Towards 2015: Agenda for UPU (Part 1)

Posted on 14th Feb 2013 under FEATURES.

As the drum beats for the 2015 general polls assume a frightening crescendo by the day, I am of the view that the Urhobo Progress Union has a key role to play for Urhobo political self engineering and rediscovery in the years ahead.


Author: By Annabel Ogheneganre

Towards 2015: Agenda for UPU (Part 1)
By Annabel Ogheneganre
As the drum beats for the 2015 general polls assume a frightening crescendo by the day, I am of the view that the Urhobo Progress Union has a key role to play for Urhobo political self engineering and rediscovery in the years ahead. A lot of people hold contrary views but my argument is predicated on the conviction that no one social political pressure group  could carry the acceptability and binding force that UPU could muster in matters of Urhobo general interest. All the political pressure groups in Delta State today are either political party-based or have cleavages one way or the other to existing political parties.  The Urhobo Political Congress and Delta Central Political Movement for instance, may pretend to be speaking for the entire Urhobo nation but truth is, there is no true DPP or ACN man in either political groups. They are PDP based. So how can these ones speak for the entire Urhobo nation? What manner of grassroot mobilisation can these two groups possibly embark on to allow for DPP and ACN membership without suspicion? At Uvwiamuge Agbarho during the 2012 UPU Congress, PDP and DPP members were in attendance and many shook hands in expression of the binding cord that make us all Urhobo. What other platform, besides UPU can create an atmosphere for all Urhobos, irrespective of political party affiliations to congregate except UPU? Let’s not deceive ourselves; UPU has a critical role to play in the coming polls. UPU is the only viable organ that can speak on behalf of the Urhobo nation politically, socially, culturally, economically and even spiritually. All other platforms are adjuncts of the whole, but not truly all embracing pan Urhobo reality. The claims by some groups to Urhobo mouth piece is all politics but not reality. When UPU Executives are elected and sworn in, they are inaugurated as Urhobo mouth piece in all areas of Urhobo national life. That is why UPU is the only organ that can speak on behalf of the entire Urhobo nation in the politics of 2015.
The task before UPU therefore is an onerous one and such that must not be handled with kids glove. UPU must summon the courage to do the needful by ignoring the antics of detractors and fifth columnists in the system. It must be understood that some political elements may have sold their souls to the enemies because of bread and butter or food is ready politics. These may have nothing to do with the position of UPU. But the average Urhobo man or average Deltan will listen to UPU because of the popular cause necessity beckons on it to play on behalf of the people. Let it be understood before we go any further that, UPU had never fought an ethnic political war ever since 1999. That is the position of this writer. Over the years, UPU had been part of the popular struggle, the struggle to enthrone true and popular democracy in Delta State, where the man chosen by the people via the ballot box assume leadership position. That to me is not ethnic politics. I explained this position in some details in an earlier article.
As I did say last week, when I suggested prayer as a weapon in the hands of the opposition, UPU too should not shy away from this very effective weapon. UPU should set aside a day for prayer in all Urhobo land so that Urhobo can be divinely guided in all its undertakings in the politics of 2015. Let Urhobo seek the face of God. This time, all Urhobo Traditional rulers and most elderly people (Edion or Ekpako-Irere) of every village in Urhoboland should be involved. Let these elders carry the burdens of the people to God in prayers. The place of the elders in spiritual matters is very significant. It doesn’t matter whether the said elder is a Christian or not. The prayer of an elder is an effectual weapon in spiritual relations. A child cursed by his father goes into life on a spiritual deficit account. Such a curse can hardly be invoked by a pastor. The Okpako-Orere or Odion is closer to God, he carries many attributes of the divine, sees beyond the ordinary, communes with powers that transcend the physical realm, commands divine attention much more than the younger ones who are still entangled with the mundane attractions of sin and the world, and easily stands in the gap between divinity and man. When an Okpako Orere goes to God with tears in his eyes, that alone can cause spiritual collateral damages to any one whose actions induces the tears. Our world is in trouble today because, this generation has failed to honour their fathers and their mothers as stated in the Bible. When in his old age, Isaac poured his heart in prayer on Jacob, he became blessed beyond explanations while Esau was left with a curse. These elders should gather at the headquarters of each of the Urhobo Kingdom, with the Ovie leading the prayer. The Ovie’s presence is symbolic because he represents his people in all areas of their lives whether spiritual, physical and