By Ovie Okpare
The apex socio-cultural umbrella body of the Urhobo Nation, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide, has endorsed the soon-to-be established Delta State Government’s security outfit, ‘Operation Delta Hawk’ (ODH).
UPU led by its President-General, Olorogun Moses Taiga, said the establishment of the security outfit would help to tame the activities ravaging killer herdsmen, kidnapping and other security lapses across the state.
A statement on Tuesday signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Abel Oshevire, commended the Governor Ifeanyi Okowal-led administration for coming up with the initiative, adding that Urhobo people are strongly behind him.
The statement said it has been the long-desire of UPU for such security outfit to be formed as Urhobo communities and her people especially in Delta State have remained under herdsmen and kidnapping attacks by arms-wielding hoodlums.
According to it, “The UPU notes with satisfaction that the security outfit couldn’t have come at a better time than now. It is, indeed, a most welcome development and a right step by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led Administration at tackling the alarming cases of insecurity, kidnappings, killings and other criminal activities in the state, especially herdsmen attacks that have bedeviled Urhoboland, causing huge losses of lives, property and livelihoods.
“The UPU has for long cried out to both the Federal and State Governments to rid Urhoboland of criminal elements, especially killer herdsmen, who have made life unbearable for our people, who accommodated them as fellow Nigerians.
“While we await response of the Federal Government, we deem the proposed crime outfit as an answer to our pleas by the Okowa Administration. It is our hope and prayer that with the establishment of Operation Hawk, criminal herdsmen that have laid siege on Urhobo Communities and other places in Delta State would be flushed out of their evil dens in our bushes and forests.
“Our communities and forests are very much in need of fresh air from these monstrous and killer herdsmen, whose activities is a threat to food security and economy of the Urhobo Nation, and the State at large. We strongly believe that eradicating kidnapping and other criminal activities in our society to the barest minimum, will surely restore Investors’ confidence and accelerate growth and development across the State.”
UPU, however, appealed to leadership of the various ethnic nationalities in the state to give their full support to the Government as it works out modalities for the full operation of the security outfit for safety of all Deltans.
It also further stressed that the state government should ensure that ‘Operation Delta Hawk’ is above socio-political and partisan considerations in the structure, personnel, funding and infrastructure of the proposed Operation Delta Hawk.
“The Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Worldwide wishes to commend the Delta State Government on the proposed ‘Operation Delta Hawk’ security outfit by the administration.
“We hereby appeal to the State Government to work with the leadership of the various ethnic nationalities in the State as it works out modalities in the establishment of the outfit, to ensure the full realisation of the objectives of scheme. The UPU is willing to offer its input in this regard.
“We wish to also prevail on the State Government to be above socio-political and partisan considerations in the structure, personnel, funding and infrastructure of the proposed Operation Delta Hawk.
“We hereby urge the State Government to urgently set into motion the legal machinery that would give the proposed outfit a legal backing”, the statement further added.