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UAD

Welcome Addresses by the President, Evang Shadrack Okpako:

 
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This event took place on the 22nd October 2011. Please click on the link below for more details.

Click here to download UAD 2011 President's Address in Adobe

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A Cross Section of some of the UAD 2011 Participants. Click on the Photo to view More Pictures.

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URHOBO AWARENESS DAY 2009:

Click here to download the UAD 2009 Address by Urhobo Bridge President in doc. format:

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Estd.2007

 

 

Urhobo Bridge UK

“Funnel of Ideas for a Better Urhobo”

91 Northfield House, Peckham Park Road, London.  SE15 6TN. UK

Tel/Fax: 020 7635 0202.                        Mob: 0784 667 9399

e-mail: urhobobridge@yahoo.com  .   Web: http://urhobobridge.tripod.com

 


Urhobo Bridge Forum  http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/urhopatnet

Urhobo Bridge Superstore: http://www.ei42.com/urhobobridge

 

WELCOME SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF

URHOBO BRIDGESHADRACK OKPAKO:

During the URHOBO AWARENESS DAY 2009

At Queens Hotel, Crystal Palace, London.

On 31 August 2009.

.....................

 

WELCOME TO URHOBO AWARENESS DAY:

 

My Dear Honourable Dignitaries and Participants, you are all welcome.

 

Your Excellency Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Delta State of Nigeria, Barrister Richard Mofe Damijo; President of Urhobo Historical Society, Professor Peter Ekeh; Your Excellency former Governor of Benue State and Kano State Nigeria, Olorogun General Dominic Oneya (Rtd); Chairman of this occasion, Dr. Ovuefe Efeotor; Chairman of the Organising Committee, Dr Igho Ighorodje; the MC, Mr Benson Eduvie; All our Guest Speakers; Your Excellencies, Oloroguns, Chiefs, Presidents and Representatives of various Unions, Clubs and Associations; Professors, Doctors, All Professionals; All invited Special Guests; All Youth Clubs and Associations; All Guests, Friends and Well wishers, Ladies and Gentlemen…

 

I am very pleased and delighted to welcome you all to this August occasion.

 

INTRODUCTION OF URHOBO BRIDGE:

 

Urhobo Bridge was formed in 2007 by a group of Urhobos living here in London UK. This was in response to our perception of the problems hindering the advancement of the Urhobos. Our motto is ‘a funnel of ideas for a better Urhobo.’

 

As our name is, we aim to “Bridge” or link Urhobo persons and groups with each other to bring about proper unity among the Urhobos. We aim to “Bridge” or link the past with the present and future generations of Urhobos by way of visiting history to learn from what happened in the past. Working in collaboration and co-operation with the elders, “Ekpako” the women folk “ghweya”, the elites “Ighene” and extrapolation of activities to the younger generations “Ituemo”. We aim to be able to work with families and young people on various issues including entrepreneurship and mentoring for the overall development of Urhobo people in the UK and the Diaspora. Our approach to achieving togetherness is holistic.

 

Our “Bridging” ideology is NOT that of a merger whereby each component loses its identity, but that of partnership or collaboration with one another; linking one to the other for good communication and interaction. Gap in communication leads to misunderstanding and schisms.

 

WHAT TODAY IS NOT FOR:

Today is NOT our launching day. That day is coming in the near future; (probably next year). Therefore, I shall not devote too much time on talking about Urhobo Bridge today.  Also, this event is not “purely” a party in the sense of it as we shall see from the activities lined up for the evening. Equally, it is not “purely” an academic event but it is an educative event that will inspire and challenge every one of us here tonight and provide us with food for thought. Therefore, I wish to appeal to you not to focus your attention on the entertainments we are able to present/provide but please focus your attention on the quality of interactive deliberations and discussions that we shall have tonight.

 

WHY URHOBO AWARENESS DAY ?

 

As I mentioned earlier, we in Urhobo Bridge perceived that there are certain fundamental issues that hinder our progress and development despite all our struggles and aspirations for success. We perceived that the actualisation of these aspirations will only happen if we go down to the root cause of our problems and solve the problems from there up.

 

1. We perceived that Urhobo which is the fifth largest tribe in Nigeria is not known. Whenever we introduce ourselves to a non-Nigerian that we are Urhobo from Nigeria, the first question they ask is, are you Yoruba? And when you continue to emphasise that you are Urhobo, they still go on to ask, are you Ibo ? It may be frustrating and embarrassing to continue to explain that you are an Urhobo. So there is need to let the public know about and be aware of Urhobo as a People.

