By Jon Egie

 

Comrade John Egie receiving the award on behalf of Chief Ogbemure Imene

Publisher of Urhobo Voice newspaper, Chief Ogbemure Monday Imene, was among 33 recipients who bagged various merit awards during the 7th edition of Urhobo Arts & Cultural Advancement Awar 2019; Sunday, May 26 in Ughelli.

Chief Ogbemure was honoured as the Urhobo Distiguished Service of the year in Media.

Receiving the award on his behalf, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ughelli Correspondents’ Chapel, Comrade John Egie expressed gratitude to the organizers for the recognition of his contributions to the advancement of Urhobo culture.

He said the award would gear him to further commitment to the cause of Urhoboland.

As a believer in cultural evolution and activist of moral and community development, Ogbemure said the award is another impetus to the drive for the development of  Urhobo culture and people.

 

Thank you speech by the recipient, Chief Ogbemure

The occasion was spiced by a lecture delivered by Dr Charles Apoki who expressed fears that by the trend of events in the country, a Yugoslavia episode may play out in Nigeria warning that if that happened, the Urhobo nation might be the worse loser since her wealth have been exploited without restraint.

He lamented that Urhobo which population is more than those of over 75 countries in the world has lost her position in the affairs of Nigeria and therefore, there was need for Urhobo to think of alternative areas of investments apart from politics.

According to him, satellite towns around major Urhobo towns and communities are growing up with people making investments in the populated areas. He described Urhoboland as business fertile and hence, Ibos and Yorubas have seized the opportunity to make significant investment in Urhobo. He advised that Urhobo people should invest in goods and services around places where higher institutions are located in Urhobo land in order not to be left behind.

He reasoned that the cheap cost of land in Ughelli is another incentive for investment coupled with the good network of roads and electricity, though epileptic.

He was vexed with Urhobo rich men who refuse to invest in Urhobo land for fear of witches and wizards but their bodies would be returned home when dead for burial and declared that Urhoboland is not a cemetery for such.

Earlier, the Lord Mayor of Urhobowood, Ambassador Dr Joseph Udusan Orekereke who is the Chief Executive Officer of Urhobo Arts & Cultural Advancement Award (UACAA) said the vision of the Urhobowood organization was to promote Urhobo culture and values using the media as platform.

He said the body has organized several activities yearly to achieve the cardinal objective adding that presently, “We have Urhobo Television and Radio operating on line and in the internet”.