Lagos-based Urhobo group, Atamu Social Club of Nigeria, has urged the two disbanded factional leaders of Urhobo Progress Union, Chief Joe Omene and Chief Tuesday Onoge to end hostilities and cooperate with the Caretaker Committee.
UPU fractionalised into two groups when Chief Onoge broke away from the Chief Omene led UPU. Urhobo Royal Fathers and Presidents of Urhobo Kingdoms met at the Annual General Congress and moved to dissolve all factions, installing an interim Caretaker Committee. Atamu’s appeal was made in the form of a communique following its Fourth Annual Atamu Strategy Retreat held recently at the Harmitage Beach Resort Akodo, Lagos. The group commended the Urhobo Royal Fathers and the Presidents of Urhobo Kingdoms whose action has effectively ending the fractionalisation of UPU. The group has urged all parties to see this as an opportunity to rebuild and strengthen the Union.
The full communique is as below:
ATAMU SOCIAL CLUB OF NIGERIA
Motto: Love and Unity
COMMUNIQUE ON THE STATE OF URHOBO NATION BY ATAMU SOCIAL CLUB OF NIGERIA AT THE 4TH ANNUAL ATAMU STRATEGY RETREAT HELD ON FRIDAY THE 18TH – 20TH MARCH 2016 AT THE HERMITAGE BEACH RESORT, AKODO, LAGOS
During the retreat, members reviewed recent developments in the Urhobo Nation, especially the dissolution of the factional executive committees of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) led by Chief Joe Omene and Chief Tuesday Onoge respectively and the setting up of a Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the UPU and direct the process for electing a new leadership for the apex Urhobo organisation.
At the end of deliberations, members of the Club made the following observations:
That Atamu in line with its vision statement believes strongly in the Unity and Sustainable development of the Urhobo Nation
We commend all men and women of good will in Urhobo Land who have contributed in ensuring a peaceful and progressive UPU over the years.
Atamu is non-partisan but believes strongly in promoting credible and responsive leadership of Urhobo Nation and therefore condemns all forms of division and shameful conduct from fourth columnist in Urhobo Land.
That the battle for supremacy between the two rival executives of the UPU led by Chief Joe Omene and Chief Tuesday Onoge had unfortunately further weakened the fabric of the unity of the Urhobo Nation.
1. That the dissolution of the factional executives by the Council of Urhobo Traditional Rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders at the Palace of the Ohworode of Olomu and the setting up of a five-member Caretaker Committee led by Chief Gabriel Ofotokpun on Saturday, December 5, 2015 are a most commendable intervention to save the Urhobo Nation from further ridicule and eternal disgrace.
2. That the intervention by the patriotic leaders is in conformity with the various efforts made by Atamu Social Club to end the unfortunate leadership crisis, including leading separate delegations to the leaders of the now dissolved factions to lay down their arms and re-unite the UPU in the overall interest and progress of the Urhobo Nation.
3. That the leaders of the dissolved factions, having failed to heed persistent calls to reach a compromise with a view to ending the division in the UPU, the only logical, responsible and legitimate thing to do was to dissolve the rival executives and set up a Caretaker Committee to manage the affairs of our great union, restore order to the organisation and install a fresh progressive UPU team to redefine, re-focus and jealously guard the Urhobo interest in our dear Delta State and the Nigerian nation as a whole.
4. That the Caretaker Committee set up by the revered Urhobo royal fathers, community and opinion leaders and other key stakeholders is in line with the ideals that motivated the founding of the UPU and enjoys the total support of Atamu.
5. That the former leaders of the factional executives of the UPU be called upon and are hereby called upon to consider their dissolution a golden opportunity to prove their respective claims to working in the interest of the Urhobo Nation by fully cooperating with the Caretaker Committee of UPU in its onerous task of restoring peace and unity to the Urhobo family and especially in directing the process of giving the UPU a brand new leadership.
6. That the members of the Caretaker Committee of UPU be urged to see their mandate as a very privileged invitation to save the Urhobo Nation from complete destruction and therefore do everything possible to deliver on the huge task ahead of them in the most transparent, accountable and responsible manner.
7. That never should the UPU be allowed to return to the path that undeniably threatened the corporate existence of the Urhobo Nation, including the dissolved factional executives’ open involvement in partisan politics.
8. That all pan-Urhobo organisations and the entire Urhobo Nation be called upon and are hereby called upon to support and cooperate with the Caretaker Committee of UPU to successfully discharge its task of recruiting a new focused, selfless, efficient, progressive and patriotic leadership for the UPU in the next one year.
9. That Urhobo royal fathers, community leaders and other great sons and daughters who worked tirelessly to end the factionalisation of the UPU be specially commended for their display of patriotic zeal in the service of the Urhobo Nation.
10. That Atamu will support every effort to review the UPU constitution in a manner that puts the UPU in a stead to be more responsive to the Urhobo Nation
11. That all Sons and Daughters of Urhobo Nation should register with the UPU as financial members and seek to vote and be voted for during the December general elections were new leaders will be elected for the UPU
12. That Urhobo’s should go beyond Advocacy and focus on practical interventionist models to reposition the Urhobo Nation
13. It is time to stop the Endless Lamentation and begin to conceptualize vision with clear strategies to actualize them
14. In the light of dwindling economic fortunes in Urhobo Land, Atamu Social Club has constituted a committee to put together a N10Billion Urhobo Trust Fund. The purpose of the fund is to promote investments, trade and industry in Urhobo Land for sustainable economic development
15. That no sacrifice is too great to be offered for the unity and peace of the Urhobo Nation and therefore Atamu will not relent in its effort to promote peace and unity of Urhobo Nation
Signed: Benson Uwheru Johnson Agagbo
General Secretary President
Dated Sunday the 20th March, 2016