The Engr. Joe Omene led Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) has raised strong objection to what it claims are plans to truncate the senatorial zoning arrangement in Delta State and called on the Urhobo nation to prepare itself to defend its interest in the face of the alleged moves.
As UPU Mobilise against Governor Okowa, the group in a statement signed By Engr. Omene said it could not stand aloof in the face of what it alleged as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s claim that power rotation to the Urhobo nation in 2023 could not be guaranteed.
In the statement titled, “Okowa’s Dangerous “Gentleman Agreement” Abrogation: A Rallying Call For Urhobo People of Delta Central,” Omene said:
“The emergence of the next gubernatorial candidate for Delta from the Urhobo Central Senatorial District is not a whim that is determined by any governor but a compact that is already tested and beyond contestation because the other two Senatorial Districts have created the precedence of taking their Rotational slots.
“It should be noted that by the fact of Governor Okowa’s second term in office, he sealed the deal by making the rotation a compact by praxis. In case Okowa is unaware of the political meaning of the word, he should get enlightened advice on the concept of Consociation, and its benefit to peacebuilding in plural societies.
“If however, all other Senatorial Districts are unwilling to respect the gentlemanly disposition of the Central Zone by conflating it for weakness, the deceptive words of Governor Okowa should be seen as a rallying call to all Urhobos, to demonstrate the collective resolve of the zone as was the case in 1992, between the SDP candidate Olorogun Felix ebru and Professor Eric Opia of the NRC, when the then Military Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida decided that the latter must be the first executive Governor at a time when the issue of the location of the state capital provoked anger in Urhobo land.
“The people of the Central District took it as a challenge and came out en-mass using our voting population during the election and defeated the Babangida decision that Urhobo should not be made the first executive Governor. The collective resolve of Urhobos made it possible for our late Olorogun Felix lbru to be the first executive Governor of the newly created Delta State.
“As it was in 1992 so shall it be in 2023, as l call on all sons and daughters of Urhobo nation to begin the process of taking concrete and necessary legal and political steps to match the challenge to the zone invited by the Governor’s equivocating vacillation. This is the time for total unity of all people of the Central Zone, l urge all to unite as one Urhobo nation and rise up to this challenge as the majority ethnic group that should not allow itself to be oppressed.
“Governor Okowa‘s declaration that power rotation to Central Senatorial District is uncertain should be taken as a challenge, a duty and a responsibility by the Urhobo nation by 2023.” The UPU Mobilise against Governor Okowa in the drive to reclaim the mandate they feel is theirs.