By Sam Eyoboka
AT least two retired major generals, traditional rulers, relations, close associates and well wishers attended the recent official installation of former chairman of the National Football Association, Brigadier General (Chief) Dominic Oneya (rtd) as the President-General of Agbarho (Urhobo) Improvement Union, AUIU. The Agbarho Town Hall was jammed to capacity as traditional chiefs from far and near, including the most senior Nigerian executive at the Nestle Foods Plc, Chief L.O. Arhere gathered to witness events culminating to the installation of the former military governor of Kano and Benue states.
Oneya’s installation by the Osuivie of Agbarho Kingdom, His Royal Highness Ogheneruemu Arubi Omamohwo II on January 12, in the presence of his chiefs has placed on the shoulders of the retired army chief the responsibility of ensuring an enduring unity, effective democratic practice, rapid community development, harmonious co-existence and peaceful transition from one administration to the other in Agbarho society.
He succeeds Chief J.M.O. Orido as the 14th Presidential General of Agbarho (Urhobo) Improvement Union. The union was formed on January 7, 1949. Agbarho clan is made up of two complementary and sometime competitive sub-clans, Avwredjan and Okparegbe.
The AUIU is today the central legislative and administrative body of the entire Agbarho Kingdom with the President-General and his officers democratically appointed and rotated among the two sub-clans and they hold office for a minimum of four years, after which new sets of officers are elected.
Thus, in Agbarho Kingdom, while the Osuivie remains the active traditional ruler, the central administration of the AUIU is virtually by the democratically elected or appointed National Executive of the union. This has ensured an enduring unity and rapid community development in the area.
After the installation, the Osuivie of Agbarho charged the new President-General who will be supported by Chief Abednego, Agofure (Vice president-general), Elder Abel Opuidi (Secretary), Madam Elizabeth Otuagomah (Lady president-general) among others, to use his wealth of experience in the military and governmental exposure to attract socio-economic development to the community which has, for a long time, been neglected by successive administrations in Delta State.
In his response, the new President-General, Brigadier General (Chief) Oneya admitted that Agbarho had not had its fair share from past administrations, promising that with the co-operation of everybody, his administration would do its upmost to transform the kingdom to the envy of all other clans in the Urhobo nation.
Shortly after the installation, the retired military officer, who was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Olorogun of Agbarho in August 1975, hosted everybody to a grand reception on his country home in Ewherhe town in Agbarho where Ewherhe Cultural Dancers, Egwonor ri Ighnene re Ewherhe Social Club and Club 40 of Nigeria treated the audience to traditional songs and dance steps.
Those who graced the occasion included the President-General of Urhobo Progress Union, Major General (Chief) Patrick Aziza (rtd), Major General O.E. Obada (rtd), Chief L.O. Arhere, Mrs. Enajite Ojaruega of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Delta State University, Abraka, Dr. (Chief) Power Onojete of School of Health and Physical Education, Mosogar, Delta State, Chirf Stephen Onome Okpalefe, Barrister Joseph Ogedegbe, Chief G.O.A Ojoba, Chief Joseph Obomiata, Chief Emmanuel Akponehwe, Barrister George Ushere and Mr. Isaac Ikuakpogbe, among several others.