By Daniel Dafe
Members of Peace Initiatives Council (PIC), a group formed to tackle the lingering crisis in Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), have successfully inaugurated a the Urhobo Peace and Unity Committee (UPUC), urging the group to unite the two warring factions of Chief Joe Omene and Chief Moses Taiga that have continued to lay claim to the President General position, and as well initiate ideas that will restore peace and unity to Urhobo Nation.
The event which took place recently in Oaks Hotel, Ughelli, Delta State was chaired by Chief James Akpovwan.
According to the organizers of the event, UPUC is to be chaired by Chief (Prof.) Temi Akporhonor and has the likes of Prof. Godini Darah and other notable indigenes of Urhobo as members.
Speaking during the ceremony, the leader of PIC, Hon. Don Efeme Mayar, blamed the elders of Urhobo land for the woes that have befallen the ethnic group, saying that as a youth he decided to take the bull by the horn to initiate this cause alongside likeminded individuals.
In tears and on his knees, Mayar begged the nominees for the UPUC to do their best in uniting the warring UPU factions.
He said: “W e go to places in Delta State for assistance and the question we are asked is what faction of UPU you belong to? This is a taboo and we must correct this error. I strongly believe that in December we will not have two ‘Urhobo Day’ celebrations organized by the two factions just as it happened last year. We have to act fast before we run out of time.”
In his remarks after the inauguration, Prof. Akporhonor opined that “the event marks another historic event in the annals of the existence of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU).”
His words: “It’s a call to selfless service in shaping the apex leadership cadre of Urhobo nation. If we fail, the opprobrium would be unexplainable, especially if the fault is ours.”
He commended the PIC for giving them the mandate to unify all those who have misgivings one way or the other about the present state of the leadership of the UPU, adding that all is not well in UPU that has two factions at the moment.
According to him, UPUC is the third reconciliation committee in the last few years to be set up to address disunity in Urhobo land.
Continuing, he disclosed that according to PIC, the 36 members in UPUC were selected because of their neutrality on the present UPU crisis.