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UPU denies conferring Ochuko r’Urhobo title on Okowa


Olorogun Moses Taiga

The President General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Olorogun Moses Taiga, has debunked recent media reports that he bestowed the traditional title of Ochuko r’Urhobo on the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

In a statement signed by Taiga’s personal assistant, Avwerosuo Edjere, the President General explained that UPU was a socio-cultural organisation of the Urhobo and not a traditional institution and he was the president general, not an ovie (traditional ruler).

“Only the Ovie confers traditional titles, so I could not have conferred a title on Okowa because I am not an Ovie. What happened was that the governor invited us and we presented some demands on behalf of the Urhobo Nation, including the marginalisation of Urhobo in DESOPADEC during the visit.

“We also thanked him for launching the JS1 to JS3 books on Urhobo language and approving them for use in government schools. We then commended him for his promise to help renovate the Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamughe, during the congress.

“That was our first time of meeting him since after the UPU Congress where he launched the books and made the promise. In the course of the interaction I gave him the appellation (od’ova) as Ochuko r’Urhobo, which means helper of Urhobo in appreciation of his assistance.”

“How does not that amount to bestowing a traditional title on him? In any case, I am aware the governor has not accepted or taken any traditional title since he assumed office three years ago,” the statement reads.

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