By Eseoghene Emuke
Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide has officially confirmed the demise of a two-time military governor in Nigeria, Brigadier-General Dominic Obukadata Oneya (Rtd), who died on Thursday in Effurun, Delta State.
UPU, apex socio-cultural umbrella of the Urhobo people of the Niger Delta, while confirming the death of the general, declared that it was a “Black Thursday” for Urhobo Nation.
In a statement signed by UPU’s National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Abel Oshevire, on behalf of the President-General of body, Olorogun Moses Taiga, said Nigeria has lost one its finest statesmen.
Oneya, also a former President of the Nigeria Football Association (NFF), died at his home at the Effurun GRA, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State on Thursday morning.
But UPU in the statement described Oneya’s passage as a colossal and monumental loss to the Urhobo people.
According to it, “The death of Brigadier-General (Chief) Dominic Obukadata Oneya (Rtd), which occurred this Thursday morning at his home in GRA, Effurun, Uvwie LGA, has come to the President-General of Urhobo Process Union (UPU), Worldwide, Olorogun (Dr.) Moses O. Taiga, and the entire members of the Executive Council, as a rude shock. This loss is too colossal and monumental
“General Oneya was said to have been quite healthy, and even attended a meeting in the Community the previous evening, before the sudden and painful transition.
“By his death, the Urhobo Nation has lost another of her distinguished and eminent sons who spent the better part of his life promoting and advancing the course of the Urhobo Nation. He was a bright star; a great patriot, whose commitment to the interest of the Urhobo Nation and her people was unparalleled. He displayed uncommon love for his people and went out of his way, even at his own detriment, to serve their interest, whenever the occasion arose.
“General Oneya who distinguished himself in his military career, rose to become a Brigadier General and occupied various strategic positions in the military. He was also appointed a military administrator to both Benue and Kano States between 1996 and 1999.
“Outside the army, he was also elected as President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) in 2006.
In all these positions, he excelled and left enduring and indelible legacies, that made the Urhobo Nation proud.
“On his retirement, General Oneya relocated home to live with his people, deploying his wealth of knowledge and experience, to tackle the menace of insecurity and other social vices in the society. He even accepted to take the position of the President-General of his Community, Agbarho in Ughelli North LGA, to demonstrate his love for the people, as well as provide leadership by example.
“He was a fine gentleman, highly committed to the peace, growth and development of the Urhobo Nation. His invaluable contributions to the Urhobo Nation were inestimable.
“General Oneya was one of the great pillars and supporters of UPU. He was ever ready to take on any assignment given to him and he was ever meticulous and painstaking in the discharge of such assignment.
“The UPU and, indeed, the Urhobo Nation, has lost a great patriot, a dependable ally. We commiserate with his family, the Agbarho Community and the entire Urhobo Nation on this great loss.”