-Hold Monarchs Responsible For The Killings Of Urhobo Indigenes By Herders, He Tells Urhobo Nation
By Daniel Dafe
The President General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Worldwide, Chief (Engr.) Joe Omene, has said that Olorogun Moses Taiga, erred when he presented food items to Uwheru community during his visit to them recently after the killing of some indigenes by Fulani herdsmen, adding that it is against the customs in Urhobo land for gifts to be presented to the bereaved.
Omene, who spoke to Oasis Magazine (OM), during an exclusive chat in Mosogar today, March 10, 2020, added that Taiga has once again proven that he is an Ijaw man and ignorant of the customs and traditions of Urhobo Nation though he seeks to lead them.
According to him, it is only when there is a case of a natural disaster that such benevolence can be shown.
He added: “That is why I always tell people that this man is Ijaw and does not know Urhobo tradition. He can go there and condemn the action of the killers and think of the way forward for such a thing not to happen again but not present food items to them.
“You carry yam, garri to commiserate with a people that had their people killed? It is an indication that they were given all those food items to make up for the loss of lives. The man is Ijaw and he will do things according to the Ijaw tradition, not Urhobo tradition.
“This people are angry not because of food they don’t have to eat but because of the loss of lives.
“My first reaction to the killings was to send the President of UPU Youthwing, Comrade Efemena Umukoro, to Uwheru and other communities affected by the dastardly acts by the herdsmen. We succeeded in bringing the news to the world by dragging Channels TV and other national television stations to the area. It was well publicized and the people appreciated this.
“We did not concern ourselves about sharing food but were more interested in making the world see that our people are being killed. Umukoro also met with security operatives to see to it that our people are protected.
“The people want the entire world to condemn what the killings and know what is happening. We succeeded in doing this and our people are happy.”
Furthermore, the PG said the statement credited to Taiga where he asked the herders to live Uwheru community was not strategic.
His words: “If you ask the herdsmen to leave a place and they move over to another land what will you do? What we need is to plan. This is not even a question of normal warfare. Who is in charge of Nigeria today; a Fulani man right? He can direct the soldiers to go and settle the rift and they even start targeting Urhobo indigenes.”
Speaking further, he blamed the whole crisis on the traditional rulers in Urhobo land.
He said: “Many of them sold land to the herdsmen to graze. That is why the monarchs cannot talk because their hands are tied. It is the same traditional rulers that the state government used to destabilize UPU. Those days, I would have called Urhobo politicians for discussions. But, if I do now, one will say I am PDP, another will say I am APC.
“Prominent Urhobo people are just looking aloof. Our senior advocates cannot speak; our professors are not saying anything. Politicians want titles and are mute. Others will say if I speak my title will be withdrawn. Religious leaders are also silent. Only few people are speaking out today.”
He continued: “Long before now, the kings ought to have called a meeting and taken a position on how to tackle the negative trend. Now that we don’t have weapons of war, what is the solution? Can’t we come up and say no cow should be slaughtered or eaten in the Urhobo land; will anyone come to your house to kill you for this?
“It is not just waking up to say vacate Urhobo land. They won’t go and if they don’t do you have the wherewithal to forcefully evict them? The law does not even permit that because it supports freedom of movement.
“Taiga is causing problems for Urhobo Nation. If something goes wrong now he will just go to Kiagbodo to relax.”