Steer Clear Of Bayelsa Politics, Clement Ovokeroye Paul Tells UPU
…Says Ofoni Community Has Never Associated With UPU
…Says Ofoni People Are Descendants Of Tarakiri-owei
The Chief Executive Officer of one of the fast growing global online daily – Bight News and media assistant to the Senator representing the productive people of Bayelsa West senatorial district in the Nigerian Senate, Mr. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Clement Ovokeroye Paul has reacted to the statement credited to the leadership of Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU) published on Vanguard on the 12th of September 2019 insinuating that there are “Urhobo people” in Bayelsa State.
Paul in a press statement issued in his home town – Ofoni on Saturday, argued that while it’s true that there are Isoko, Epie, Ogbia people and the likes in Bayelsa State, he corrected the wrong impression created by the said unauthorised publication, adding that sons and daughters of Ofoni federated communities are descendants of Tarakiri – Owei in Bayelsa State. According to him, the Ofoni people are Ijaw folks by genealogy as established by history.
“The Ofoni people have a peculiar history in Bayelsa State – they are Bayelsans by geography and Ijaw sons and daughters by genealogy. Contrary to unfounded claims that the Ofoni people are Urhobo people in Bayelsa State, existing historical facts have it that, Tarakiri – Owei, their ancestor, got married to Urhobo woman, the daughter of the then king of Ughelli kingdom. And she gave birth to two sons. One of her sons died, and after the death of her husband – Tarakiri – Owei, she relocated with her only surviving son (Ogele) back to her father’s land – the prresent day Delta State (This is why the Ofoni people speak Urhobo language in Bayelsa State).
“Her only surviving son (Ogele) later got married and produced the descendants of Ofoni, Odorubu and Uduophori (now known as Opuogele) communities, in Bayelsa and Delta States, respectively. Opuogele later returned back to their father land which is along the River Forcados, due to kingship tussle in their maternal home -Delta State. While Odorubu and Uduophori communities (of Tarakiri Clan) are in Delta State, Ofoni is geo-located in Bayelsa State.” Paul narrated.
Paul said the Ofoni people have never been part of the Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), a sociopolitical group of the Urhobo folks in Delta State. He said the Ofoni people have been part of the Tarakiri Clan in Bayelsa State. And that presently, the EBETARIOWEI OF TARAKIRI kINGDOM THE LARGES KINGDOM in Bayelsa State, the person of High Chief Samson Poripo Samson is from Ofoni community in Sagbama local government area. Administratively, Ofoni community have Amanana-owei, the person of His Royal Highness, Onakpohor Auditor. And they both represent the community in the Tarakiri kingdom.
He enjoined the Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU) to steer clear of Bayelsa politics, adding that, when the Ofoni community in Bayelsa State produced the first pioneer member of the state House of Assembly, Dr. O. O. Osusu in the 90s, who later became the commissioner for EDUCATION during D. S. P. Alamieyeseigha administration, the UPU was never involved. The community also produce a commissioner for Assembly Affairs, the person of Hon. Jonathan Arhoghro during the Chief Timipre Sylva administrations.
Similarly the community produced Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo as a commissioner for works and infrastructure for 7 years, and he’s now the senator representing the people of Bayelsa West senatorial district in the state, Paul said. He recalled that, at the time Hon. Fyneman Willson was the member of Old Rivers State House of Assembly, Late S. L. Agbalaje of Ofoni Federated Communities became the first Chairman of the Sagbama – Ebedibiri District Council, while Late Chief Melford Okilo was the Governor back then in the 80s.
He (Paul) said what is happening between the Ofoni people and their Ijaw kinsmen in Bayelsa State is understandable. He said the Ofoni people and their kinsmen in Bayelsa State have lived in harmony for years and that, despite the campaign of calumny and the display of tribal bigotry by microscopic individuals, the people have nothing to worry about – because their Ijaw brothers of the Tarakiri clan have not rejected them in time past and will not do so now. What is happening now is liken to what happened between “Jacob and his brother” of bible times.
“UPU should stay out of Bayelsa politics. UPU was not involved when Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo was made a commissioner. They were not involved when he was elected as a senator. We are Ijaw people and we have a way of living together with our brothers. Our brothers in Tarakiri clan have not disappointed us and they will not do so now.
“They have been very supportive to us, right from when Dr. O. O. Osusu became a pioneer assembly member, a commissioner for education and Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo a senator and now a Deputy Governor candidate. The Ofoni people are under the protection of Tarakiri kingdom and, as Bayelsans they have the right to vote and be voted…