UPU Took A Risk By Endorsing Buhari, Now Enjoying The Benefits, He Says
…Tells Kinsmen To Wipe Their Tears, Expect More Appointments From Buhari
…Taiga Is Working Against Urhobo Interest
By Daniel Dafe
The President General (PG), Urhobo Progress Union, Worldwide, Chief (Engr.) Joe Omene, has said that Urhobo Nation has benefitted more from Northern presidents than the ones from the south, adding that Urhobo Nation has not had it this good under Buhari, compared to previous administrations.
Speaking to journalists in Mosogar, the outspoken PG added that Urhobo Nation is the only ethnic group in Southern Nigeria that endorsed the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, noting that they also did same for the party’s guber candidate in the state and the Senatorial candidate of the party in Delta Central.
According to him, UPU sat down and considered the fact that Urhobo Nation has always benefitted very well when a northerner emerged the President, recalling how the administrations of Tafawa Balewa, Shehu Shagari and other northerners supported the cause of the Urhobos when they ran the country.
His words: “We knew that Buhari will be appreciative if we support him and that is why we also supported Agege and Ogboru because we knew that these are the persons that will make Buhari emerge victorious in Delta State.
“From history, whenever a southerner headed the Federal Government, the same was not the case as the Urhobo nation ended up been dribbled. So, we decided to work for Buahari because we saw that this was the only way to free Urhobo from her slavery status politically and we thus pitched tent with Buhari. UPU took a risk by endorsing him.
“Urhobos can now stop crying. We can now stop crying. Some good politicians have come to wipe out the tears from our eyes with the cooperation of UPU. In states like Lagos, Kano and Bayelsa, we have Urhobos in government because of their friendly disposition to others.”
He said: “PDP planned to hijack the Urhobo Nation’s vote. As much as they tried, they could not succeed. They wanted every Urhobo person to support them. But, we did not see anything good coming from any alliance with PDP and the Okowa government.
He continued: “They told us not to dabble into politics. If we did not, what would have been our fate today? Look at the government of Okowa today, is there any key Urhobo man there?
“But now, by this singular action of endorsing Buhari, we now have the Deputy Senate President (DSP) and a minister. I also can assure you that a very big one and others are coming soon.
“Now, some ethnic groups in Delta State are saying that Urhobo is greedy. When we left the state for them and just focused on the federal they were playing state politics and got their benefits. Why are they now complaining about us for reaping the benefits of throwing our weights behind APC?
“Anther big masquerade will still come. I trust Agege and Festus Keyamo. These are people who are not greedy unlike some other Urhobo politicians who get to the top and do not want any Urhobo person to come close to them.
“Today, I am a very proud person because if UPU did not play their game well, all these things will not be coming easily now. And those who then criticized me are now smiling in silence and fail to attribute these achievements to some of us.
Furthermore, he said: “During the swearing-in ceremony of Festus Keyamo (SAN), UPU was well represented; the female and male youth wings were also there. Today as an Urhobo man, when you go to Abuja you will be very proud. For the governorship, if we cannot get it this time, after the next four years with the way things are going, we would have positioned ourselves to take the governorship in 2023 and Agege will go for a higher position. It can only get better for Urhobo nation.”
Omene noted that if he were to be some persons, he will be running around now looking for appointments or benefits and pestering people, saying that as long as Urhobos are rising to the top in the national space, he is satisfied.
Continuing, he said: “There is a clear difference between me and Moses Taiga; while I am working for Urhobo’s interest, he is working against it because he is Ijaw. He could endorse Okowa, but not Buhari before the 2019 elections. If you don’t support someone and did not give him your votes can you go to him when he wins?
“Buhari has all the votes of all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. Even me, I have some. So, if you come out and start making noise that you voted for him, he has the voting facts. His appointments now are based on the voting pattern during the presidential election. It is not those who are congratulating him now that he will listen to.”