Insists That Okowa Is To Blame For The Crisis Rocking Urhobo Nation
By Dafe Rukevwe
Chief (Engr.) Joe Omene has reacted to publications by some online platforms that described him as a former President General of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), saying that he remains the President General of the Urhobo soccio-cultural body.
Speaking to Oasis Magazine during an exclusive chat in Mosogar yesterday, the fearless PG while describing Olorogun Moses Taiga as an impostor and a joker, insisted that the Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa is to blame for the crisis rocking the UPU.
His words: “Urhobo Nation knows that Okowa in collaboration with some Urhobo politicians have tried to destabilize the UPU and make sure that UPU is totally destroyed. But, he couldn’t achieve this. The spokesman of Ijaw UPU recently said that Okowa is not to blame. What do you expect him to say when he is a beneficiary of Okowa’s arrangement?
“UPU was to conduct an election, Okowa brought policemen and army to barricade Uvwiamughe. Was it Chief Omene that barricaded the place? We went to Okere Warri, it was also barricaded. Even where we eventually used here in Mosogar they planned to do same, but it failed.
“After realizing that we conducted election, what did he do next? He called some persons including Otomiewo and others and came up with a publication in Urhobo Voice and other newspapers that a meeting was to hold. The agenda was to reconcile and settle the UPU crisis. When people got there he said he was conducting elections without delegates. When he was making his speech he was praising Okowa.
“Has Okowa attended UPU congress before now? Does he attend that of other ethnic groups like he does to Urhobo Nation? And when he attends he does so with those in his government and military personnel. How many ethnic nationalities did he donate Fifty Million Naira to? How many PGs did he give Prado jeep and Hilux?
He continued: “Before, top politicians like Ibori and Amori attended, but last year they didn’t because they have seen that Okowa is out to destabilize Urhbo Nation. They all boycotted the programme. Igbuya, Igbakpa and others were not there.
“Then he said he is giving them Fifty Million Naira to continue to play his script off course. In 2016 the first thing Okowa did when he came to power was tell the kings to dissolve the UPU exco and set up a caretaker committee. The Youth Wing (Ighelle) took them to court. When they saw that they were going to lose in court the kings now said let us settle out of court and stated that Omene should be allowed to continue his work.
“Thereafter Taiga was the next strategy. They said they conducted elections. We went to court and we have been there for over three years over a matter that has to do with interpreting the constitution. We are not bothered no matter how long it takes. One day the court will decide.”
Furthermore, he said: “Taiga knows that one day his days will be up. What they were thinking was that I will get tired and abandon the fight. But, I must continue till my last breath because the image of Urhobo nation is at stake. How can the governor be comfortable wIth the Ijaw man?”
“Tomorrow let Okowa be out and you will see how many of them will withdraw from fighting me.”
Omene added: “You say that you are not responsible for the crisis. For the period I was there you did not give Urhobo Nation anything. Urhobo house has been there come and fence it for us, he did not. But now that there is vested interest, he is doling out cash to them.”
According to him, he has the support of Urhobo Nation because when the common man wants to do anything they come to him.
He said: “We have many achievements. Now, we have an Urhobo man as the principal of PTI. Urhobo students come to me; those are the future of Urhobo. When the National Union of Urhobo Students (NUUS) had crisis they came to me. They don’t know Taiga.
“Some of the kings are after their crown. If they fail to do Okowa’s bidding he will stop their salaries. Is it not surprising that the kings endorsed Okowa when their own son was contesting as a governorship candidate in 2019?
“Which Urhobo man was at the Taiga’s congress? Those holding key offices even in PDP were not there. Urhobo nation should be relaxed. Whether Okowa likes he should continue to pump money to them; Taiga’s group will collapse one day.”
He called on Urhobo Nation to have fate in him, stressing that he will not disappoint them.