Thursday, 26 June 2014

Urhobo Nation: Tale of greed and the prodigal sons ( Part 2)


                  Chief Felix Ibru, former President UPU
With this glaring marginalisation of the Urhobos, Chief Amori and his co-travellers do not see anything wrong with the retrograde Urhobo nation but are clamouring for the emergence of the governor from other part of Delta State for the purpose of equity. But what equity are these defeatist Urhobos talking about? Is there equity in the political appointments at the national level in Delta State at present? Where were the likes of Amori when the Urhobos were wickedly excluded from governance at the national level? The Urhobo nation is the fifth largest tribe in the country and the single majority tribe in Delta State yet it is being treated with contempt simply because of disunity and selfishness! This injustice could not have been confronting the Urhobo nation in the absence of disunity and self-aggrandizement. A popular maxim says, united we stand divided we fall, is indeed a truism.

 One is most disturbed by the attitude of the people of Delta North that are demanding for the governorship position in 2015 in the name of equity yet they currently occupy nine slots at the federal level whereas the Urhobos they are asking to demonstrate equity are only occupying one slot at the federal level. Why did they not appeal to Governor Uduaghan to give more slots to the Urhobos who are the majority in the state for the sake of equity? It must be made clear that nobody is advocating that the governorship position is an exclusive right of the Urhobos; no, it is for all Deltans. But while the Delta North wants to occupy the office of governor in 2015, they should concede some appointments at the national level to the Urhobos also for the sake of equity! Equity should permeate every sector of Delta State.
Is it not painful that the marginalisation of the Urhobos is being orchestrated under the leadership of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who was anointed and installed by ex-governor James Onanefe Ibori, an Urhobo man? This is a fact because anybody appointed at the national level must be nominated by a state governor. So, what is the offence of the Urhobos that Governor Uduaghan has systematically excluded them from the governance of the country? Was it a crime for an Urhobo man-Chief James Ibori to have planned and executed the emergence of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan as the governor of Delta State? With the current position of things, it is clear that if Dr. Uduaghan were to be in the shoes of Chief James Ibori, he wouldn’t have handed over power to Chief James Ibori his cousin!
It must not be business as usual. The Urhobo youths cannot sit on the fence and watch their destinies and those of their unborn children being derailed by some counterfeit Urhobos who only think about themselves and those of their nuclear family. Therefore, the youths must rise up to the occasion and put these charlatan Urhobos were they truly belong. These are not the type of leaders the Urhobo nation needs at this crucial political generation. This is because the world and particularly Nigeria plays regional and tribal politics. It is obvious from the above mentioned appointments that we play ethnic and tribal politics. If it is not so why are the Urhobos not holding any enviable positions at the federal level? It is simply because Governor Uduaghan refused to nominate them for appointment at the national level! People from Delta South and North Senatorial Districts are visible at the national level except the Urhobos. This is unacceptable! So, these counterfeit Urhobos must be relegated to the background. They must be placed where they truly belong; they are no longer relevance in today’s political movement and they must be made to realize it before it is rather too late!
 With the practice of regional or ethnic politics in Nigeria, people do not struggle for the political empowerment of people of other tribes at their detriment except the counterfeit Urhobos who want to become Chairmen of PDP in Delta State and Speakers of Delta State House of Assembly! The reason Mrs. Diezani Madueke was appointed the Minister of Petroleum was because she is an Ijaw woman and an Ijaw man is the President of Nigeria. If President Jonathan is not an Ijaw person, she would not have been appointed the Minister of Petroleum. The Ijaws have also produced the Minister of Petroleum in the past in the persons of Dan Etete and Edmond Daukuro because they are united and always demand for their right. But the Urhobo Nation that hosts about 30 per cent of the oil and gas in the country has never produced the Minister of Petroleum or the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)! Is it not disheartening that the north that does not have oil and gas has produced the largest numbers of Minister of Petroleum and the Group Managing Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)? The north also controls 83 per cent of oil blocs in the country! Those Urhobos who are fighting for equity in Delta State do not seem to see abnormality playing out against them in this project called Nigeria!
 The Urhobos are well-positioned that if they do not produce the governor of the state at any point in time, can play a vintage role as kingmakers on defined terms of negotiation that will be at their advantage! They can produce large numbers of the appointees that will represent Delta State at the national level. But this is not so as things are at the moment because of disunity and selfishness of some Urhobos. Some Urhobos who were once commissioners have been demoted to ordinary special advisers and senior special advisers to the governor when they supposed to have ascended to higher positions as ministers, senior special advisers to the President, chairmen of boards of commissions and agencies but they do not see anything wrong with their demotions!
The north has led Nigeria for 39 years, yet they are still fighting to regain power from the South because no tribe gives away power willingly except the Urhobos who give away power willingly without remorse. They relinquished power willingly in 2007 without much resistance from any quarters in the name of equity but today, inequity is starring them in the face!
The Urhobo nation as a matter of urgency should unite and declare emergency in leadership at the national level. As the fifth largest tribe in the country, she must assert her numerical strength and political power to ensure that her sons and daughters are well placed in leadership positions across the country. Those who currently occupy enviable positions at the national level are not in any manner better than the Urhobo people. Thus, any Urhobo man or woman who plays the role of a fifth columnist should be classified as a “counterfeit Urhobo”; no Urhobo person should pull the Urhobo nation down. Enough is enough! 


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