By Ovie Okpare
The President-General of apex Urhobo socio-cultural body, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide, Olorogun Moses Taiga, has condemned in strong terms killings alleged to be politically motivated in Urhoboland especially of young politicians in Delta State.
Taiga stressed that “killing is not part of Urhobo politics” and warned politicians and those behind such unfortunate incidents to put an end to such callous behaviour.
The UPU leader was reacting to Saturday’s gruesome murder of a Special Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Youth Development, Okiemute Sowho, in Sapele by yet-to-be identified gunmen.
A statement personally signed by Olorogun Taiga noted that UPU was greatly concerned about the spate of such ugly development in Urhoboland.
While recalling the gruesome manner some Urhobo young politicians have been reportedly killed in recent times, the statement said, “Last year a young politician was killed on his way to Asaba in respect of the local government elections. Also last year, another young politician was killed in Ughelli South.
“In the last few days, another young politician has been brazenly hacked down in Sapele. There are a few other killings with suspicious political undertones. Investigations have not proven that their deaths were politically motivated and the Urhobo Progress Union is not saying their death is politically motivated.
“But local government politicking is on and the 2023 elections politicking is already on, though the elections are still two years away.
“Are these deaths coincidences? The UPU does not know, but they are worrisome and ominous. Urhobo politics and elections have always been intense, but killing of political opponents is not part of our political life.
“As we get closer to another round of elections, the UPU calls on all Urhobo politicians to play their politics without killings, violence and bitterness. Do not shed the blood of any Urhobo son or daughter to achieve your political ambition. Power belongs to God and no one gets to a position without the knowledge of God.”
He called on those seeking political office to see such as a call for service and for the betterment of their people rather than eliminating their opponents to materialise their ambition.
“People should aspire for public office with the desire to serve. Anybody desiring to serve does not need to eliminate political opponents to get the position. You do not kill because you want to serve. A call to public service is a call to restore and uplift life, not a call to take life.
“While we await the police to unravel the perpetrators of these killings, the UPU says enough of these killings. The Urhobos are peace loving people. Nobody should turn Urhobo land into a river of blood”, UPU PG added.