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Urhobo Chiefs, Bishops Pay Solidarity Visit to Onoge, Say On Uwiamuge Declaration They Stand

By FRED OGHENESIVBE
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As more and more groups continue to drum support for the Chief Tuesday Onoge Integrity faction of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), two more groups, the Combined Bishops and Ministers of Nigeria and Urhobo Chiefs yesterday paid him a solidarity visit to affirm their support for him.

Addressing the group, Chief Onoge narrated how the people of Urhobo kingdom under the umbrella body of UPU came up with the popular Uwiamuge declaration. He said the declaration was the decision of all Urhobo sons and daughters.

Chief Onoge said Chief Joe Omene sold out Urhobos when he declared that Urhobos will vote for President Jonathan and Chief Great Ogboru of the Labour party, adding that Omene did not consult with anybody before he made that arbitrary announcement in a national daily.

According to Chief Onoge, Chief Omene gathered some elders, youths and women at his house and called a meeting of the UPU executive and told them that President Jonathan has ordered that Urhobos should vote for Chief Ogboru of the Labour Party. He added that despite many objection by some members of the UPU Executive, Chief Omene stood his ground and said Urhobos must vote for Jonathan and Ogboru.

Chief Onoge added that at a separate meetings of some Urhobo monarchs and clergymen, it was agreed that UPU should not declare for any candidate until after the presidential election because they will not like to heat up the polity. He said the decision did not go down well with Chief Omene who insisted on declaring for Chief Ogboru immediately.

He further explained what happened at a meeting of UPU where it was decided that the matter of whether UPU should declare for a candidate or not, should be put into vote. He said contrarily to a simply voice vote, they decided to make the votes secret, alleging that some of the executives have connived with Omene to ensure that Chief Ogboru is declared the candidate of Urhobo, thereby jettisoning the Uwiamuge declaration as those who voted for immediate declaration were 9 against 5.

He said the party that gave the Urhobos the governorship ticket is a formidable party that can stand and give the PDP a run for it's money, appealing to the Urhobo Chiefs and Bishops to pray for a credible election that will usher in the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking on behalf of the Combined Bishops and Ministers of Nigeria, Bishop Johnson Ojakovo, said that are very happy with the way and manner Chief Onoge received them, promising that they are all behind him in his fight for the progress of Urhobos.

Also speaking on behalf of the Chiefs, Chief Awala Enone said on Uwiamuge declaration they all stand and they will not allow the first declaration ever made by the Urhobo nation to fail, saying posterity will not forgive them if they fail.

Chief Awala said it was God that gave Chief Onoge the power to fight the fight that he is fighting, adding that Onoge will succeed in becoming the President General of UPU but advised him to address the Urhobo nation and assert his authority as the authentic leader of UPU.

He said there is the hand of God in what is happening in the UPU, urging Chief Onoge not to relent in his effort in making sure that the Urhobos are not relegated to the background in the polity of Delta State. He called on all Urhobo sons and daughters to rally round Chief Onoge, stressing that Urhobos must not fail to win the battle.

Chief Awala lamented that the Urhobos have been relegated to the background in Delta politics as no son of Urhobo is holding any strong political position in the State.

The Bishops prayed for Chief Onoge asking God to give him the strength to win the battle that he has started.