…Emphasizes Unity of purpose among Urhobos
…Seeks cultural ways for Urhobo emancipation towards realization of potentials
The Deputy President of Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has eulogized the sterling achievements of the Founding Fathers of the Urhobo nation just as he emphasized the need for Urhobos to be united in one purpose in order to fully tap into the developmental potentials that are abound in Urhobo land.
Senator Omo-Agege who stated this on the occasion of the Urhobo Renaissance Movement’s Inaugural Public Lecture in Effurun, Delta State today (October 1, 1019), with the theme ‘Urhobo Rebirth’, recalled with nostalgia, the efforts and achievements of Urhobo Founding fathers which, according to him, crystallized into the founding the first symbol Urhobo Renaissance, Urhobo College, Effurun in 1946.
Represented by Special Assistant to the Deputy President of Senate, Mr. Chuks Erhire, Senator Omo-Agege noted that the much that was achieved by Urhobo heroes past, was attributable to the unity of purpose by the leaders.
He said: “Under the able leadership of Chief Mukoro Mowoe, the various branches’ views crystallized into the founding of Urhobo College in 1946.
“One moral lesson that should be learnt from the Urhobo College phenomenon, which is also part of the cultural renaissance of our people is its role as a reconciling symbol following the circumstances surrounding its founding.
“We cannot be tired of calling for the unity of purpose among our people because it is indeed painful that we have not been able to explore and exploit the enormous potential which our numerical preponderance naturally bestows on us within our sub-region in the larger Nigeria. Unfortunately, our nominal strength in numbers seem to result into clash of interest. This anomaly is traceable to an avoidable order of conflicts among our leadership, and by extension among the entire Urhobo nation.”
The Deputy President of Senate charged the conveners of the Urhobo Renaissance Movement to take into account the totality of what constitute the Urhobo nation.
“The conveners, your task in cultural renaissance as you know, has to take into account, the totality of our Urhoboness. These include our traditional and current scheme of things in economy and social relations of all kinds”, he said, adding that “it is in this context that I understand your earlier call on the federal government to resuscitate the seaports in Urhobo.”
He further charged the conveners to constantly remind the government of the need for a concise, constructive and follow-up on the call on the federal government to do the needful on the ports, stressing that “we are aware the enormous economic potentials it holds in terms of job creation as well as creation of ancillary industries complete with the multiplier effect they attract.”
Senator Omo-Agege also called on Urhobo to take advantage of the presence of the first Petroleum University in Africa, the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, in Urhobo land as part of the Urhobo Rebirth to create more job opportunities and scholarship for Urhobo youths.
“It is also within the context of this passion regarding the resuscitation of these seaports, that we should view the issue of petroleum resources as also part of our ‘Urhoboness’ as far as a new cultural spring is concerned.
“We need to take advantage of the first Petroleum University in Africa, namely the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun in Urhobo land. The duty of your organization is highly knowledge-based. This is why you should take as party of your as part of your vision, how to exploit petroleum resources to the most advantage of our people within legal limits including encouraging and helping Urhobo youths explore the industry by way of job opportunities, scholarship and research especially into the future of the industry”, he noted.
Senator Omo-Agege also encouraged traditional industry including agriculture and farming in crops and animal husbandry, adding that the organization could use their knowledge to encourage production in various value chains in the industry.
According to him, cultural renaissance simply means should seek areas where comparative advantages are highest and exploit them, including arts and artifacts, songs and dances for which the Urhobo nation is well-endowed.
Admonishing the URM to rise above national politics, it must recognize it as it has to do with the allocation of resources. He reminded them that Urhobos have always align with the government at the federal level, adding that it is the reason some of them are in the APC.
“In the current dispensation, some of us have taken the decision to take the Urhobo nation along the traditional line, by aligning with the All Progressives Congress, APC and we have already begun to see result.
“I’m, by the grace of God, the Deputy President of the Senate. Also recently two Urhobo sons, Festus Keyamo SAN and Olorogun Bernard Okumagba have been made a minister and chief executive and managing director of the NDDC, respectively”, the Senator said.
Present at the occasion were Prof. Hope Eghagha who was the convener of the Inaugural lecture, Prof. Joseph Abugu, the Keynote Speaker, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, the chairman of the occasion, Prof. Sunny Awhefeada, Prof. Mrs. Rose Aziza, several traditional rulers from Urhobo kingdoms, amongst others.