Olorogun Austin Emaduku Welcome Address and Stewardship Report at the 2024 UUC Annual Conference

Your Royal Majesty, Owhuru 1. Ovie of Udu Kingdom, The Chairman of the Conference Chief Oghene-Aga Andrew Orogbo,

The Anniversary Guest Lecturer.

Our Special Guests of Honour Distinguished Chiefs,

Respected Chairmen and members of the Council of Elders of Udu communities here present,

Community Presidents and Delegates, Esteemed Eghweya, Emete and Ighele Udu

The forum of presidents of Udu communities’ youths, Gentlemen of the Press,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Olorogun Austin Emaduku, President General of UUC

It gives me great honour and delight to welcome you to this historic event. This occasion is significant and sobering to us because it marks the one-year anniversary of our administration. With the rancour that emanated from the 2023 conference who would have thought that the administration will survive a year let alone organise a Conference and Anniversary Lecture massively attended as this. In addition, it serves as an avenue to present our report card to the Udu people and to appreciate the Almighty God. Reflecting back on the events of the past year, I can say that the journey has been daunting, but in all that happened, we emerged triumphant. As I welcome you to this auspicious event, let me emphasize that your presence at this conference underscores your commitment and desire towards the advancement and development of Udu Kingdom.

Our gathering today is a demonstration of our collective resolve to promote unity and growth of this great kingdom. As you are well aware, the current leadership of the Union of Udu Communities (UUC) was massively elected and inaugurated on 3rd June 2023, here in Otor-Udu by you the representatives of the Udu people. That remarkable moment affirmed the power of the people to choose a leader among them.

When we were elected, it was celebrated across Udu with pomp and pageantry. Recognizing that underneath the celebrations were high expectations, on the assumption of the mantle of Leadership; I pledged to work with everyone to ensure the delivery of meaningful development. Since that time, we have been working assiduously to meet these expectations. These expectations have been the driving force propelling us. Today, I can most assuredly declare that at the end of one year, we have recorded some laudable accomplishments.

Dear Delegates,

Permit me to state that our collective dream of a developed Udu is unattainable if leaders are not accountable to the people. This is one of the reasons for convening this conference. Apart from fulfilling a constitutional requirement, this event today is to report some of the achievements of my administration and to roll out our programmes for the next phase.

Before I proceed, let me commend you all for the way and manner you are conducting the affairs of your respective, communities and groups. I commend your steadfastness that despite the challenges, you have remained resilient and formidable. This kind of sagacity and solidarity is the currency to accelerate the desired growth in our society.

This administration after the elections undertook a thank you and familiarisation tour across Udu. The tour enabled the UUC to seek and identify areas of collaboration with the communities. We have built on this opportunity provided by the tour to enhance partnerships at all levels.


In the past one year of this leadership, we undertook maintenance on failed portions of the Udu Road, an Udu heritage infrastructure, notably the rehabilitation of the bad spots around Ovwian Secondary School and after the DSC flyover. These projects were achieved through the commendable contributions and support of well-meaning personalities and groups. The success of this initiative reinvigorated the spirit of atamu that Udu Kingdom is renowned. As a reminder, let me refresh your mind that one of the legacy projects in this Kingdom, the Udu Bridge and indeed the UduRoad are testimonials to the Udu collective will. This shows that we can do more if we unite and mobilize resources for a common objective.


No organization can attain progress without harmony between its component parts. We have held and sustained regular joint consultation meetings with community leaders and other organs of leadership in Udu Kingdom, which has significantly improved coordination and cooperation. I report to you that there is stronger and deeper collaboration among the community presidents and between the UUC executives than we have ever had. This can also be said of the improved cordial relationship with interest groups, including the Eghweya and Emete. This has been accomplished because the UUC under my leadership considers communities and interest groups as key stakeholders in pursuing it programmes and agenda. For the first time in the history of the UUC we complied with all the constitutional provisions of holding the monthly and quarterly meetings of the UUC.


It was part of our election campaign to revive and promote the culture of the Udu people. In this regard, this administration organized the first-ever Udu cultural carnival which involves music and dance parades from various Udu communities. There was also the exhibition of Udu culinary and arts. This carnival facilitated the promotion of harmony and heritage; hence, the UUC has decided that it should be an annual event to take place on the 26th of December every year. Our plan in the coming years is to improve on the maiden effort and to work with the relevant authorities, including government institutions, to leverage the event to promote tourism.


