Delta guber elections: Urhobo candidates head for resounding defeat, UPU warned

Posted by Nelson Dafe, Benin | 5 March 2015 | 4,219 times

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The pan-Urhobo socio-political organization of Delta State, Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), has been advised to get its acts together if it hopes to see its desire of having an Urhobo person as governor for Delta State becoming a reality.

In a paper titled ‘The UPU and comedy of errors’, a copy of which was made available to News Express, a Benin city-based legal practitioner, Al Mustafa Dafe faulted the UPU's approach in backing an Urhobo candidate for the number one political seat of Delta state.

The UPU, in 2014, devised a political plan known as the "Uvwiamughe declaration" in which it pledged support for any political party which presented an Urhobo candidate for Delta state's gubernatorial elections.

But Dafe says the plan was "flawed in its conception, delivery and execution leaving many details to chance and sheer luck."

He opined that the UPU did not bargain for a scenario in which two of its sons would be presented by two political parties for the governorship elections at the same time.

"While not wanting to sound judgemental, given the variables on ground and in the absence of a strong consensus, the two Urhobo candidates for the forthcoming governorship elections, Chief O'tega Emerho of the All Progressives Party (APC) and chief Great Ogboru of the Labour Party (LP) are heading for a resounding electoral disaster. If this happens, the UPU stands the risk of political self-annihilation and a gradual eroding of her spheres of influence in the political space of Delta state," Dafe warned.

The lawyer criticized the UPU over what he called the "unilateral command to be enforced by all and sundry" without carrying out a proper self-critique on itself.

“The peculiar politics of Delta state has shown that for power to be realizable no one ethnic group can go it alone irrespective of the others.True, the Urhobos possess an intimidating majority, but the question is was that enough to flaunt before the other tribes, who are bound to see such moves as the antics of an Urhobo oligarchy bent on sheer dominance.

“What effort, apart from sheer ethnic zeal, prompted the UPU to commit this regrettable error? Surely for a populous and assertive tribe as the Urhobos any unilateral declaration like the Uvwiamughe is bound to instil some apprehension into the hearts of neighbours it hopes to partner and elicit resentments," Dafe argued.

In order for the UPU to be relevant as a political force in Delta state, Mr Dafe advised it to "articulate a coherent power sharing agenda that would allay the fears of domination of the other ethnic nationalities in the state."

He added that the UPU "has to revive old alliance with its neighbours, North and South if the divide and even beyond the state to plead sympathy for its cause."

He also urged the Urhobo body to "re-engage with traditional rivals in new ways as to reassure them and bring out the best of both worlds."

Photo shows Al Mustapha Dafe.

Source: News Express

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