The member representing Delta Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has condemned the inclusion of Urhobo ethnic nationality as part of Biafra, noting that such an action is a blunt disrespect to the Urhobo Nation.
Omo-Agege in a statement on Wednesday stressed that Urhobo people would never be part of Biafra as they preferred to remain and work for the indivisibility of Nigeria.
The senator, who is a former Secretary to the Delta State Government, pointed out that “while Article 1 (2) of the United Nations Charter recognises the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples such act obviously does not grant any group the right to arbitrarily usurp the self-determination right of others.”
Omo-Agege said, “With the deluge of concerns being raised by my people, it has become necessary to state with absolute clarity as the senator for the Urhobo Nation in the 8th Senate of our Federal Republic of Nigeria that the Urhobo Nation has never been, is not and does not wish to be part of Biafra.
“MASSOB, IPOB or whatever ethnic-leaning group may have the right to agitate for self-determination for the people they represent. But that right would be encroaching and trampling severely and irresponsibly on the rights of other ethnic groups if, without consultations or any consensus whatsoever, they (MASSOB, IPOB or whatever ethnic-leaning group) decide to forcefully include others in their self-determination agenda.
“The Urhobo Nation totally rejects such unforgivable disrespect that touches on our very existence. Indeed, the unilateral inclusion of the Urhobo Nation in the flag or map of Biafra is an abhorrent and condemnable threat to our people. It is an unacceptable attempt to suppress our own right to self-determination. We will never tolerate it and it must stop forthwith.”
While admitting that there are imperfections in the present structure in the country which urgently need redress, he said the Urhobo people would continue to work towards addressing the various challenges and the unity of the country rather than allow it to break into pieces.
“We are cautioning against this trend of arbitrariness and disregard for the rights of others because we know that such a ‘conquest mentality’ has never promoted sustainable peace in human history. The Urhobo Nation believes in the unity of the Nigeria federation.”
“Our preference, as a major strategic partner in our Federation, is to work hard to correct its imperfections, not to break it up into bits and pieces. I will continue to work with my great and highly respected colleagues of Ndigbo extraction and other parts of our country in the National Assembly to perfect our Union, not break it. In all, this is our simple and firm position: We are Urhobo and Nigerians, not Biafrans,” the statement further added.