Written by Emma Arubi
past President-General (PG) of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Chief
Benjamin Okumagba has stated that the Urhobo traditional rulers failed
the Urhobo people even as he said he created a Council of
Representatives in order to give room for the people to air their views
on the way forward for the Urhobo nation. However, a frontline Urhobo
traditional ruler who does not want his name in print has described the
former PG as being too autocratic, authoritarian and disrespectful to
them, noting that the position of the PG is time bound while that of the
traditional ruler has no time limit.
Giving a break down of his stewardship to the Urhobo people at the end
of his elongated tenure, Chief Okumagba said under his leadership “the
UPU made efforts to bring the traditional rulers together until they
failed the Urhobo people”.
He stated that he created new UPU branches all over the country and
resuscitated moribund ones both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora, just as
he originated the idea of a youth and women wing that are still very
vibrant to date.
According to the traditional ruler, Chief B.O. Okumagba was summoning
them to his house as if he was greater than them and also talking to
them without due regards to their crown which unfortunately he cannot
wear on his head.
However, the outcome of the emergence of former governor of Delta State,
Chief Felix Ibru as the new PG of the UPU is still generating ripples
with Urhobo circle.
While Chief Hope Erute of Uvwie Kingdom welcomed the emergence of Chief
F. Ibru as the new PG, a youth leader in Otughievwen, Mr. Godwin Okpole
who also applauded his emergence on account of the wide connections of
the Ibru families stated that “Chief Felix Ibru is too imperious and
distant from the larger Urhobo nation to occupy the top UPU seat that
requires a listening, focused and unwavering man of action”, saying that
Chief Felix Ibru lacks these qualities.
When Vanguard contacted Chief Felix Ibru for an interview on his recent
victory as PG of the UPU, he said he would grant such only when he has
been inaugurated in a forth night from now.