 

2.  In addition to this, we perceived that the present generation of Urhobos, especially our children born here in the UK (or elsewhere outside Urhoboland) cannot speak the Urhobo language. We see this as a challenge.

 

3.  We need to work with our non-Urhobo neighbours to maintain good relationship at all times.

 

4.  Urhobos as a people are very versatile, resourceful, enterprising, hardworking and loving. Yet one major problem hinders our emancipation and progress. This problem is very huge a problem indeed. This is the problem of disunity among us.

 

Every average Urhobo person talks about the importance of unity among one another. Unity is sought between two friends, within a family, among the people of a village or town and between one community, state or even nation and another. It is used in many Urhobo expressions, idioms and adages; like: “gun me yovwi”, “Ekwumagbe”, “Urhobo vuvo”, “Ohwohwo vwoma ch’ohwo irosu vw vitaso”, etc.  Yet, what we always see is quite the opposite – Disunity or “state of disunion”. It is therefore, imperative for us to now look critically into “Disunity” first before we talk about Unity. Disunity occurs whenever there is any situation that brings about separation or parting or sunder between two people or discord among the people of a community or a nation.

 

This topic of “Disunity” is what we wrote about as our presentation/contribution to the just concluded Urhobo Unity Summit in PTI Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. We have copies of that presentation available for those who want to have it.

 

5.  Fraternity or Nationality? We Urhobos as a people should agree to the form of co-existence that is best for us. With fraternity, we see every Urhobo person as a brother or sister to the other. That in essence confirms the saying, “Urhobo vuvo” or “Em ejobi em r’Igbinae”. But we must make efforts to ensure it works in practical sense whereby discrimination against one person and the other who is not from our town must be eradicated. On the other hand, we can adopt nationality co-existence. With that, we need to see Urhobo as a nation and our symbol of loyalty and allegiance.

 

These 5 points and others were the factors that prompted us to think of having an Urhobo Awareness Day whereby we can sit together to discuss these issues and come up with practical solutions for further action.


It is my hope that we shall have successful deliberations this evening and come up with a communiqué or a working paper that we can use for further actions. And with the cream and calibre of people gathered together here tonight, I believe that our expectations will be satisfactorily met and we shall go home with practical solutions to some of these problems.

 

CHANGE:  The Road to Unity and Progress:

 

A change of our attitudes and behaviours is what is required. A re-direction of our values and practices from what they are now to something different. For example, the issue of polygamy is gradually reducing among the present generation of Urhobos and monogamy greatly embraced by many. That is a change from what used to be in the past. But the influence of the products of jealousy, greed, nepotism, avarice and intolerance that most people inherited from their polygamous extended families are still with them. That will take time and re-education to change.

 

Practical Re-education of the People:

 

It is ironical to say that most Urhobos are educated: what some people call “book education” but yet they lack the social or behavioural education required for gelling together as a people. This is why the people need re-education. So it is not a matter of their literacy or “education” but a matter of making the people to be aware of themselves, know who they are and why they do what they do. This understanding is what brings self-confidence, assertiveness, empathy and love for one another. The product of that is tolerance and general acceptance of one another.

 

What we Need to Do:

 

For this re-education to happen and produce any positive result, we need to do the following things:

 

(a)   We need to conduct a comprehensive Attitude Survey among all the Urhobos according to communities to identify our individual personalities and characteristics. There are useful tools used by Psychologists to conduct such survey. People need to see in empirical terms their own personalities and characteristics for them to embrace any form of change recommended for them.

 

More and more seminars/workshops/conferences like this “URHOBO AWARENESS DAY” should be organised to address the outcome of the Attitude Survey. This will be where people will learn to change their ways of behaviour having identified their individual characteristics.

 

(b)   The outcome of each seminar/workshop/conference should be published in a communiqué for the use of the Urhobo community.

(c)    Concerted efforts should be made to ensure that Urhobo language is taught/spoken to our children (or younger generation) to avoid the extinction of the Urhobo language.

 

I do not wish to pre-empt the outcome of discussions we shall have here tonight. Therefore, I wish to stop here and hand over to the Chairman of this occasion.

 

Once again, thank you very much for listening/reading, for your time and support.

 

God bless you all.

 

Long Live Nigeria ! Long Live UK !!

Long Live Urhobo !!!

Long Live UPU !!!! Long Live Urhobo Bridge !!!!!

Thank you for visiting this page.

Urhobo Awareness Day (UAD)

Urhobo Bridge UK, Register No. 7187638, England and Wales.