By James Williams
A Public Affairs Analyst and Social Commentator, Dr Gregory Oyibojoba, says the Urhobo 2014 Uvwiamuge Declaration can be described as an unfortunate “shot in the foot”.
Oyibojoba made the assertion while delivering a lecture on “Inconsistency as a context in Nigeria’s political division” at a Youth Forum recently held at the University of Benin in Edo.
He stated on Thursday in a statement containing his lecture that the choice of Uvwiamuge for Urhobo Progress Union activities evolved from the perception that it was at the center of Urhobo geographical markings.
Oyibojoba insisted that the declaration was at the intersection of three factors.
“First, as a finite body of knowledge that is archived, curated, performed and published to represent an indubitable Urhobo agenda, and as an item of cultural pride among the Urhobo people.
“It is also seen as a dominant tool of political and social cultural hegemony.”
He pointed out that isolating Uvwiamuge 2014 Urhobo declaration for consideration was not an attempt to repudiate the tenets of the Urhobo Progress Union.
He said it was about a critical inquisition into an eminent Urhobo political attitude.
Quoting extensively from the March 28, 2014 Uvwiamuge Declaration, he said: “We have serious concerns over the events of the past few weeks in the race to succeed the Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2015.
“That is why it has become necessary to reiterate our position on this very important issue that will determine the future of our dear state.”
“There is no better or indeed more unambiguous, articulate, precise, unequivocal, downright, authoritative and veritable pronouncement to date from the Urhobo Progress Union than the above statement made from its cultural center at Uvwiamuge.”
He said the statement only goes to reinforce what the current Delta Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, said on May 19.
He had said that “there was no formal meeting where a gentleman’s agreement was reached”, and that is the truth as at today.
“The Urhobo position works assiduously for extraneous interests whose agenda stands at variance with the expectations of other ethnic peoples of the state who seem to believe in Gov. Okowa’s statement.
“This unfortunate recourse to frivolous uppity in pushing a barely disguised, pernicious agenda to heat up the Delta State polity is uncharacteristic.
“And, this is charitable to say the least, to the Urhobo republican consciousness,” part of Oyibojoba statement read.