By Daniel Dafe
President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election has been given a boost, as the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, endorsed him for a second term, and also called on Urhobo Nation to vote massively for Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta State and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the senatorial candidate of the party in Delta Central.
These endorsements were made public yesterday in Mosogar when the entire UPU structure, comprising the National Executive Council (NEC), members of UPU Council of Representatives, Forum of branch presidents, the women and youth wing converged to declare their supports for these candidates.
In a press release, the socio-cultural body said that the decision was made after wide consultations.
According to the group, “President Buhari is the only president who has identified with the Urhobo Nation by not only giving them political appointments, but also made sure that an Urhobo son is the governorship candidate of his party in Delta State.”
UPU added: “We strongly believe that his second term will improve the lots of the Urhobo people. This is in line with the UPU position in 2015, that any party that gives us the governorship ticket will be the party that Urhobo nation will vote for.”
Continuing, the release said: “President Buhari seems to be the only presidential candidate that will not sell our choice national assets like the NNPC which Atiku promised to sell.”
Furthermore, the group hinted that they decided to support Ogboru not because he is an Urhobo son, but “because he has displayed more intellectual and charismatic ability to govern the state which will bring a roller coaster change that will turn it into a new Delta.”
They opined that Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa performed below average in the last four years.
Giving reasons why they endorsed Ogboru, they said: “Today, we have more number of out of school children due to exorbitant fees now paid in public schools unlike before when it was free. Apart from the refurbishment of old roads constructed by previous administrations, he cannot boast of any giant physical development in the state.
“How can you talk about developing the state without improvising for children who have no money to pay enrolment fees, yet he has enough resources to cater for over 2, 000 Special Advisers.
“His mischievous attempt to destroy the umbrella unifying the Urhobo people, UPU for selfish political reasons of second term ambitions engendered him to threaten Urhobo kings with the withdrawal of their staff of office and entitlement.”
On the choice of Agege, UPU said: “We decided to endorse Distinguish Senator Ovie Omo-Agege because of his experience and influence in national politics of today,” adding that this will be of great benefit to Urhobo Nation.
“We screened Hon. Barrister Evelyn Oboro because of her anti-Urhobo stand in 2015 which brought about her sanction,” noting that she remained banned from seeking Urhobo support.