…Set To Inaugurate 36-Member-Forum Headed By Akporhonor
By Daniel Dafe
Peace Initiative Committee (PIC), a group formed to settle the lingering crisis in Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) will on October 12, 2019, inaugurate a 36-man-committee with a mandate 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.
According to a press statement signed by PIC, “on the 19th of August 2019, some notable Urhobo leaders in and beyond Nigeria inaugurated a nine man committee with clear mandate to identify credible personalities whose interests in peaceful coexistence in Urhobo Nation still carries unquenchable fires.
“The clear mandate was for us to identify between 15 to 20 very neutral Urhobo men, women, students and representation from the clergy, believing in their high love and patriotic stands for Urhobo would do the magic for peace to return.
“We swung into action by segmenting Urhobo Nation into 24 kingdoms with the view to selecting representation from among our people. We were to find out that our people have been yearning for peace, so we decided to be on a shoulder of unity, believing in the slogan of “Urhobo Ovuovo“. We therefore chose to go on random selection of the names, irrespective of the kingdom they come from, but the bottom line is Urhobo as the straight shoulders to stand on.”
The names of those that made the 36-man-list to go by the name ‘The Urhobo Committee for Peace & Unity’ include:
1. Chief (Prof.) Temi Akporhonor (Chairman)
2. Chief Dr. Ebenezer Okorodudu
3. Prince Mike O. Igere-Adgara
4. Chief (Prof) Pat Esiri
5. Chief Esenone Otoroba
6. Prof. Vincent Akpotaire
7. Chief James Obriki
8. Chief Joshua Oghenekaro Adjarho
9. Mrs. Cecilia Ibru
10. Chief Felix Ogboru
11. Chief Francis Okitikpi
12. Mrs. Fumi Oghenekevwe Ayodele
13. Chief Frederick Dolor
14. Sir Richard Odibo
15. Chief Andrew Ogheneaga Orugbo
16. D. I. G Marvel Akpoyibo
17. Chief Fida Odia
18. Mrs. Edith Aghwana Akiri
19. Dr. Augustine Onojetah
20. Chief Nicholas Dortie
21. Mr. Oke Mariere
22. Chief John Iyu
23. Mrs. Sheila Okiemute Arebinne
24. Mr. Samson Atawhe
25. Mr. Akurili Marcus
26. Prof. G.G Darah
27. Dr. Charles Apoki
28. Chief Oghenevo Edewor
29. Ms. Unukpo Oghenevwaire Eno
30. Chief Godwin Okene
31. Dr. Onajete Power
32. Prof. Onakeroraye
33. Chief Williams J. Omogaga
34. Bishop Blessing Eritefe
35. Chief Sunny Ogikporho Okpure
36. Mr. Mac Emakpore
Continuing, the members of the group said that in picking the names of those that made the list, they considered neutrality and made sure that none of those on the list had any affiliation to either Chief Joe Omene or Chief Moses Taiga.
The press statement also read: “The PIC interacted with reasonable numbers of Urhobo pedigree physically and through phone conversation,” adding that on the 12th of October, 2019, the 36-man-committee will be fully inaugurated.
Furthermore, PIC said that they are confident that those nominated will put in their best without sentiments of fear or favour to achieve good results before the end of November, 2019.
PIC added: “Although it won’t be out of place to reason that the list featured may not meet everyone’s 100 percent expectations, it is our fervent desire that Urhobo indigenes give them absolute support and cooperation to ensure that our seeming problems are resolved without any further delay.”
Oasis Magazine (OM) gathered that the 36 members are expected to meet with both factions of the divide, traditional rulers, as well as some other key stakeholders in Urhobo Nation.
Members of the PIC are: Hon. Don Efeme Mayar (Chairman), Mr. Godwin Ochor Ikogho (Acting Secretary), Chief David Ukueku (Member), Prince Noble M.C. Otadaferua (Member), Pastor Adarighofua Edebor (Member), Mr. Joe Mowoe Usen (member), Ejenavi Victor Evughe (member), Chief (Barr.) S.O.S Ajako (Legal Adviser) and Abigail Oghenevwoke Adeyan (who we learnt vacated the assignment with no excuse).
Speaking to OM,the Chairman of PIC, Hon. Mayar, during a phone conversation, said that he was optimistic that this move will yield result, adding that if it does not, then they will take a stand and not mind whose horse is gored.
He said: “We know what the problems in Urhobo Nation are, but we decided to take this step first. If it fails, then we will come out with our resolution on the way forward for Urhobo Nation.
“No one can take us for a ride anymore. I met with the youth body factions of UPU. The Delta State government gives the Omoko-led faction N3, 000, 000 every month, while the other ethnic groups in the state gets far more than that. The crisis in UPU has resulted to shortchanging Urhobo Nation. We cannot allow all this continue
“The youth body factions are ready to unite and move Urhobo Nation forward. I pray the parent body takes this position too.
“I also met with the kings in Urhobo land. They told me that they recognize Taiga. Omene has the crowd, but Taiga has the backing of the kings. Omene cannot rule without the kings. I am also aware of the court case between the two of them. The both of them are planning for ‘Urhobo Day’ in December. If these sails through that means the crisis will continue after their tenures elapse in December.”
“The time to act is now. We will consider the 36-man-committee report when we get it. After that, we will then know what to do. Maybe we might ask the both of them to step down for peace to reign in Urhobo land,” he averred.