The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, has advised the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, to put its house together ahead of the 2023 governorship elections.
Bashorun Askia, a foremost political grassroots leader in Isoko nation, gave the advice when the UPU 2023 Election Contact committee paid him a consultation visit at his country home in Uzere, Isoko South local government area of Delta state.
Speaking during the visit, Bashorun Askia said, “The field appears to be overcrowded by your people; your children are overcrowding the field. The temperature of politics is high now, but with too many of them comes with a risk. If you go into a royal rumble the tendency is there that the strongest man would be thrown out first and that will not be good for the Urhobos; so put your house together,” he said.
In his earlier address, the first Vice President-General of UPU, Chief Anthony Onoharigho, acknowledged that the Isoko nation has a pivotal role to play in the political fortune of the Urhobos, adding that Bashorun Askia would-be a key player in the success story of a governor from Delta Central.
“The Urhobos and Isokos are one; Isoko is closer to us than any other tribe. The governorship of Delta state has been rotated round; it has gone to Delta South, Delta North and Delta Central. We want it to come back to where we started which is like the Osusu business, even as some people claim that it’s not by district but by nationality.
“Even if the nationality was a discussion of the past, we the present will not discuss nationality we are going to discuss senatorial district because if that has happened we have to correct it.
“The Isoko people know very well that they are in South and we are in Central, after Urhobo’s turn of governance in the state, we are going to look out for those who actually worked for us in the actualization of this forthcoming victory.
The high-powered delegation, however appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and all peace loving Deltans to support the yearnings of the Urhobo Progress Union and the people of Delta Central Senatorial District let the rotation policy continue for peaceful co-existence across the state.
“I know very well that Bashorun Askia has the potentials to make us have the governor, Askia can talk to the governor, Askia can go to anywhere, and I trust him, when he say yes he means yes, he does not retreat.
“The request that the President General of UPU said I should make to you is that we should beg His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to use his wisdom, his personality, and his political power and everything he has to let us have peace in Delta state.
“This na Urhobo turn, we don’t want trouble, we don’t want wahala, we are begging everybody, let us carry on wetin good for the people. Urhobo is begging Isoko that Isoko please lets be our brother’s keeper.
“On this note, I want to personally request Askia to stand behind Urhobo, when you meet with the governor, tell the governor that Chief Onoharigho said he should support us. The Governor knows what I am doing here today, he is not new to what I am doing. I am not saying that he doesn’t have his choice but he should please support us so that we can be happy.”
Responding to the address, Bashorun Askia assured the UPU delegation that their humble request would be duly transmitted and deliberated upon for the common good of all Deltans and the Urhobos in particular, ahead of the 2023 governorship polls.
“In a summary you have come to request for my support or for my intervention at the point of decision, as to which ethnic nationality or senatorial district would be producing the next governor of Delta state.
“I know that the Urhobos as an ethnic nationality have a good case; one you have been blessed by God that an entire senatorial district is populated by just you, so if we are deciding by senatorial district you have a good case, and if we are even going by ethnic nationality when you look at the number, you also have a good case. More importantly, is the one that has been done, that has been ordained by God, divinely we have been put together as brothers and will not lose that at all.
“We have been one like you have seen; from time we have been one, and it’s not in our era that we are going to have a separation. We only do hope like an English man said, one good turn deserves another.
“As you have come to me, you can see I am not the only one here, when you leave we are going to seat down and would be brainstorming and taking decisions. I do hope that the decision and I know it will not be far from your request.
“I knew that you have gone to see the Isoko Development Union (IDU), as your first port of call, that was a couple of months back, now you are here trying to see the political leg, that one was cultural now you are entering the politics properly. I nor dey waka far, me na grassroot I dey, that’s the difference between me and others. In Isoko here we have only two politicians, Askia and others.”
Present on the UPU delegation were the first Vice President-General of UPU, Capt. Anthony Onoharigho, the President-General of Udu Kingdom, Chief Godwin Notoma, the President-General of Ewhu kingdom, Chief Prof Ekpekpu, the Publicity Secretary of UPU, Chief Abel Oshevire, the President-General of Olomu Kingdom, Chief Paul Agboro and UPU Women wing, Chief Lilian Awenaghegha.
Also in the UPU delegation includes the President-General of Arawhrien, Chief Wilson Umukoro, the President-General of Agbarho kingdom, Chief Odirwi, the President-General of Ogor kingdom, Chief Patrick Esiri, the President-General of Agbarho-Otor Kingdom, Chief Ojo Daniel, President-General of Okere-Urhobo kingdom, Rev. Cannon Otofia, Special Adviser to the President-General of UPU on Youth Affairs, Chief Adhehor, the President-General of Umiaghwa-Abraka, Chief Araure, and Chief Dr. Ubor among others.