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Published On: Tue, Jun 26th, 2018

Taiga, Urhobo Monarchs, Others Visit Buhari, Demand For Restructuring, Appointments (PHOTOS)

Ohworode of Olomu (Centre) flanked by President Buhari by he left and Olorogun Moses Taiga by the right with other delegates during the visit of Urhobo leaders to Aso Rock

LAGOS JUNE 26TH (URHOBOTODAY)-President General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide, Olorogun Moses Taiga, Urhobo traditional rulersand other notable Urhobo leaders yesterday paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Villa, Abuja.
In an address read on behalf of the delegates by UPU President General, Olorogun Moses Taiga, the leaders urged Buhari to ensure the restructuring of the country, saying there was serious hunger and poverty in the country that called for immediate solution.
They also demanded that Buhari appoint an Urhobo indigene in his cabinet, noting that the ethnic group is the biggest in Delta State and fifth in the country.
“We urge the Federal Government to look into the issue of unutilised lands, which we voluntarily donated to the military years ago, but which are now being farmed out in parcels and sold for non-military uses. We request that such lands be returned to the owner communities in Urhobo land,” the leaders said.

Ohworode of Olomu (Centre) having a handsake with President Buhari while Olorogun Moses Taiga (Left) and oher Urhoboleaders look on…

According to them, “Grinding poverty is still a fact of life in nearly all our communities. Our youths are unemployed and frustrated. But we rein them in regardless, in the hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
“Hunger, despair and diseases stalk our lands and our waterways, which have been devastated and poisoned by years of oil exploration conducted quite obviously outside global best practices. But we keep the peace because we believe tomorrow will be a better day. In the past few years, our children have started asking us when tomorrow will come.
“It is in this regard that we wish to commend the initiative by the ruling All Progressives Congress for giving serious thought to the restructuring of our country and going as far as setting up a committee under a serving governor to take a critical look at it and make recommendations on the way forward.”

President Muhammadu Buhari (right); the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, Maj. Gen Felix Mujakperuo (third left)and other traditional rulers and leaders of Urhobo Progress Union during their visit to the President at the State House in Abuja …yesterday.

They also sought Buhari’s intervention in the development of Sapele port and in the provision of additional gas plants.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Taiga noted that the Urhobo nation would vote for Buhari and whoever attends to their cause in 2019.
Asked whether the demands were pre-conditions for their support, he said: “Well, they are not pre-conditions. They are requests. We are making requests that these are the needs of the Urhobo nation. So, once anybody is willing to do those things, as we said in our speech, we are partners in progress and will work with him to ensure continuity of the nation.”
Responding to the demands of the Urhobo leaders, President Muhammadu Buhari has described calls for restructuring of the country as parochial and laced with interest, hence discussions and arguments on the matter failed to capture his attention.

Cross section of Urhobo leaders during the visit to Buhari at Abuja

Buhari pointed out that some of the views being canvassed by interest groups on restructuring were not properly coordinated and did not align with constitutional provisions.
He said his administration would not forget the Urhobo nation in its development agenda for Delta State, even as he pleaded with them to protect oil installations in their communities as they did during the 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) rule in the state.
“You mentioned something, which is topical these days; the restructuring of Nigeria. Every group asking for restructuring has got its own agenda and I hope it can be accommodated by the constitution. I assure you that you are not forgotten and I am pleased you appreciate the appointments by this administration of some citizens of your kingdoms,” he said.

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  1. Billy Kay says:

    President Buhari is indifferent to restructuring. He only trivialises the agitations for restructuring by saying that the views of “Interest Groups” clamouring for restructuring were not co-ordinated as if that were a strong enough reason to avoid consideration or that it did not comply with constitutional provisions which could be amended to allow for restructuring if the will is there !! The agitation for restructuring has been driven mainly by ethnic communities, organisations and stakeholders in the South, East and West of Nigeria. We hear little from the North !! Buhari has never defended his obstruction to restructuring with compelling arguments. He merely hides behind the weak position that interest groups are pushing for restructuring. So which interest groups are content with the status quo which is hardly promoting unity and prosperity across the nation !!

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