UPU Leadership: Omene Has Constitutional Backing – CHIEF EDEREWHEVWE


A former Deputy President-General of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Chief Michael Ederewhevwe, has said that although the present leadership of the Union under Chief Joe Omene may not be the best but he had the backing of the constitution to carry on.
Ederewhevwe who is also a former national treasurer of the UPU, stated this in Okpara Inland, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, while fielding questions from newsmen today (Saturday December 17, 2016) shortly after the grand reception ceremony organized by the people of Okpara Community in Ethiope East Local Government Area in honour of the Delta State PDP chairman, Olorogun Barr. Kingsley Esiso.
According to the former UPU Deputy President-General, the UPU, nay the Urhobo nation is in limbo, adding that the leadership problem that is currently bedeviling the Union is the failure of the Urhobo people to follow constitutionalism.
Said he: “It is unfortunate, but I can say that today, the UPU and Urhobo nation is in limbo. I’m saying this as an individual that it is not easy to rule Urhobo nation. However, most Urhobo people do not believe in constitutionalism. We should follow the law. I’m not saying the current leadership of the UPU is the best, but let us follow the law as much as possible, due process.
“Whatever they are doing, I have told the people opposing the current Exco of UPU that it will not work. I’m exposed enough to know what is right and what is wrong. I’ve told them. The only option open to see how we can come together to unite. There is nothing we can do but to unite. Legally, UPU is there. Even though it is not functional, but legally it is there.
“What I’m saying is that the way they are pursuing this thing, it will not work. Legally, before the law you can hardly fault what they (Omene and co) are doing. I’m very much abreast with the UPU Constitution drawn up by late Chief Okumagba and Barr. Victor Otemiewo in 2005. It arrogated so much power to the President General and so forth. But it is painful that the people who are educated don’t even bother to look at the constitution. They are carried away by sentiment. Look at the law. I’m not a lawyer but I’m abreast with what the constitution says.
Ederewhevwe further said that those opposing the leadership of Omene are merely wasting their time, adding that even the court has stated so. “They are merely wasting their time as I told them. They went to court this year and the current UPU Exco won and there is already a court judgment which is a judicial precedent that nobody should tamper that says they should not tamper with anything UPU. So, what they are doing now is even contempt of court. I have told them what is important is how do we reconcile. But it appears people are no more interested in the law. But it would not work”, he said.
On the way forward, Ederewhevwe said that as it is now it is the Urhobo nation that is losing because neither the current Exco nor those opposing it can actually do anything to bring progress to the Urhobo nation, adding that the only way forward is reconciliation.
Said he: “Legally, the current UPU Exco is there but they cannot do much which is not good for them and Urhobo nation. On the other hand, the people opposing them, legally, cannot do anything which is also not good for them and not good for the Urhobo nation. So, the only way out is to look for a mid-way to come together so that Urhobo can move forward.”
Earlier, Chief Ederewhevwe had eulogized the sterling leadership qualities of the State PDP chairman, Olorogun Barr. Kingsley Esiso whom he described as a very pragmatic, humble and easy-going leader, adding that he is prepared to work for his people and the state at large.
He stated that the grand reception in honour of the PDP chairman was a mark of unity of the people of the people of Okpara Community, adding that it was a thing of joy that it was the first time in the present dispensation that the governor of the State, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa would pay an official visit to Okpara to honour one of their sons.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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