Abeni Aso-Oke


Abeni Aso-Oke

All was agog at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, when a sociocultural organization, the Urhobo Youths Leaders Association, UYLA, gathered dignitaries from far and wide to inaugurate the new executives of the group and honour some deserving persons with awards on 11th November, 2023.
Some of the dignitaries at the event were: the executive governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, who was represented by Olorogun Hon. Vincent Oyibode, the honourable commissioner of oil and gas in Delta State; Hon. Barr. Benedict Etanabene, the member representing Okpe/Sapele/Uvwie Federal Constituency; Elder Amb. Onajite Eddington Kuejubola; the chairman of the occasion, Barr. Ben Nafagha, represented by Evuasie Godbless; the mother of the day, Dr. Mrs. Ejiro Otive Igbuzor; the keynote speaker, Dr. Pas. Godwin Ube, etc.
In his keynote speech, Ube, speaking on the topic, “The Role of Education and Career Development in Shaping the Future of Our Youths,” decried the current system where the youths are drifting away from education due to bad advice and negative influences which have led them to take short cuts to success via such vices as ‘yahoo-yahoo.’ He lamented that this has led to a fall in the value system in the society and has significantly shortened the lifespan of these youths. He also condemned the high rise in the use of drugs amongst them while explaining that graduates in foreign countries were earning and living comfortably with their degrees.
In their different addresses, the chairman of the occasion, Barr. Ben Nafagha, and Hon. Benedict Etanabene, harped on the need for unity among the Urhobo people worldwide so they could take their rightful place among the comity of nations as the fifth largest ethnic group in Nigeria. They also wondered why the Urhobo spirit that produced the likes of the Ibru dynasty, Gamaliel Onosode, etc who were once people to reckon with in Nigeria, has reduced. This, they said, is the reason for the gathering so the youths can be challenged into winning ways and to be united at all times. They both highlighted the fact the UYLA was not in contention with the Urhobo Progressive Union, UPU, but supports its ideals and urged all to see it as an appendage of the UPU.
An all male cultural group took time out to entertain guests withscintillating and acrobatic dances and songs and got a rousing ovation from guests.
The representative of the governor spoke in similar vein and urged all Urhobos to unite irrespective of the political parties they belong to and put Urhobo interests above all others.
All others who delivered speeches did not deviate far from his speech after which Ken Ejaname led the other youths to be sworn in as the new youth leader. He promised to do his best to deliver on set objectives and called for the cooperation of all to achieve these.
The award recipients were also led by the executive governor of Delta State whose award was received by his representative and each of them promised to continue to contribute to the upliftment of the Urhobo people.
They went on to give gifts in cash and training opportunities for the youths to the organization.

Abeni Aso-Oke
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