Says Suspension was collective decision of Urhobos

By Francis Sadhere

The President-General (interim committee) of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Mr. Gabriel Ofotokun has said that the former executive of the union led by Mr. Joe Omene, remains suspended, stressing that the decision to suspend them was a collective effort of the Urhobos.

Chief Gabriel Ofortukun, UPU President General (Interim Committee).

Chief Gabriel Ofotokun, UPU President General (Interim Committee).

Ofotokun stated this in a press statement signed by Mr. Josiah Ntekume, Public Relations Officer (interim committee) of the UPU and made available to newsmen on Friday in Warri, Delta.

Ofotokun who was reacting to recent publication purportedly sponsored by the “Urhobo Renewal Initiative” in one of the national dailies that the suspension of the Omene led-executive was done by the Urhobo royal fathers and was illegal, condemned the report saying the decision was not solely done by the traditional rulers

Ofotokun explained that the suspension was done in conjunction with the President Generals, Urhobo elders and 22 delegates each from the 24 Ùrhobo Kingdoms.

He stated that, “Omene and his cohorts should understand that the Kings apart from being the custodians of the Urhobo tradition are also responsible to the generality of the Urhobo nation. The kings must also ensure orderliness in the way the Urhobo affairs are managed.

“It was not possible therefore for the Kings to close their eyes to the excesses including alleged financial impropriety which was the bane of the Omene-led UPU administration. It must be emphasized that the Omene-led UPU executive remains suspended while its activities are being investigated,’’ he said.

He said that the UPU interim committee was not ready to join issues with the aggrieved executive adding that the committee was constituted to oversee the affairs of the union in the meantime.

“The interim committee was constituted pending the completion of the amendment of the UPU Constitution and eventual conduct of a fresh election in December 2016,” he added.