Kelly Efemena Umukoro was a presidential candidate in the just concluded UPU youthwing election. Prior to contesting the election, he was the president of the UPU youth body. Following the manner the election was conducted, Umukoro believes he was shortchanged by the powers from the ruling political party in the state. Hence, he says he won the election for the presidency of the UPU youthwing. In this concluding part of the interview, he Emerald News that he is inaugurating his executive within the shortest time to begin working for the good of Urhobo youth
What now is your decision?
Like everybody knows, the court is the hope of the common man. My lawyers are already in court. Though they have been running from our court service, the court at the right time will give directive on the possible way to serve them these processes. The lawyers went to the UPU house, the secretary said he cannot accept, that they should call Omovie who is the secretary to the committee. They called Omovie, he said they should call Revd Fr. EKabo. They are all running from accepting the court papers.
But at the resumption of court, our lawyers are going to move a motion that will compel them to do the needful. So, that is the situation at the moment.
However, my inauguration will be a week time, to inaugurate our new executive. There is no vacancy in government. And I’m still the UPU youthwing president, my executives are there.
Ewu kingdom was deliberately excluded during this election. They claimed that Ewu has kingship tussle. But they forget what their guidelines said that as far as the community has a president general, the PG can act when the king is not available. But they refused to allow Ewu because they feel that Ewu is not a PDP community. That was why they sidelined Ewu.
They claimed it was due to the kingship issue but we are saying that is not true. According to the guidelines for the election, the president general, a medical doctor, a lawyer, a clergy man can sign for a candidate. What stops these persons from signing? Why must it be the king that you all know has issue that must sign. It is because Ewu supported the APC during the election, they are paying dearly for their action.
We have also contacted Ewu, in our government, we are giving a position to the community. We are giving relevant position to them because Urhobo is Ovuovo. What belongs to one community, belongs to everybody. In our new government, Ewu is captured in the scheme of things.
You want to inaugurate your executive committee. Is it the UPU youthwing or which one are you inaugurating?
I’m the president of UPU youthwing. My executives will be inaugurated in a week’s time for the new administration. We won the election and we will continue our government.
Don’t you think if you go ahead with the inauguration, crisis will erupt in Urhoboland?
Our last administration made UPU youthwing so attractive that everybody is now rushing into it. However, it was characterized with factions. We had three factions then. We had the Kelly Efemena faction, the Nelson Uduru faction and the Ovie Obireri faction. But because of our capacity, anytime Urhobo youths are in problem, our administration was able to swallow the other two factions in no distance time.
Despite there was no feeding money from DESOPADEC, our programmes and activities swallowed all other two. We did not collect any money from DESOPADEC. Yet, we did more than enough for the Urhobo people. So, UPU has always been faction, faction and faction. It is now that we have Urhobo governor, we saw the need to merge for peace to reign and factions to stop. But now you cannot talk about peace when there is no equal right and justice. Our fundamental rights have been infringed upon. So, we cannot come to a roundtable and be talking about peace.
If the government of the day led by Urhobo governor who knows all the youths contesting are his own, the government should have been neutral to allow us slug it out as youths and let the best of the best come out. And then, there would have been no faction. The government should have allowed the electoral committee to follow the guideline strictly. If the electoral guideline was followed strictly, nobody would have any reason to agitate.
So, because the process was not strictly followed, the needed unity cannot come. The Urhobo nation knows that UPU has always been a factionalised body. So, we are continuing with our government and our people are behind us. I will tell you in no distance time the dividends of good governance will reach our people. Surveillance slots will get to them, appointments will get to them.
We have used this arsenal over the years and we still have them. So, Urhobo youths should expect better opportunities. We have the NDDC there, we have federal parastatals that are willing and able to collaborate with Urhobo youths and give them their pride of place. We are not moved by their N2million from DESOPADEC. We allow them to take that.
Although our lawyers also included that to restrain them, I don’t think that is our issue. Our issue is the progress of Urhobo youths. Our issue is that the right thing should be done. We know UPU has always been a faction home. This is not the first time and certainly, may not be the last time. This will remain so until the right thing is done.
What is giving you the stamina, the courage to do all these in the presence of people that are allegedly against you?
Yes, because I believe in the rule of law. I love the Urhobo nation. I know that if I don’t fight this injustice today, it will continue tomorrow. My driving force has been God helping me. It is because I know what is right and good. I don’t lick the buttocks of politicians to get what I want. Politicians will always use you and dump you. I’m a human rights activist and I ensure that whatever I do is within the ambits of the law. In the face of difficulties, I will say the truth. Saying the truth might not give me much friends but it will give me full measure of my integrity. I will continue to speak the truth like other civil rights individuals who have written their names in the sand of time. I will continue to uphold and reverence the Urhobo name.
What is your word for the governor?
I want to advise Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, to call his political appointees to order. The rate at which they are going they are embarrassing Delta state and the Urhobo nation. When IYC did election, despite there was still a bit of noise, it was not as this. What is a commissioner doing inside the voting hall?
Despite the government power they claim they have they were still scared of me. They were fidgeting. That’s to show they know we have the capacity. When people call me capacity president, it is not a nickname, it is in doing.
So, I’m appealing to the governor to kindly caution his appointees who are around him so that they don’t continue to give him bad name. I can sue them for saying am an APC member. Let them bring my membership card.
That I believe in the individuals and I supported their mandate does not make me their member. I supported individuals that have the capacity to deliver for our people. But they saw it in another way. They were wrong. I supported some PDP candidates as well whom I believe have the capacity to deliver in their areas.