My name is Comrade Kelly Efemena Umukoro National Youth president of all Urhobo Youths worldwide. UPU is the apex socio-cultural body of all Urhobo youths worldwide. I’m also a member of Delta State Community Policing Committee)
Wado City movement, what’s it all about?
Wado city movement is the movement of the Urhobo sons and daughters with the aim of re-writing the ancient wrongs done to Urhobo people.
What we are saying is that the areas that belong to the Urhobo people, we are changing them from Warri to Wado City. First of all, somebody will ask what is the meaning of “Wado? Wado means weldone in Urhobo language.
When you come to Delta state, you come to Warri. Warri is not a place for the Itsekiri people. The Urhobo people are much in have Warri. We have the Ijaws, we have Itsekiri, so for one person to be lording it over other ethnic groups is certainly not the best.
We are just saying that the places that belong to Urhobo people will be changed to Urhobo. For instance, you see Jakpa, you can say Jakpa Wado City, Uvwie Wado City, Effurun Wado City, Udu Wado City, DSC Wado City, PTI Wado City, Igbudu Wado City, Okere Wado City.
There is nothing like crisis, there’s nothing like war. It is the name you call yourself that is what people will call you.
Before now, many people nicknamed me Comrade Akima and I told them my name is not Akima, my name is Comrade Kelly Efemena that’s the name my parents gave to me. It is the name I call myself that is what you have to call me.
So, for us the Urhobos we are peace loving people but we are saying that the ancient wrongs of yesteryears should be corrected and we are doing everything within our capacity to peacefully address the issue of the Warri to Wado City.
Which people are more in Warri?
The Urhobo people compared to Itsekiri in Warri South but it’s like the Itsekiris are now taking over.
What really happened was far back during the days of Obafemi Awolowo.
Yes, at a time to get at the Urhobos, Awolowo was the one that changed the name from Olu of Itsekiri to Olu of Warri. Then the palace of Itsekiri kingdom was at Ode Itsekiri inside the place they call “Big Warri”.
But as Urhobo people, we are accommodating. We asked them to come and stay in the town and having accommodated them, they now want to drag our place with us.
Now we are not interested in the name Olu of Warri, we are interested in changing our areas. There is no airport in Warri, there is airport in Osubi Wado City, but they named it Warri.
There is no rail line in Warri the only rail line we have is at Ujevwu Wado City. So, we are saying that over time, if our parents fail to address this issue during their time, we are saying we are not going to fail our children in our own time. We are going to change it to reflect the real picture of the Urhobo nation which is the Wado City.
How do you intend achieving this?
Fine! We are going to achieve it peacefully, through sensitization, workshop and the media like you. Then renaming our major streets, signboards will change, transportation lines will be visited, churches will be visited, establishments and enterprises will also be visited.
Every place that belongs to the Urhobo people must bear the Wado City and not Warri City. Presently I’m a Wadorian and not a Wafarian.
Wafarian should be strictly for the Itsekiri people and we are also calling the Ijaws to do the same to rename their places.
Dont you think the House of Assembly needs to be involved for the change of this name?
No, we don’t need the legislature to do this. For instance, if I want to change my name I have the right, I don’t need to go to the Houses of Assembly for them to do any law for me to change my name from Mr. A to Mr. B.
No, it is once I tell myself that it is time for me to be addressed this way, I meet the media I tell you my name was Mr. A before, now Mr. B. It is as easy as that. So there is no war, there’s no tension, there’s no problem.