“To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal.” Malcolm X
In the twilight towards the preparation of the 2015 general election, everyone always had the belief that the Urhobo apex union, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) was out to to show the world that they can no longer play a second fiddle to any tribe in Delta State.
But again, this is a union that was headed by the Late Gen. Patrick Aziza. Everyone knew that Aziza being a former Army General cannot be bought over, as he will look you boldly in the face and call your bluff, no matter how highly politically placed you are. His fear of being the Urhobo leader gave Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan sleepless night, knowing that with him in the saddle, his ill-gotten wealth cannot be used to bribe him.
And then, the unexpected happened, as the President General slept and never woke up. He went to meet the celestial with hope that he will give spiritual guidance to the aspirations of the Urhobos. Then most of us knew that the game was up, as the UPU will now be sold to the highest bidder. Then came the razzmatazz of the new PG, Joe Omene who played to the gallery by disowning some prominent Urhobos like Chief Ighoyota Amori, Ben Igbakpa, Olori Magege, Hon. Monday Igbuya and Jaro Egbo for daring to pitch their tent with an Anioma candidate in the person of Sir Anthony Chuks Obuh. They ordered them out of Urhobo gathering until they come to their senses that the Uvwiamuge declaration is obeyed to the last letter.
When most of us again saw this, we knew that Omene has just begun his dance of shame, haven being a secret betrayal looking for money to oil his dwindling fortune. Where on earth are people stopped from exercising their freedom to association or right to support an aspirant? While the likes of Amori, Jaro, Igbakpa and Egbo saw the need to ‘beg’ the overrated Omene led UPU, the duo of Igbuya and Magege called their bluff, an action I believed others should have also done.
Despite their so called threat, Igbuya still won the primaries in an Urhobo land!. This was enough to tell the world that Omene and his co travelers of doom were only acting tough without actions to back it up. I long gave up on UPU when I was kidnapped by the thief Servant of Niger State, Aliyu Babangida, and they kept mute. People who had known me to be the firm supporter of the Uvwiamuge declaration were shocked that throughout my two weeks in the kidnappers den, mum was the word from a so call body that is meant to protect all Urhobo sons. Minds began to wander if the Arewa union, Afenifere or the Ohaneze Ndigbo will allow a prominent journalist of their loins whom the whole world got interested in his case to be left alone. But to once again I proved that with or without them, we can always walk free from our captors, I did stroll out of the prison wall. Then I aligned with Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who despite being an Anioma; his team was part of my rescue team.
Today it is crystal clear that what many of us foresaw in UPU led by Omene has come to pass. When Secrets Reporters News broke out the news that they had been bribed with the alleged sum of $1 Million to selected David Edevbie as the sole Urhobo candidate, they called the news outlet a lying whistle medium, but they have been proven right by the announcement of Edevbie as the choice. What they don’t realize is that Secrets Reporters have been part of all their secret meetings and such has first hand information of all their plans. What they don’t realize is that Fejiro Oliver is just the Editorial Board Chairman of the news outfit with her two Editors based in foreign lands, yet with ears to the ground and thus can feed Nigerians with hidden information. As the Editorial Chairman, I believe all the reports of Secrets Reporters.
The appointment of Edevbie by the so called screening committee is not only immoral, unethical but against the spiritual law of justice. Nobody can claim to be more Urhobo than me, as my father served as the UPU Secretary in two States and later the President. Despite my not being brought up in Urhobo land and a traveler across the globe, I was made to speak and understand the Urhobo language more than those born, brought up and based in Urhobo settlement, so let no one come here telling me that I don’t know anything about the UPU or Urhobo.
When the initial list was sent by the UPU, it was just Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege and Paulinus Akpeki who made it. Edevbie name only got inside after much lobby. How then did a man who lobbied to have his name in the first list suddenly become the sole choice of the UPU? Urhobos must begin to know that the real enemies we have is the UPU and not the Amoris or Igbuyas, or were these people part of UPU leadership?
The list is not an Urhobo list but an Uduaghan own and thus MUST be rejected by all well meaning Urhobos in Nigeria and in Diaspora. Omene should come before the shrines of Urhobo land and swear that he never went to Uduaghan house in Warri at about 11.00am Nigerian time where he met Solomon Funkemeke, Ayiri Emami and the SSG, Ovuzuorie Macaulay where he presented the sealed envelope bearing Edevbie name to the governor. He should swear before the gods that Uduaghan never said, “Have you gotten a candidate? Na Edevbie I wan work with o”. I dare him to take this challenge. I also dare him to deny that he was not bribed by the Governor, and I will also swear by the God I serve if what I write is false.
When I advocated for Amori to be the Senator, it’s because I see him more Urhobo than those who want his head. In the past I wanted his head, but today I know better that the silent killer of the Urhobo is Omene and his corrupt musketeers. I put it to Edevbie that he never rejoiced when Aziza died and he said, “Aziza death is the death of Omo-Agege UPU. Omene UPU is the real UPU”. Again, let him swear like Omene that he never rejoiced inwardly.
The Edevbie choice can never fly anywhere, not even for a Chairmanship position. Pray, where is it anywhere in the world that a tribal union will meet a governor, known to hate Urhobos so much to submit a name that has not been ratified by the entire UPU? A weak Governor like Uduaghan who does not have the balls to contest for the Senate, but stepped down to decide the Urhobo candidate is slight on Urhobos and a shame to the UPU. In case the UPU does not know what they have done, they have succeeded in giving their coffin to Uduaghan who will be more than glad to perform the dust to dust rite. Today Gov. Godswill Akpabio is going for Senate and may still produce the State Governor, because the people believed he performed well and are ready to accept his candidate. But this cannot be said of Uduaghan, who chickened out of the Senate race, because he has no control over his constituency delegates and will also lose the governorship position.
I am glad the death of UPU happened during my time, as I can tell the next generations on how I warned them, yet they insisted on selling their conscience for an alleged paltry sum of N190 Million. The loser of this is not Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege but the entire Urhobos who saw him as their beacon of hope; a man that was almost portrayed as a bad man in the media but succeeded in winning the hearts of Urhobos through his contributions to the unity of UPU.
This is where Obaisi has to join hands with another candidate to battle this illegality and impunity about to rear its ugly head in Urhobo land. This is where I recommend that he join forces with Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, whose governorship aspiration will favor the Urhobos than any other one. With Senator Okowa, Omo-Agege can be sure that the Urhobos will not play a second fiddle to anyone. Luckily enough, the past elections have proven that Okowa controls the Delta North axis while Omo-Agege controls the Central alongside Amori. With the two joining forces, Okowa will sure come out as the winner of the PDP primaries. This is my appeal to him, my appeal to Urhobos that they stand solidly behind Omo-Agege as we plead with him to support Okowa so that we nip this evil in the head. Obaisi, let your heart melt towards the man I introduce to you and forget animals like the Omene led UPU for to them “Betrayal is common for men with no conscience.” (Toba Beta). Just believe.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, Managing Editor of Daily Voice NG and Media Consultant can be reached on +2348022050733, +2348160067613 (SMS ONLY) or [email protected]. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86