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Published On: Thu, Feb 26th, 2015

I Remain President-General of Urhobo Progress Union-Omene

Chief Joe Omene

Chief Joe Omene

LAGOS FEBRUARY 26TH (URHOBOTODAY)-As the crisis trailing the executive of the Urhobo umbrella body, Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), lingers, the “President General” of the group, Chief Joseph Omene, has described his sack by a faction of the union as unconstitutional.
While insisting that he remains president general, he said the constitution of UPU article 29 states that at least seven members of the executive shall form a quorum and “these seven members must include the president general and the secretary or any of these two persons.”

Omene also pointed out that but the supposed meeting where it was said that he was impeached did not meet the criteria as neither himself (the President General), nor the secretary was present, describing it is an act of illegality and unconstitutional. According to him, “All those present at the meeting were holding assistant positions and do not have the constitutional right to call for a meeting. “Whatever Chief Onoge is doing is null and void.”
He explained that his supposed impeachment was a fall out of UPU consultations with stakeholders with respect to who should be endorsed as Urhobo representative for governorship, stressing, “this stand is because of the marginalization Urhobo nation is presently experiencing, as 14 out of 15 positions in the federal level were given to Delta North, secondly, the State Capital is in Delta North, if 14 out of 15 federal positions can be hijacked, what will a Governor from the North not hijack?”
He said the dream of UPU for today is to achieve the position of the governor of Delta State.
“APC was invited at a time to state their stand on the governorship position. Their team was led by Frank Kokori who told them that as at then, they do not have a governorship candidate.
“UPU is not against any political party but their concern is support for Urhobo candidate irrespective of the party he/she belongs.
“Today, UPU has endorsed Great Ogboru as their governorship candidate while people like Chief Onoge and others wanted UPU to endorse O’tega, but before Ogboru was endorsed, O’tega was called and he said he was in London attending to important issues,” he said.

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  1. Wadoo Wadoo says:

    Sir, migwo to you. I can see the points you have made on the marginalisation of the urhobo people of which I am one though based in Europe presently. I do not think anybody would disagree with your identification of the problem. However, if O’ tega said he was overseas at the time, and the seriousness of the issue involved, would it not have been better to reschedule the time for meeting him? Was it necessary to rush to endorse Ogboru in the circumstances? I do not think so, sir. It is not for me in this write up to endorse any of our sons running for governor but we must be very careful and fully convinced before endorsing a candidate from a party that is not main stream. We have seen the consequences of this before. I was present at the Supreme Court when Ogboru’s appeals was dismissed. I have no doubt that he would have easily won the case but he did not have the necessary party structures to support his mandate and he made on unwise choice of lawyers to fight his case, so his voice was not loud enough! Unlike Dr. Uduaghan who retained the big guns in the legal political scene. The result is there for us to see. Furthermore, since Chief Ogboru lost the case, he, as the leading politician of our urhobo nation, has not rallied and positioned the urhobo people before now to prepare us for 2015. He just seem to pop-up when the 2015 primaries came around. The last time it was rumoured that his close contact with GEJ would guarantee his ticket against Dr. Uduaghan but that turned out to be a hoax. Sir, are we to be led down this unfortunate path again? Has our collective poverty not taught us enough? The lack of opportunity and crime affecting us in the urhobo nation is quite considerable. The fact that we have a faction supporting O’tega does not mean that our UPU must split. Why did we not invite our sons who are politically active in the parties to advise the UPU on the way forward before taking a stance? Perhaps, we could have then arrived at a middle ground like for example APC for governorship and PDP for president. I worry deeply that the present position taken by UPU will not do us much good especially in Delta State. GEJ can only do so much at National level and everybody is on his neck. Sir, the destiny of the urhobo nation and what will happen to its youths in the next 8 years is in your hands, please, please mend the fence with Onoge. We can disagree but it does not mean that we should divide and shame ourselves. If APC wins, what will you and the UPU do? So it is wise to mend the fence, material gains are short lived, your children’s destiny and the destiny of all urhobo children is in your hands, over to you sir. God bless. Urhobo Wadoo.

    • Your piece has given me some joy because it makes me believe that the urhobo nation has sons and daughters that believe in the sanctity of “Urhobo ovuovo” – these potential Urhobo leaders. I quite agree with your reasoning and I thank you indeed. I have read the account of PG of UPU, chief Omene of what of what transpired which led to the break away of Chief Onoge & co. Honestly I could not see any reason for the break away. Chief Onoge’s faction insists that “Uvwiamuges declaration” which favours the APC acndidate is sacrosanct but others (the majority) thought otherwise. I believe that in every democratic setting the majority decides. Since the Urhobo nation has decided to produce the governor of the state, it will be wise to support/endorse a candidate who has the general acceptance across the ethnic boundaries in the state and not just standing by the “Uvwamuge’s declaration” Between you and I as Deltans conversant with political developments and the two candidates in question, there is no rationale in standing by the”Uvwamuge’s declaration”. Ogboru who was endorsed by the majority at the meeting (according to Chief Omene’s account)is the candidate who could garner winning votes outside Delta Central i.e Ndokwa, Isoko, Itsekiri, Ika etc, so the choice of Ogboru was a well thought. Although in such an exercise some persons may be offended but it not enough reason for the few aggrieved persons to rush to the press and announced the sack of the executive of the highly revered Urhobo umbrella body, this suggests that there is more to it than meet the eyes, more so that the self acclaimed “new executive” within hours of their action received congratulatory messages from the APC and group photographs with the party’s running mate and they have since them engaged in one forms of advertorial or the other disparaging the Urhobo nation and making it a laughing stock to other ethnic groups. As it is today Urbobo nation is divided and the Onoge’s faction is busy recruiting different youths and elders groups against the UPU. Every true son and daughter of the Urhobo can not remain comfortable while his ugly condition continues.

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