By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba
Urhobo umbrella body, Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU) Worldwide has denied endorsing Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its governorship candidate in the 2023 governorship race in Delta State.
It described as untrue and misleading, the report by a segment of the media that the body had endorsed Gbagi as its sole candidate for the 2023 governorship race.
According to a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of UPU, Hon. Abel Oshevire, the UPU is a nonpartisan and umbrella body of all Urhobos cutting across all political parties thus would not make statements that will divide Urhobo people.
According to the statement, the remark made by the President General of UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga, when Olorogun Gbagi, a former minister of education paid a consultative visit to his Okpare country-home was not only misquoted and misconstrued but also misunderstood.
It stated that Olorogun Taiga during the visit acknowledged that Olorogun Gbagi as an illustrious son of Urhobol and was well-received by the UPU National Officers who joined the PG to welcome him.
Oshevire said, “Olorogun Moses Taiga during the visit offered prayers for Olorogun Gbagi, wishing him well in his aspiration, but ‘spoke on the need for the Urhobo Nation to have one voice and present a single candidate in 2023.”
“The president-general was emphatic that at the right time, ‘UPU will summon the entire Urhobo Nation’ on the issue of the governorship, even as he charged Kenneth Gbagi to press on in his consultations.”
Oshevire said Gbagi’s visit was private and that the UPU Exco never met with Gbagi as a body.
“He only paid a private visit to Olorogun Taiga at Okpare who told him to come and see the UPU at the appropriate time. Of course, at the appropriate time, the UPU will naturally wish every Urhobo person aspiring for the top position good luck. What the UPU will ensure is that the position comes to Urhobo. That, we will never, ever compromise.”
“The UPU is not a political party and maintains its neutrality and will not interfere in the internal mechanism of political parties on the choice of governorship candidates before the general elections that are even few years away.
“However, UPU’s insistence has been that Urhobo must speak with one voice, avoid multiplicity of governorship candidates in the 2023 Election. The UPU also wants the Delta Central Senatorial District, which is wholly Urhobo, to produce the governor in 2023 with the support of our neighbours”, Oshevire in the statement added.