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How UPU Abuja celebrates Urhobo day
By Samuel Okareko
URHOBO Progress Union (UPU) Abuja branch held her 2018 Urhobo Day on October 27, 2018. The celebration was held at the prestigious Cyprian Ekweusi Cultural Centre, Area 10, Garki, Abuja.
This year Urhobo Day fourth in its series in Abuja was chaired by Olorogun Festus Keyamo, SAN. He was however represented by Olorogun Emmanuel Niboro.
The theme of the Urhobo day was “Forward Match, Urhobo Nation”.
The ceremony drew together all Urhobo sons and daughters in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs to showcase the rich and dynamic Urhobo cultural heritage which was most displayed in their kingly dressing.
Beside the cultural displays, the event also witnessed the launching of fund for acquisition of land in the FCT to build Urhobo House and events centre. In addition, the Urhobo Day celebration provided forum for the award of honour to Urhobo nationals. Two major categories of awards were given. The first was ‘The Urhobo Eminent Personality Award’, given to some selected person who, according to the president of UPU Abuja, Barr. Benard O. Nafagha, have attained a significant degree of excellence in their fields of chosenen deavours and have also been of immense help to Urhobo sons and daughters in Abuja. They were so selected because of their efforts in helping Urhobos in areas of employment and admissions into schools.
The list of recipients of the Urhobo Eminent Personality Award included: Olorogun Festus Egwarewa Keyamo, SAN, who was chairman of the day. Ese Gloria Olotu (Mrs) of TET Fund, and who was the Chairperson of the day; Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, OON who was the Chief Launcher; Mr John Akakporo of Julius Berger Construction Company, co-launcher; Professor Park Odojom aIdisi, of the University of Abuja was the guest speaker at the occasion.
Others includes; Olorogun Sir Rufus Ebegba, O.I. Ehrudjakpor, MNIN (Mrs), Deputy Corps Marshal; Olorogun Dr. John Ebireri, Surv. Francis Emomidue, Mr Benard Oyase, Mrs Tina Eyaru; Mrs Patience Ikiebe.
Also in the list were; Mr Tony Umukoro, Hon. Frank Avweruoghene Ossai and Hajia Alero Yahaya Abubakar of Capital FM, and eldest daughter of Etsu Nupe, Nee Urhobo.
The second group of awardees were the recipients of the Urhobo Excellent Leadership Award. According to Barr. B. Nafagha, the President of UPU Abuja branch, these persons were selected for their leadership role in keeping Urhobo united in the FCT. In the words of Nafagha, “we want to encourage and appreciate these leaders by telling them that their labours and sacrifices of keeping Urhobo united in the FCT has not gone unnoticed. Nafagha added that leadership is a great task that involve money, time and discipline.
Those awarded in this category includes; Mr Benand Oyase, Chief Rufus Ebegba, Elder Daniel Ejarune, Lady Erhiyoja Juliana Oyaide, Mr William Gbagidi, Kingsley Esemuede, Dr. Benson Eruetor, Mr Peter Ojefia, Onome Okokoro, Mr Mike Momoh, Mr Monday Badaseraye and Mr Ambrose Emoghere (J.P.).
The list continued with the names of Prince Majemite Ighoovie, President of Urhobo Leadership Forum, Olorogun Emmanuel Igbru and Olorogun Asaboro.
The 2018Urhobo Day in Abuja was lively celebrated by every Urhobo that attended. This was noticed in the ways and manner they showed their commitment in all aspects of the ceremony. People were proud to be Urhobo. According to Mr Patrick Unior of UPU Gwagwalada Unit, he said, Urhobos are already getting it right, and this is not unconnected with the purposeful leadership of the present president and his exco. This awareness that Urhobo are great people should be extended to all Urhobo wherever they are on the globe, he concluded.
Another participant at the Urhobo day celebration, Comrade Pius Akpos Batete, who visited from Delta State said all Urhobo should learn from the unity and love displayed by Urhobo in Abuja. Urhobo can be united if they allow patriotic Urhobos like the exco of the UPU Abuja to lead them.
Also commenting on the occasion, Miss Mary Ovuorho, said “I can attest to it today that we Urhobo are great people. I am proud to be a daughter and citizen of Urhobo Nation.
Another participant, Mrs Emily Enakeme Balogun, a member of UPU, Dutse Unit, was highly excited. According to her “this occasion is wonderful, infact the greatest of any of such in Abuja. Urhobo unity is highly experienced today. We want more of this every year”.
The 2018 Urhobo Day was celebrated with dances from different kingdom dance groups. Among them were Ujevwe dance group, Udu Development Union dance group, The ‘Ema dance’ by Urhobo Community, Dutse Abuja, The Abraka dance group, The Oghara dance group, The Okpe dance group to mention but a few.
Another aspect of Urhobo culture that was showcased was the different Urhobo delicacies. All the kinds of Urhobo foods were served. People were seen going from one table to the other to have their choice of food. Everyone dined and wined without cost. The sponsors of the entertainments remained unmentioned.
This year Urhobo Day in Abuja was attended by over five thousand sons and daughter of Urhobo nation living in Abuja. Some dignitaries among them were Olorogun Emmanuel Niboro who represented both the Chairman, Olorogun F.E Keyamo, SAN, and the Chief launcher, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, OON; Mrs Ese Gloria Olotu who was the Chairperson of the occasion; Olorogun Ese Gam Owe, Secretary General, UPU worldwide, who also represented Olorogun Moses Taiga, President General of UPU worldwide, Bishop James Igho Kpebi.
Others were; Mr John Akakporo, Olorogun Mrs Rugbere, Mr Samuel Osivwemu, MD, Utako Microfinance Bank, Surv. Francis Emonidue, the immediate past President of UPU Abuja, Professor Park Idisi of the University of Abuja, Prince Majemite Ighoovie, president of Urhobo Leadership Forum; Olorogun Sir Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director-General Bio Technology Agency, Abuja; Hon. Frank Avweruoghene Ossai and Hajia AleroYahaya Abubakar, eldest daughter of Etsu Nupe (nee Urhobo).