lorogun (Dr) Moses Oghenerume Taiga, President-General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide has called for continued peace and unity in Urhobo land.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Olorogun Taiga made the call in his address during the opening ceremony of the 90th anniversary of the UPU.
Narrating the brain behind the founding of UPU, Taiga urged Urhobo people to hold the tenents of the founding fathers to heart.
Taiga said: “Ninety years ago, our worthy forbears, visionary, forward looking and clairvoyant, came together and founded the Urhobo Brotherly Society.
“Our Urhobo homeland was then a dim region in turmoil and confusion struggling to come to terms with the reality of colonialism.
“Our people were disunited, disillusioned and perturbed as a result of the fast changing and complex circumstances that came with Akpo r’ oyibo.
“It was in that state of social confusion that the imperative of coming together to confront the new oddities of life was born.
“Our forebears held meetings at Okpara waterside and the climax of the meetings was the founding of the Urhobo Brotherly Society on 3rd November 1931 at the residence of Chief Mukoro Mowoe in Warri. That Society is the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) of today.
“A lot has been said about the founders, their goals and their struggles as well as what the UPU has achieved over the years.
“Besides the many books and essays written about the Urhobo people and the UPU, I also dwelt on these in my world press conference of 3rd November 2021 in commemoration of the very day the UPU was born. I therefore do not wish to belabor those points.
“I congratulate the UPU and all Urhobo people on this milestone. Ninety years is only ten years short of a century and I dare say that this moment calls for celebration.
“What is more telling is that the UPU is Nigeria’s, if not Africa’s, oldest surviving socio-cultural organization. The UPU has survived despite great odds. The survival of the UPU is a reflection of the grit and staying power of the Urhobo spirit. Despite all odds, we have carved a place for ourselves in the world.
“There is no continent of the world where the UPU is not found. We now have over one hundred branches in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. Despite all odds, we can look back and count our blessings. We truly have so much to crow about at ninety.
“This shouldn’t be a day for a long speech from me as we shall be listening to a stimulating lecture with discussions woven around it that will do a holistic evaluation of the Urhobo condition and the UPU.
“As the UPU turns ninety and we look back in order to fully engage the future, I call for continuing unity of purpose among our people. Let us revisit the ideals of “Higher thoughts, Higher aims” that fired the resolve of the founders of the UPU. We must live the motto of “Unity is Strength” without the least compromise.
“In my world press conference of 3rd November I reiterated a set of agenda for the Urhobo nation as well as made demands on the Nigerian state for the many years it has exploited our resources and despoiled our environment.
“I also in that press conference made reference to Urhobo producing the next Governor of Delta State in 2023. This point and many others canvassed in that press conference remain valid.
“Ninety years of existence is a feat to celebrate that is why we have made this event an elaborate one spanning one week as the programme indicates. The world is celebrating with us. Other ethnic nationalities are felicitating with us. It is a great moment.
“As I end this opening speech I wish to profoundly express my gratitude to the Urhobo people worldwide for finding me worthy to pilot the affairs of the UPU at this time.
“I thank the government of Delta State ably led by our Governor Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa for being a supporter of the Urhobo people”.