otherwise. A King is not an ordinary being. Once a man is pronounced a King, he can easily stand in the gap between the people and God. He can also cancel every enchantment even in the coven or any cult against his people. He does not need to be a wizard or possess the power of the occult before he can reverse any evil curse on his people. He is a priest, a spirit and even more than a witch or wizard. The Edion should join hands with the Ovie and pray on the land, ask God to forgive the sins of the people and bless the land for the people to thrive. Every Kingdom could adopt a format for the prayer but the prayer points should be developed by UPU. Let these people connect the divine and provoke heaven to rise on behalf of the people. The main point should be popular democracy in Delta State and for credible leaders, popular and desired by the people to emerge. They should pray against leaders who would impose themselves on the people. When these elders pray, heaven will definitely hearken to their voice.
I pray UPU to move from the precinct of rhetoric to action. UPU should not take these suggestions as the mere words of one little girl who does not understand the intricacies of politics. Even if everything I say or analysis is not correct, some of them could be adopted as road map to the desired result. Urhobo must do something in order to get out of the present challenges. DSC is in limbo, Urhobo is not anywhere in Abuja or Asaba. We cannot afford to sleep over our condition. We have to take our destiny in our hands and seize that which we have the power to do. The prayer I propose could send spiritual missiles into the firmament, capable of provoking certain changes in different spheres of our lives.
As we approach 2015, I want to appeal to UPU to put their house in order. There are lots of issues concerning the UPU Ighelle exco that are yet to be resolved. I have been made to understand that during a workshop organised by UPU for Urhobo youths late last year, prior to the 2012 UPU Congress, a commitment to the effect that issues of proper elections for the UPU Ighelle would be taken care of, was made. I plead with Gen. Patrick Aziza to do the needful so as to avoid unnecessary squabbles among our youths, as we inch closer to the election year. Now is the time to act so that before 2014, all such issues surrounding the UPU Ighelle exco are done with. I am in possession of several petitions by various interest groups, which allege that the Blessing Ovwata-led UPU Ighelle (Youth Wing) was not properly elected and that it was supposed to be an interim exco which has outlived its acceptable limits. There are allegations of financial impropriety particularly as regards involvement of Ighelle in the 2011 general polls. While all the allegations might not be correct, it is not also right to wish away such weighty allegations as irrelevant. My major concern however is for UPU to step in to correct that which is wrong, regularise the Ighelle exco and make for peace among Urhobo youths. I do not wish to go into details in those petitions yet. I rather watch to see what UPU will do to put Ighelle on the path of democratic propriety before I comment further on this issue.
As canvassed in earlier submissions, UPU should take proactive steps in the direction of marshalling a course of action for the political class ahead of 2015. UPU should endeavour to harmonise all the interest groups by creating a forum for the political class to meet and work out Urhobo political interest for 2015. This should involve the likes of Prof. Utuama, Great Ogboru, Senator Ewherido, Chief Amori, Otive Igbuzor, Chris Oghenechovwen, Terry Noah, Olori Magege, Ovie Omo-Agege, Elegbete Odibo, Chief Sefia, Evelyn Oboro-Ojakovo, Ogbaburhon, Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, Chief Orugbo, Sunny Emeyese, Halims Agoda, Chief John Oguma, Tom Amioku, Emmanuel Okumagba, Solomon Awhinawhin, Paulinius Akpeki, and other political leaders across Urhobo land. I maintain that none of the persons mentioned above is less important to Urhobo quest for self rediscovery. Many people are wont to posit that those considered to be working against Urhobo interest should not be accommodated at all. That is a sure way to political suicide. Olori Magege for instance is as important to the struggle as Prince OKiemute Oviri of Okwagbe. Those dancing dangerous steps should be courted, less they do collateral damage to the struggle, when it matters most. Many people believe that with or without the likes of Amori, Halims Agoda, Omo-Agege, Olori Magege and their likes, Urhobo can pull through to the expected destination. Politics does not work that way. The impact of the 2011 revolution was limited in certain areas because some persons, who knew PDP could not win in their areas, did everything to reduce the gap between PDP and DPP such that DPP won with a slim margin. Uduaghan went to Delta south, stretched his immoral victory in many wards beyond reasonable limits and was able to garner the highest number of votes cast at the election to run home with the mandate. If the opposition continues with the same strategy of excluding the supposed bad ones, they (those being branded evil) will be left with no option but to fight, not to win in their wards, but to ensure