Urhobo Historical Society

Urhobo in North America Elect a New President-General

A Press Release

During the 10th Convention of Urhobo National Association of North America (UNANA) held at the Radisson Hotel Westside,
Los Angeles from August 29 to September 01, 2003, Dr Augustine Atiyota was elected as the new President-General of the body. He narrowly defeated Mr. Ogheneovo Omene by a three-vote margin. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Atiyota pledged to continue to ensure that all Urhobo sons and daughters in North America work together to uplift the quality of life in Urhoboland. On January 11, 2004, Dr. Francis Odemerho and Dr. Ona Pela, the current co-chairs of the national association, will formally hand over the mantle of leadership to him. This will complete the process of bringing all Urhobo bodies in North America under one national body (UNANA) that was agreed upon at the unity meeting held in Chicago, Illinois on May 24, 2003.


In the spirit of the newly found unity among Urhobo in North America, His Excellency Governor James Onanefe Ibori chose “URHOBO UNITY – A Time For A New Beginning” as the theme for his keynote address. He enjoined all Urhobo sons and daughters in diaspora to support the cause of UNANA and to seek all peaceful means to end the Warri crisis. The governor revealed to the overcrowded convention venue his plan to transform Warri and other cities in Delta State into ultra-modern urban centers that will be the pride of all Deltans during his second term in office. The Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, was accompanied to the Los Angeles convention by Ambassador Ray Ineji (former Deputy Governor of Bendel State), Chief Francis Agboro (Chief of Staff Delta State Government House), Chief Ighoyota Amore (former Delta State Commissioner of Education), Professor G. G. Dara (Special Adviser to the Governor) and Chief Thompson Atuma.


Also represented at the 10th convention is a powerful delegation of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) led by Chief Daniel Okumagba. He called on Urhobo sons and daughters in diaspora “to start a new thinking in the direction of giving very honest, dedicated and undiluted service to our Urhobo land and it’s people in particular and Nigeria in general in order to enable us achieve our goal of moving Urhobo land and it’s people forward as desired”. He pleaded with all Urhobo sons and daughters to join in raising meaningful funds to assist the Urhobo Progress Union for the construction of the proposed Urhobo Cultural Center.


 More than 200 delegates from no less than 12 Urhobo chapters across North America attended and participated in the convention activities that began at 7:00 P. M. on Friday night, August 29 and concluded with a gala night that ended at 3.00 a.m. on Monday, September 1, 2003.