Urhobo Historical Society
 

Address by the President-General of Urhobo Progress Union

on the Occasion of Urhobo National Congress 2008 on Saturday, December 6th, 2008

 

By His Excellency Olorogun Felix Ovuodoroye Ibru

President-General Urhobo Progress Union

 

 

Protocol

 

 

The Need for Unity in Modern UPU

 

 

It gives me great joy to deliver my maiden Presidential Address to the Annual Congress of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU.

 

It is customary for every President-General to choose a theme for the annual Urhobo National Day celebration. Today, I have chosen to go back to the old topic of unity in the affairs of our revered organisation.  As you all know, the wise men who founded Urhobo Progress Union chose as their motto, the following immortal words: “Unity is strength.”  It is noteworthy that our pioneers of the 1930s did not see unity as an end in itself. Instead, they saw it as a means to an end.  That end was for all Urhobo cultural units or clans to unite for the purpose of becoming stronger in their struggles during that period.

 

Please permit me to reflect on the achievements of unity by our founding fathers. It is on record that Chief Omohwovo Okoro, Chief Mukoro Mowoe, and their dedicated colleagues employed unity as an effective tool to gain many benefits for the Urhobo people in their time.  To them Unity was strength indeed.

 

As a result of the past successes of the UPU, it has become an attractive organisation for those who seek to control power for its own sake.  I know that many Urhobo people are anxious that such struggle for power may incline their leaders to forget the genuine needs of the Urhobo people.  I want to assure you that I will make every effort during my tenure as President-General to ensure that the interest of the Urhobo people is central to the activities of their cherished organisation, UPU.

 

Agenda for fhe New Year

 

My first year in Office has been consumed by the need to take care of outstanding problems.  The challenges that faced my administration have had to do with the need to reconcile various elements of the Urhobo community and to build bridges across to other ethnic nationalities of Nigeria.  I believe that our goal has been largely achieved.  It is now my wish to outline a new agenda of action for the next one year and beyond.  First among these is my desire to have an Urhobo summit that will attempt to map out an Urhobo plan of action.  I expect that agenda to include:

 

a.   Economic and political development of Urhoboland.

 

b.   Development of Human Resources in Urhoboland:  It is my firm belief that if there was need for the UPU to develop the academic potential of Urhobos in the 1940s and 1950s, such need is even greater today in an age of global competition in which many of our towns and villages have been left far behind.

 

c.   Urhobo State:  It is also my expectation that the summit will address the reasons why Urhobo deserves its own State within the Nigerian Federation.

 

d.  Building Bridges:  Historically, Urhobos have cherished and worked hard for good relationship with their neighbours. Under my leadership, that predisposition of the Urhobo people will be fully harnessed for the benefit of enjoying peace and tranquility in the Niger Delta Region.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

In concluding this address, I wish to thank all those who have so far given me encouragement and their support.

I wish to express special gratitude to the immediate past President-General of the UPU, the National Executive Council, traditional rulers, Ewheya, Ighele and the Urhobo communities in Lagos and Abuja for the receptions they organized for me and members of the National Executive Council.

 

 

God bless Urhoboland

God bless Delta State

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

 

Olorogun Senator Felix O. Ibru

President-General

Urhobo Progress Union, UPU




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