By Prince Isire
Notable Urhobo socio-political organisation, Urhobo Solidarity Front (USF), has hailed the leadership of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide for their wisdom and courage in endorsing Olorogun David Edevbie as the consensus candidate of the Urhobo nation for the Delta 2023 Governorship race.
The USF made the declaration on Sunday, April 17, 2022, following the public statement by the leadership of UPU announcing their adoption of Olorogun David Edevbie as their best and preferred choice from Urhobo land and Delta Central Senatorial District.
In the statement signed by USF Secretary, Oghenekaro Umukoro, the body reiterated the need for Delta Central and Urhobo nation to present a single consensus candidate at the PDP primaries on May 21 to ensure that the Urhobos don’t get to the congress to divide their delegate votes, a situation which if not handled with caution could make Delta Central lose the PDP Governorship ticket.
The group said it had uncovered plans by some agents of disunity in Urhobo land to counter the decision of the UPU which it noted can also sell out the Urhobo nation and play into the hands of external forces bent on undermining the interest of the Urhobo nation.
“We hail the national leadership of UPU Worldwide for coming out boldly to declare a consensus candidate from Urhobo land. As all Urhobo sons and daughters can see, there has been an attempt to undermine the emergence of an Urhobo indigene as Governor of Delta State in 2023 and there was an urgent need for Urhobo leadership to take steps to defend the interest of the Urhobo nation and Delta Central.
“We all saw how DC-23 led by Urhobo sons and daughters in the PDP responsibly embarked on a lobby across various groups in the state and successfully ensured their support for the sustenance of the peaceful district rotation process for which it is now the turn of Delta Central.
“We have also seen that in the failure to stop the rotation by districts, those external forces and the saboteurs among us have gone on to sponsor a multiplicity of aspirants across Urhobo land with the objective of having Delta Central split our delegate votes to the advantage of other ethnic groups.
“It is for this reason that we commend the UPU Worldwide for coming out to decide on a consensus candidate to ensure that Urhobos go into the primaries with one voice and come out successful to produce the next Governor.
“We must state that Delta Central is an important district of Delta, the Urhobo nation is the most homogeneous cultural group of the state and we cannot allow external forces to place us on the slaughter slab nor dictate a choice for us when it is our turn, as we can obviously see some persons and groups trying to do.
“We are also especially satisfied with the UPU Worldwide choice of Olorogun David Edevbie who is known and widely accepted by all Deltans as the most qualified, most competent and best prepared, going by his high educational background, experience in the private sector in top corporations, both locally and internationally, and public service in support of various administrations of Delta State and the Presidency, to carry on the development of Delta State from where His Excellency, Governor Okowa will end.
“We have been reliably informed that an insignificant group sponsored by political detractors of the Urhobo nation inside and outside government have concluded plans to release a statement criticising, countering and discrediting the UPU for taking the decision to ensure that Urhobo acts in one accord. We warn such persons, especially their members who are Urhobos, to retrace their steps and desist as their collusion with such outside forces is to the detriment of the overall interest of Urhobo nation and Delta Central at this time. A word is enough for the wise,” USF said in the statement.
Pointing out that the present political climate in Delta State is strange, the Urhobo Solidarity Front called for vigilance, sacrifice and greater unity among Urhobo sons and daughters to weather the present political situation and ensure that Delta Central retains its respect in Delta State.