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2023: Delta Central PDP, ALGON, Others Fault UPU On Edevbie’s Adoption As Sole PDP Guber Candidate

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The Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) has come under criticism for interfering in the processes ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries by adopting Olorogun David Edebvie as the sole candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Delta Central Senatorial District of the party on Monday, therefore, appealed to the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), to withdraw the endorsement of the governorship aspirants.

Also, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Delta Central Chapter, in a separate press conference on Monday, told the UPU to backtrack and rescind it’s adoption of the gubernatorial aspirant as it’s preferred Urhobo candidate in the interest of unity and love in Urhobo land and the state in general.

In a press statement signed and made available to journalists on Monday, April 18, 2022, by the Delta Central Chairman of the PDP, Chief Fovie Patrick and 30 others frowned at the move by UPU, saying that “the sociocultural body is usurping the functions of the party in the ongoing electioneering process, leading to the primaries.”

According to Fovie “It has come to our notice that the leadership of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, on Sunday 17th April 2022, via a press statement announced the endorsement of a governorship aspirant under the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Olorogun David Edebvie, as the Union’s preferred aspirant and in the same token urged our party delegates to vote en masse for him.

“UPU efforts in the affairs of Urhobo nation of Delta Central Senatorial District will always be appreciated if and only such efforts or interests are not in conflict with the duties and regulations of our party, PDP, and its organs.

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“And in the instant case, we found out that the purported endorsement of our party member who is a governorship aspirant, usurped the functions of our party in the ongoing electioneering process leading to the party primaries.

“This obvious external interference by UPU and her leadership occasioned by the endorsement of a PDP governorship aspirant in Delta State cannot in any way be encouraged, hence this subtle appeal to the leadership of this great socio-cultural organization to immediately repudiate and/or nullify the endorsement via another press statement, please.

“We recall that similar endorsement scenario played out in 2014/2015 wherein UPU came in with “Urhobo Governor Agenda” and this singular act not only caused acute internal crisis in our great party but also created factions in UPU with two President Generals giving orders and counter orders.

He urged the union not to interfere in the internal affairs of PDP and partisan politics saying that the grave incursion of UPU in active politics via Urhobo Governor Agenda fractured the sensibility of our amiable governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who greatly suffered the negative of the Union’s ethnic political activities in 2014/2015.

The party stated that it would do the Urhobo nation more good than harm if the UPU as a sociocultural Umbrella of the good people of Urhobo if Delta Central Senatorial District, strictly adhere to the Union’s Constitutional provisions and play mere advisory roles for Urhobo political actors and some extent political parties where the need arises.

He advised UPU to restrict itself to socio-cultural activities as contained in its constitution and to generally avoid direct involvement in party politics and election matters, saying “It is no longer expedient for socio-cultural organizations and town Unions to as a group indulge in political party affairs or endorsements of governorship and other categories of aspirants.

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“In the light of the above, we strongly appeal to the President General of UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga and his entire Exco worldwide to kindly withdraw the purported endorsement of Olorogun David Edebvie as the Union’s preferred aspirant in line with the objective of UPU as a registered socio-cultural organization.”

The statement added that UPU and all other ethnic or tribal Unions other than political pressure groups and individuals, to completely abstain from endorsing all categories of aspirants in our party, PDP, going forward.

On its part, the Delta Central Senatorial District chapter of ALGON, in a press conference attended by the local government council chairmen in Delta Central, said; “our attention has been drawn to an advertorial published by the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU on page 9 of the Sunday 17th edition of the Vanguard Newspaper titled, “Our Stand; Our Choice”.

Chairman of Ughelli South Local Government Area, Dr. Richard Kofi, who addressed Journalists on behalf of the council chairmen, said, “We want to respond accordingly; it is clear from the advertorial which is also being circulated in the mainstream and social media that the current leadership of the UPU is being misguided.

Kofi who was flanked by his counterparts, said; “Our reaction therefore is to guide and passionately appeal to the UPU leadership, whose primary duty is to promote the culture and tradition of the Urhobo people to strictly adhere to the vision and mission of the founding fathers.

“Without priding ourselves, Local Government Council Chairmen who are the key political stakeholders, especially at the grassroots, which is the basic foundation of any political endeavour were not consulted or carried along.

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“If we as Local Government Council Chairmen were carried along in this decision, we would have offered our candid advice and perhaps avert this adoption of one aspirant amongst other qualified sons of Urhobo nation.

“We have been following the political development in Delta State from 1999 till date, and in the build up to the forthcoming 2023 general election with keen interest.

“We are not happy with the decision of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU the apex socio-cultural body of Urhobo people to adopt any aspirant as the preferred candidate of the Urhobo ethnic nationality whereas we have other Urhobo sons also contesting the gubernatorial election in Delta State.

“Wisdom would have thought us from history that the UPU coming out to adopt one aspirant as its candidate against others have never ended well and therefore should be discouraged in its entirety.

“The founding fathers of the UPU did not formed the Union as a Political Party, or as an extension of a Political Party nor a political pressure group, therefore is an abnormal for the body to come to the political field or gallery to poke nose let alone adopting an aspirant.

“We however advise that the role of the UPU as a socio-cultural groups should be to make deliberate effort to unite its political class.

“We therefore strongly advise the UPU leadership to backtrack and rescind its decision in the interest of unity and love in Urhobo in particular and Delta as a whole”, they said.

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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