they lost with manageable margins. That is what we must avoid in 2015. That is the reason why I have consistently insisted that everybody is important to the struggle for national rebirth for the Urhobo nation and popular democracy in 2015. Make no mistake about it, in as much as I am opposed to the views being promoted by some personalities in the State, I still believe they should be accommodated. Let us talk our differences over. If UPU could create the platform for the political class to meet, then it may have done its beat. Let the politicians meet to tear themselves to pieces, disagree over several issues and even trade punches. At the end, an acceptable truce could be evolved to the benefit of all. There is no way everybody would be able to agree on all the issues, but somehow, we may have a better understanding of each other’s position and an acceptable pathway, devised. Many people believe it cannot work. But there is no harm in trying. Going into every election as enemies has not helped us. Let us try to work out our differences and make for an all embracing struggle for a better future.
Apart from motivating the political class to build bridges of friendship and understanding across the various senatorial districts and ethnic groups in Delta State, UPU should also reach out to people of like minds in other parts of the State and Nigeria at large. I am glad UPU took a step recently to reach out to groups outside Delta State, all to engender the progress of Urhobo. Urhobo need more of the Kaduna meeting with Arewa to effectively drive home the message that we shall no longer accept the insults of the present reality. While I do not wish to go into details, suffice it to say that UPU is already building bridges ahead of 2015. Definitely, Urhobo cannot go alone. We need votes across Delta State. The selling point is popular democracy. There are people all over Delta State who are not averse to the politics of crude, illicit and undemocratic electoral victory that has been the hallmark of the PDP. Such democrats should be courted early. The truth that should be sold to all across Delta State is the need to enthrone popular democracy as against power shift. It should be understood by all that the worst card the North can play is one, which makes case for a Delta north governor, only because he is from the North senatorial district, even if the man is an imbecile. Urhobo should impose it on all that zoning or any other arrangement which bestows advantages on ethnic groups or zone is antithetical to the search for good leadership, which should command respect and allegiance across the land. We should ask ourselves whether the search for a Governor in 2015 includes consideration for the emergence of new leadership unencumbered by past and present loyalties to structures, individuals and Institutions that have crippled the growth and development of our beloved Delta State? Does it include consideration of a leader who defers recklessly to external influence, like the case of Uduaghan who has virtually sold Delta State to the likes of Olusegun Obasanjo, Tony Anenih and such other godfathers, just to stay in office?
Power shift for the sake of power shift induces opportunistic succession. Opportunistic succession, fuelled by money politics and the recklessness of godfathers is not known to promote good governance. It breeds unbridled interference for un-judicious application of the common wealth. So far, there is nothing to suggest there won’t be interference. What may be uncertain is to what extent the people will indulge it. There is no other way to depict the nuisance value of opportunistic succession, than a study of the present Uduaghan administration. Opportunistic succession derives impetus from arguments like power shift. Power shift, as explained earlier depletes the value of true democratic experience, since it promotes the exclusion of some segments or sections for consideration in political relations to the utmost benefit of another section or zone within a geopolitical expression.
By 2015, we would have been in the political wilderness for eight years. I am of the view that the way out of our wretched ignominy is not to choose to follow a Moses called from a different land to lead us to our destiny. Our resolve must be to find and follow a Moses called from within our own Israel. Urhobo should locate a sellable candidate that can easily be marketed across the State. We have all it takes to make it to the top. The odds favour us. The wall of Jericho is bound to collapse in 2015. Our liberation is near. Let us join hands with our leaders to move Delta State on the fast lane of democratic rebirth. It is possible. Yes, we can!
Miss Annabel Ogheneganre writes from No. 8, Emeka Anyaoku Street, Garki, Abuja. (08092569702 SMS only or

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Comments [ 2 ]
Abraka . 19 Feb, 2013 at 09:52
The Urhobo are not united and the present elite are corrupt and only think of their pocket.
Ogegere Enivwenaye . 14 Feb, 2013 at 01:11
The UPU as former power house of the urhobo\'s has no tangible row to play pertaining to winning 2015 election in delta state. this is because they are blind and knows nothing but money as order of the day.
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