By Anthony Omowhovo
Since time immemorial, there has always been a reason for the existence of every tribe or ethnic nationality, Urhobo which constitute a sizeable percentage of the population of Delta State is not an exception. They are predominantly found in 24 kingdoms in Delta central senatorial zone of the state.
Urhobo people are culturally and linguistically from a common genre, and share common aspirations, sentiments, values and destiny, hence, it is not uncommon to see people of the Urhobo ethnic nationality benefitting from noble acts of charity from affluent sons and daughters of the Urhobo nation.
Likewise, persons of Urhobo stock have also been meted with undeserved punishments for the inadvertent or contrived misdeeds and or misdemeanour of some of their illustrious and not so illustrious kinsmen, which they were not privy to.
In view of the vagaries of human existence, It behoves every person of Urhobo descent, to embark on a critical and holistic review of our social, political and economic standings in Delta state albeit Nigeria, with a view to articulating well thought out and pertinent decisions, expected to impact and change our collective and individual fortunes for the better.
Uncharacteristically, it seems, and has been observed that the famed uncommon age-long hospitality of Urhobo people is about to be abused and taken for granted by some of our neighbours who are propelled and goaded by inordinate ambition and vile quest to shortchange Urhobo in the clamour to produce the next governor of Delta state come 2023.
It is pitiable and disdainful to note that our ijaw neighbours have not hidden their obnoxious disdain for equity and fairness in their surreptitious and covertly orchestrated moves to produce the PDP governorship candidate for the state come 2023 irrespective of the fact that the extant PDP zoning arrangement favours the Urhobo ethnic nationality.
Our uncommon hospitality and sense of fairness is about to be taken for granted by some of our neighbours who are driven by inordinate ambition and insensitivity.
Some of their highly placed leaders have been heard boasting that they would humble the Urhobo nation the way they “walloped” Itsekiri.
While such boasts cannot be dismissed as fabrications because of the natural boisterousness of the average Ijaw man and their presumptuous posturing against Isoko from their Delta South Senatorial district which they erroneously view as underdogs.
But for their contempt for everyone including Isoko People, the perverted logic they are touting on the rotation policy of PDP should throw up Isoko as the ethnic group from Delta south to vie for the governorship. This should be the natural sequence of the alphabetical arrangement of the three ethnic groups viz: Ijaw, Isoko, and Itsekiri .
Having regard to the above order, once the Itsekiri took the first shot at the governorship of the state by dint of zoning , the next on the line in the district to produce the governor should be Isoko by her natural position in the alphabetic sequence.
Presumably, the proclivity of Ijaw for belligerence and delusion account for why the unscrupulous Ijaw politicians feel that they are entitled to take a shot at the governorship seat before Isoko.
In the light of the penchant of these unconscionable ijaw politicians to turn their back against decency and fair play, we call on Urhobo sons and daughters to close ranks and view the threats from these ijaw politicians outside the lenses of partisanship but within the compass of patriotism and love for their God-given fatherland.
May I, therefore, appeal to everyone embroiled in the deep intraparty and inter-party disputations over the rightness or wrongness of zoning of the governorship position in the past 10 years plus, to take an introspective view of the challenges that characterise the issue and consciously wean themselves of all the prejudices and bitterness of the past and tackle this challenge from some unscrupulous Ijaw politicians as an existential threat that deserves a strategic and collective onslaught.
Urhobo ona o odja . Once again , let us come together and repeat the awesome feat of our forebears who confronted the challenge of education in the early 40S when they established Urhobo College, Effurun, one of the foremost community school in Nigeria to provide education for their kith and kin .
Dear Kinsmen and Kinswomen, this is a feat that is accomplishable when we come together to show case our potentials . This is a doable that must be done in our time
Comrade Anthony Omowhovo
Political activist/ social commentator