"URHOBO AND THE NATIONAL CRISIS"
COMMUNIQUÉ OF A SEMINAR OF
THE URHOBO FOUNDATION
Thursday 13th April, 2000
The seminar found consensus on the following positions:
1. That the Nigerian Project is inherently a good enterprise in which the Urhobos should ordinarily derive benefit commensurate with their contribution and efforts. However the present structure, and constitution are skewed, fraudulent, unworkable and therefore need very urgent restructuring and retooling .
2. That the National crisis is an expression of the underlying struggle for power and control among the constituent nationalities, on a spectrum of issues large and small.
Among which are:
2.1 The power of the ethnic nationalities to control the survival and orderly growth of their languages, cultural identities, self-respect and dignity despite the over - bearing influence and pressures of others3. That in furtherance of this search for a solution to the survival and ultimate success of the Nigerian Project, all these contending issues can and should be speedily tabled at a National Conference, Sovereign if necessary.
2.2 The power to control the harvesting of their God-given resources and the distribution and usage of the proceeds therefrom among themselves as well as others in the same country..
2.3 The power to control and perpetually enjoy the beauty and condition of their natural environment.
2.4 The power to protect the individual's right to exercise control over his mode of worship and relationship in marriage, divorce, land acquisition and disposal.
4. That refusal to speedily heed this well-meaning call now will only compound the issues to the ultimate detriment of all Nigerians.
5 That for peaceful and fruitful coexistence, Nigeria should be restructured into a loose federation of regions each comprising recognisable ethnic nationality -- states or provinces. Clearly defined roles, in line with 2.1 to 2.4 above, shall be set aside for the three tiers i.e. provinces or states, regions and Central Government. This will remove the wide spread dissatisfaction with the unfair geo-political distribution of local Governments and States as well as the location of their capitals.
6. That in the event of a failure of the Nigerian Project, the Urhobo Nation should seek to work with other Ethnic groups in the Niger Delta to form a nation state in a loose federation or confederation with all or parts of Nigeria whose interests and ours can be mutually harmonized.
LAGOS, APRIL, 2000