bearer from Urhobo nation insisting that if their choice is not accepted, they would vote for any political party that gives its governorship ticket to an Urhobo person.
In the press conference, UPU opposes zoning of the governorship slot to Delta North, bitter over the fruitless discussion with Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and his resolve to work against the Urhobo nation. The body equally pronounced sanction against Urhobo indigenes working against the interest of Urhobo interest.
Below is the full text of the press conference.


Gentlemen of the Press,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome you all with great pleasure to this all important press conference in respect of the position of the Urhoboo Nation as it affects the 2015 general elections in relation to the Delta State Governorship seat as well as the presidential election.
This press conference has become imperative due to the unfolding political events, including the much anticipated party primaries. It is not in doubt that the Urhobo Nation, is the fifth largest ethnic group in Nigeria, and the largest tribe in Delta State. It is also not in doubt that the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) is the umbrella body and mouthpiece of the Urhobo nation.
It would be recalled, that in March 2014, the entire Urhobo Nation, under the auspices of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU took a position, and emphatically stated that all registered political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling party in Delta State should pick their Governorship flag bearers/candidates from the Urhobo Nation. This was duly condensed into the “UVWIAMUGE DECLARATION”.
The Urhobo people have accordingly remained resolute on this and we remain so.
Our position is predicated on a number of good reasons, of which one stands out very clearly, which is that, the Urhobo Nation which occupies the Delta Central Senatorial District has an overwhelming voting population in Delta State, which she usually delivers emblock at elections.
In the 2011 general elections for instance, the average numerical votes delivered by the Urhobo people for the President was well above 820,000. This figure is almost comparatively double of the votes realized from the North and South Senatorial Districts of the state, put together, which was hardly up to 500,000 votes. In fact that of Delta North, to be more specific was 149,000 votes, only. It must be emphasized here that democracy is “a game of number”
Consequent upon the above undisputed facts, the Urhobo people, resident within the shores of Delta State and beyond still insist on the Uvwiamuge Declaration that “we will vote for any political party that gives its governorship ticket to an Urhobo person” This, we will do in the various elections, including the Presidential.


Let it be stated here without equivocation, that the assertion being made in some quarters that the governorship seat in Delta State is zoned to Delta North Senatorial District is not true. Indeed, records abound to show that in all the gubernatorial contests since the creation of Delta State and the current political dispensation which started in 1999, politicians from all the three senatorial districts of the state, had always contested the governorship position, in particular those of them from the Delta North Senatorial District.
Repeat, the assertion being made by some persons in the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) that the governorship seat of Delta State is zoned to the Northern Senatorial District is a mere wish and at best a general conjecture by the propagators. It stands to reason, logically from the above, that if there was any iota of truth in the alleged zoning arrangement in the PDP then no person from Delta North (ANIOMA) would have contested the previous elections with those from Delta Central and South Senatorial Districts.


We note with pains, that it has become a common pattern that those who canvass the imaginary existence of a zoning arrangement also harp on the need for equity in the State, in respect of the governorship seat. Good talk, but as it is commonly said, “those who seek equity should come with clean hands”. Our position is premised on the basic fact that the state, Delta, was created on the altar of inequity, ab initio, which has generated so much discontent and resentment in most parts of the State.
It is a well known fact that prior to the creation of Delta State, much part of the present Delta North was located in the old Benin Province, but by a military fiat in 1991, a substantial part of ANIOMA was excised from the said old Benin Province and added to the present Delta State, with the capital of the State sited in Asaba which is also part of the old Benin Province. This was against the popular wish of Deltans at the time of the State’s creation. Considering that a State Capital in Asaba was not a political balancing act in every ramification.
As if the above was not enough, over 80% of Federal appointments designated for the state are occupied by the indigenes of Delta North (ANIOMA).
To mention, but a few are:
1.Amb. Joy Ugwu – Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations.
2.Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – Minister for Finance and the Co-ordinating Minister of the national Economy.
3.Mr. Godwin Emefiele – Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
4.Dr. Eugene Juwah – Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigeria Communications Commission.
5.Dr. Cairo Ojougboh – Chairman, Export Processing Zone, Calabar and Vice Chairman, PDP South-South.
6. Engr. Gabriel Amuchi – Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA)
7.Mr. Peter Idabor – Director-General of the National Oil Spill, Detection and Response Agency
Again, they also want, and are insisting on having the Governorship Seat of PDP in Delta State. NOW, WHERE IS THE EQUITY in Delta State, which they very much crave for?
We profusely appeal to Mr. President and indeed the national leadership of the PDP to consider and accede to the humble request of and demand by the Urhobo nation to kindly give the governorship ticket of the PDP to an Urhobo person, for there lies true equity, justice and fairness.
This is the only guarantee which the Urhobo people can give in order to repeat the overwhelming support which the Urhobo nation gave to Mr. President in 2011general elections.
We are also making similar appeal to other political parties as we have done to the PDP.
We seek the support and solidarity of our immediate neighbours, namely Isoko, Ijaw and Itsekiri nations in this fundamental struggle of the Urhobo nation to have the governorship seat of the State.


The present Exco of UPU met with the Governor to discuss its decision at the Uvwiamuge Declaration and solicited for his support or gives, all parties a level playing group.
He promised after the meeting in May, 2014 to call a few members of the Exco to further discuss the matter. Since then he has deliberately refused to do to despite several reminders made on him.
It has become obvious and clear to the Urhobo Nation that the Governor has not only resolved not to allow the Urhobo Nation get the Governorship ticket of PDP in Delta State put has gone ahead to anoint a Delta North Aspirant as his successor.
To actualize this, he collaborated with the Former State Chairman of PDP to deny the State Deputy Chairman of the party in the state after the incumbent Chief Nwaboshi resigned from the position to enable him contest for the Delta North Senatorial Seat. It was the timely intervention of the National Working Committee of PDP that reversed the decision of the Governor.
He totally slighted and disrespected the No. 2 citizen of Delta State, the Deputy Governor who is an Urhobo man in all his actions especially towards 2015 despite the Deputy Governor’s absolute and unalloyed loyalty and respect for almost 8 years now.
In order to actualize his resolve not to give the Urhobo Nation a chance at the Governorship slot, he has intimated and cowed some Urhobo sons in his Government and the PDP notably among them are Chief Ighoyota Amori, Ben Ibakpa, Monday Igbuya, Olori Magege, Egbo Jaroh etc. to work against the interest of the Urhobo nation by deliberately flouting the decision reached by entire Urhobo Nation at Uvwiamuge.
With respect to the above named persons, they are hereby sanctioned for the time being pending when they purge themselves of their actions against the Urhobo Nation. The extent of the sanctions placed on them as contained in the Vanguard Newspaper publication in October, 2014 edition as well as other Urhobo local papers also published with October, 2014.
From the above, it clear that the Governor is totally against the interest of the Urhobo Nation as far as 2015 is concerned despite the fact that he lived and grew up in Urhobo land and his Governorship was made possible through the efforts of an Urhobo man and other prominent Urhobo politicians.
Consequently, the Urhobo Nation will take the appropriate decision in no distant future as events unfold on its relation with Governor for the remaining period of his tenure and beyond.
Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you all for your patience and call on you to be the worthy ambassadors of UPU in propagating this unwavering position of the Urhobo Nation for Governor, come 2015, which must be pressed to its logical conclusion.
God bless you
Chief Engr. Joe Omene (JP),
President General
Urhobo Progress Union (UPU)

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