By Joel Grandball & Omamuzo Efidhere
AKPOBASHA Oghenevwairhe of Delsu Secondary School, Efebe Ochuko and Odivwri Lucy Oghenetejiri both of Erho Secondary School all in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta state have emerged winners of the 3rd edition of Dr. Ovie Ughwanogho sponsored Urhobo language challenge facilitated by Urhobo Progressive Youth Association, UPYA.
The event which was held at Wellington Hotels in Effurun recently had 500 students drawn from 250 secondary schools across Delta central after which five students qualified for the finals.
In his address, the Team leader of UPYA, comrade Marcus Ekure dedicated the 3rd edition of the Urhobo challenge to late Mukoro Mowoe in honour of his 71 years memorial.
He said, “Today is no doubt a very auspicious day to us all, a day that will remain indelible in the history of our dear Urhobo nation considering the importance of this edition and it is dedicated to our dear father and hero late Mukoro Mowoe who today coincidentally marks his 71yeras memorial and it will interest you to know that his surviving family members are here with us.
“This is the very first time we deemed it fit to involve our politicians especially those representing us at different capacities in Government because we found out that in our outreach to over 250 secondary schools in Urhobo land, many of our children are not abreast with the knowledge of those representing them in government.
We have decided to involve them not only to resolve the aforementioned gap in knowledge but to also make them see what we have been doing for the past three years with the view of future partnerships where necessary.
According to Ekure, “The primary objective of the Dr.Ovie Ughwanogho Annual Urhobo Challenge is to promote the Urhobo People, Culture, History, Language and value system amongst our people, especially the young ones while positively re-engineering their mindset from negative tendencies toward a better society.
“For any nation that desires the real progress, language remains a fundamental instrument for actualization of national development and building strong spirit, nationalism and patriotism. Developed countries with strong economic powers such as Germany and China derived their strength basically from the enforcement of their local language and culture.” Ekure emphasized.
On her part, the winner of the Urhobo Language Annual Challenge, Akpobasaha Oghenevwairhe expresses gratitude to God almighty, Olorogun Dr. Ovie Ughwanogho and the facilitator of the 3rd edition of the challenge, UPYA led by Comrade Marcus Ekure for the enablement to achieve the feat.
She said, “This is the third time I have participated in the challenge and I am grateful to have won the 2019 edition. I am proud to be an Urhobo by tribe and will do my best to promote the language and culture of our people. We should not be afraid to speak the Urhobo language anywhere we find ourselves”.
The prize sum of N250,000 was given to the winner, N150,000 to the second runner up, N100,000 to third winner and N50,000 given to the 4th and 5th winners. The audience students, 17 in numbers were given the sum of N10,000 for participating.
Dignitaries at the event are, HRM king Duku II, Orovworere of Effurun-Otor kingdom, Concil of Chiefs, Rev. Francis Ejiroghene Waive, MHR, Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege represented by Chuks Erhire, Hon Reuben Izeze, Hon Rufus Ibebe Akpobome, Blessed Ughere, Barr. Mathew Omonade, Prof. and Dr. Mrs. Sunny Awhefeada, Moses Darrah, family members of late Mukoro Mowoe represented by Barr Mowoe, Ugborugbo Emuobosa represented the sponsored Dr. Ovie Ughwnaogho who was unavoidably absent, Sandra Akpoguma, Chief Ukeri, Engr. Moses Kragaha, Hon. Andrew Epetuku, Face of Urhobo amongst others.