Â UPU differs, says he must negotiate
Delta State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. HonÂ MondayÂ Igbuya onÂ Wednesday continued his crusade for second term for Governor IfeanyiÂ Okowa.
But his position runs counter to the views of the Urhobo Progress
Union (UPU). The unionâ€™s President General, Chief Gabriel OfotokunÂ insisted that the best way to go about the agenda was to negotiateÂ with Urhobo.
â€œWhoever is going to take over from Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa must be anÂ Urhoboâ€ the unionâ€™s president general said.
Igbuya who spoke in Asaba urged the UPU leaders not to endorse anyÂ candidate in 2019.Â
â€œWe have come thus far. We have endorsed Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for 2019.Â
We need your prayers to achieve that agendaâ€ he said.Â
Receiving UPU interim executive in his office, Igbuya blamed the pastÂ executive of the union for the dismay performance of the Urhobo nationÂ in the 2015 governorship polls.Â
Â â€œSome gullible fellows turned the Urhobo nation into a trading port.Â
They commercialized the leadership of our ethnic group, thereby
destroying the foundation and unity of the Urhobo nation. That is whatÂ we are suffering today. That is why the fifth largest group in NigeriaÂ is not recognized anywhereâ€ he said.Â
Deeply disappointed by the actions by some Urhobo leaders, Igbuya saidÂ he was sad over the incarceration of former Delta State governor,Â Chief James Ibori.
â€œWe have thrown away dignity and unity. As a matter of fact, UrhoboÂ leaders now kill their children publicly. Who kept Ibori in prison?Â
They are Urhobo people. Persecutors of Ibori are not strangers. TheyÂ are not from Delta North, Delta South and South West. They are ourÂ kith and kin. The pillar of the Urhobo political class is
incarcerated. How can Urhobo move forward politically? We do not knowÂ beyond Asaba and even the Asaba we know, we do not know the doors orÂ machines to open. The man who knows what doors or instrument to touch,Â we used our hands to cage him. We are crying and shouting that UrhoboÂ should move forward politically. It is very unfortunateâ€ he said.
He condemned the plot to stop a governor of Anioma extraction in 2015.
â€œItsekiri is a minority group in the state. In Warri South, Warri
South West and Warri North, the Urhobos are there. There are IjawÂ people in these local government areas but they produced a governor.Â
Why on earth would anyone say that Delta North with nine local
government areas and highest number of wards in the state cannotÂ produce a governor? There is no Urhobo local government that has moreÂ than eleven wards. There are local government areas in Delta NorthÂ that have twelve and fourteen wards. Politics is a game of number.Â Some of us insisted on equity. If an Itsekiri man can become theÂ governor of Delta State, what would stop somebody from Delta NorthÂ becoming governor? Urhobo man is very gullible. Clearly, we knew weÂ were not going to make it.
However, some commercial UPU leaders wereÂ banning, cursing, swearing and doing all sort of trading. The UPUÂ became factionalized after collecting millions from Abuja. A faction
endorsed the APC candidate, while another faction endorsed the LabourÂ Party candidate. How do you expect Urhobo to win? Like the sayingÂ goes, divided we fall, united we stand. The Omene led leadershipÂ destroyed the chances of Urhobo producing the governorâ€.
Earlier, the UPU President General, Chief Gabriel Ofotokun accusedÂ President Muhammadu Buhari of neglecting the Urhobo nation.Â
â€œWhat has President Muhammadu Buhari done for the Urhobo nation? HeÂ has done nothing. How do we position Urhobo at the national level?
WeÂ need to unite and make our position knownâ€ he said.
On Okowaâ€™s performance, Ofotokun said â€œGovernor Ifeanyi Okowa hasÂ tried. He has appointed quite a few of our people in government but heÂ has to do moreâ€
EBIRERI HENRY OVIE