Urhobo Historical Society

Communiqué of the Ninth Annual Convention
of the Urhobo Progress Union, North America
Held in Houston, Texas, August 30 through September 2, 2002.


Members of Urhobo Progress Union, North America (UPUNA) enthusiastically welcomed to the convention Chief Benjamin O. Okumagba, JP, the President-General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), the geopolitical organization of all Urhobo people world-wide, and the spirit of Urhobo nationalism.

The convention was greatly energized by Chief Okumagba's presence because it is the first time ever that a sitting President-General of Urhobo Progress Union world-wide has physically attended an Urhobo convention in North America. His presence was auspicious and greatly boosted and underscored the theme of this year' convention which was "Building Bridges."

Members of Urhobo Progress Union, North America (UPUNA) reiterated their commitment to the progress of Urhoboland and the improvement of the quality of life of Urhobo people.

Members reviewed the activities of UPUNA in the past year, and efforts at uniting Urhobo people resident in North America toward greater effectiveness in dealing with matters affecting Urhoboland and its people. Members expressed grave concern about the social and political situation in Nigeria in general and in Delta State and Urhoboland in particular, as well as the continued pauperization of Urhobo people and the ecological devastation of Urhoboland resulting from oil exploration.

Be it, therefore, resolved that:

1. Urhobo Progress Union, North America (UPUNA) will co-operate with Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) in Urhoboland, the parent organization of Urhobo people world-wide, and with other Urhobo organizations around the world toward the improvement of Urhoboland and the quality of life of Urhobo people.

2. In an effort to unite Urhobo people resident in North America, UPUNA will pursue reconciliation of any existing differences along the guidelines provided by Chief Benjamin Okumagba, President-General of Urhobo Progress Union world-wide, namely:

a) That the parent Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) recognizes UPUNA as the umbrella organization of Urhobo people resident in North America;

b) That, in the spirit of "Building Bridges," UPUNA should strive to encourage Urhobo organizations and individuals in North America to become part of the body in the interest of Urhobo people and nation.

3. UPUNA calls on the federal government of Nigeria, the Delta State government, legislators and traditional rulers to take urgent and appropriate steps to safeguard life and property in Delta State and Urhoboland.

4. UPUNA calls on the federal government of Nigeria and the Delta State government to address the related issues of ecological devastation, massive unemployment and excruciating poverty which UPUNA views as primary causes of the wave of violence and armed robbery in Delta State and Urhoboland in particular;

5. UPUNA urges the federal government of Nigeria to expedite concrete action on the proposed Federal University of Technology in Delta State to ensure that it opens in the 2003-2004 academic year with the appropriate facilities and personnel;

6. UPUNA urges Nigerians, and in particular the government of Delta State, and traditional rulers and institutions to desist from glamorizing ill-gotten wealth, and from glorifying, through appointments, recognition or traditional titles, persons who exploit and impoverish the people of Nigeria, the Niger Delta and Urhoboland.

So resolved by acclamation, this 1st day of September 2002.

Signed:

Dr. Ona A. Pela, National President, UPUNA
Mr. John Mukoro, Secretary-General, UPUNA
Dr. Paul K. Egbo, Director of Publicity, UPUNA.


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