Traditional ruler of Oghara Kingdom, Delta State, HRM Noble Eshemitan, Orefe III, yesterday, applauded the January walkout on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo by Urhobo monarchs during a fact-finding visit by Osinbajo to the Niger Delta, adding that Urhobo monarchs in the state have been consistently disrespected.
The monarch, who addressed members of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, at the 2017 UPU America convention held in Chicago, USA, also took a swipe at some Urhobo sons involved in the leadership tussle that rocked UPU.
He said: “We were made to gather at the venue from 10a.m. to 5p.m., waiting for the Vice President, who, meanwhile, was visiting two ethnic nationalities that are neighbours of the Urhobo.
“When the Vice President eventually arrived, accompanied by the state governor, the Urhobo traditional rulers, including myself, staged a walk out.
“The governor came down begging us profusely. Why will any government assemble revered traditional rulers as early as 10a.m., for an event that finally commenced at 5p.m.? “The truth is that the Urhobo and their leaders are not revered.
Charity, they say, begins at home and we must, therefore, move beyond rhetoric and start according respect to our leaders by ourselves.
… in Jonathan’s time
“During the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, an Urhobo minister brought the then Vice President to Urhobo Kingdom for a thanksgiving ceremony.
“Instead of having the Vice President, on arrival, pay courtesy visit to the traditional ruler of the kingdom, the traditional ruler was asked to go to the stadium in the town of the traditional ruler to receive the Vice President”
On UPU crisis
Condemning the leadership tussle that rocked UPU, the monarch said: “It is pertinent for me to mention here the attitude of some persons, who got to the position of UPU national leadership at home by mere providence.
“And because they turned out to be persons collecting for themselves benefits meant for the entire Urhobo, they tried by all means to perpetuate themselves in power even though their fathers advised them to step down because of their questionable behaviours.
“These persons threw insults at their fathers on newspapers’ pages.”