Distinguished Delegates! It is an established fact that no society can develop in the absence of peace and security. In this regard, the UCC has prioritized community peace and security initiatives in the last one year. We have worked with community leaders, groups, and families to resolve lingering and emerging disagreements in many communities. We are happy to see that peace has been restored in these places while others are ongoing. Some of the issues revolved around leadership transition processes. We therefore urge communities to ensure that they adhere to constitutional provisions. We encourage communities that are yet to have documented processes of ascension to power to consider adopting one because having such a defined transition process guarantees stability. May I also use this opportunity to commend communities that peacefully transmitted power as well as organised conferences to give an account of my stewardship. At this juncture, I must commend the relentless efforts of the security agencies in Udu Kingdom. The relationships have been cordial, and the engagements have been robust. There is an enhanced collaboration with police and other security institutions in Udu, especially at the level of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC). We have regularly interfaced with these agencies and have pre-emptively resolved many issues that would have escalated into violence. I urge our community presidents as Chief Security Officers of their communities to deepen their dedication to the PCRC.

  1. RIGHT NAMING IN UDU As you know, our declared commitment at the inception of this administration was to work with everyone in protecting and preserving the Udu heritage. It was in recognition of this that a group of Udu illustrious sons and daughters under the platform of Udu Kingdom Whatsapp Forum provided the UUC with a comprehensive report detailing the gradual subsuming of the Udu identity under the name of Warri, hence called for the right-naming of Udu territories. We heeded the call considering that Udu is indeed an independent kingdom with a unique history. In this regard, the UUC convened a consultative meeting with the Community Presidents under the aegis of Forum of Community Presidents to deliberate and take a stand on the matter. The UUC also undertook advocacy campaigns for right naming to other critical stakeholders to ensure full implementation. It is my believe that this is everyone’s business and should be treated so.

The UUC is saddened by the incessant crises between the neighbouring communities of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh. We call on the state government to summon the political will to complete the boundary demarcation between the two communities as this will put an end to the needless crises and usher in peace and development to the areas. Whatever touches Aladja touches Udu and indeed Delta State. In this regard, the UUC Executive alongside the Forum of Community Presidents visited the Injured in the hospital and assisted in the payment of hospital bills. In addition to that, during the curfew imposed on the community, Udu Communities and individuals responded to the call by the UUC and raised funds for the purchase of food items for those who couldn’t attend to their businesses. Though the leadership of Aladja Community sadly rejected that effort, the gesture reaffirmed the resurgence of the cooperative spirit that this administration has revived in the Udu people.


Honourable Delegates! I also want to bring to your notice that the UUC has also constituted an Udu Working Group made of professionals in both the public and private sectors. The platform is to serve a think tank towards proffering solutions to developmental challenges in our dear Udu Kingdom. The UUC intends to leverage the professional advice and experiences of this group of eminent people to chart a new course for Udu.


Article 3 of the UUC Constitution lists amongst others the Eghweya and Emete as administrative organs of the UUC. While the Eghweya under the firm leadership of Mrs. Baghwarhe has long been established at the Kingdom level, the Emete were yet to be similarly organised and recognised at the kingdom level. Under this administration, the Forum of Emete-Udu with Madam Agnes Oguna as Chairperson and her Executives was inaugurated and sworn in on Saturday 10th September 2023. With the inauguration of this body, the full complement of female representation as obtained in Otor Udu traditional setting and now in place and ready to be mobilised and deployed for women’s rights and girl child-related issues.

10 PURPORTED SALE OF PARTS UDU HARBOUR MARKET The Udu Harbour Market, alongside the Udu

infrastructure of the Udu people. Apart from Bridge and Road, which is one of the legacies the economic and developmental they continue to bring to the Udu people, these projects should be treated rains theserved as monuments and symbols of Udu Unity. They do not only remind us of the glorious past and can-do spirit of the Udu people. They invoke the spirit of nostalgia and inspire possibilities. These are, therefore, projects that should not be allowed to waste. Recently, there were rumours of sale of the portion of the UduHarbour Market bordering the waterfront followed by a demonstration against the sale by the Ovwian Community. What is a harbour market without a harbour? We believe the market was so named because of its access to the waterfront. So while the hullabaloo was going on, the UUC dug deep to interrogate all the disputes that has bedeviled the history of the market. We have been able to lay our hands on a consent judgement berween the Unukogbon family of Ovwian and the Udu Local Government Council delivered in 2003 by the Hon. Justice Ebiowei Tobi in Suit Nos OUHC/29/03 & OUHC/31/2003 then of Otor-Udu including the litigation survey plan deposited by the claimants. That judgement clearly specified who owns what or not. We have engaged the services of a licensed surveyor and a legal practitioner and we shall soon make our findings known to the public and Udu local government council for action. For now, we want to issue a Caveat Emptor to members of the public. BUYERS BEWARE!” for what you are buying may not be available for sale.


At the well-attended last quarterly meeting of the UUC comprising of Community Presidents and Secretaries, the issue of vacant UUC Executive positions was extensively discussed. The meeting resolved that the respective ruling houses and communities whose representatives have strayed away and have been absent since the inception of the administration would be replaced during this annual conference. This exercise will be performed and affirmed by the duly elected delegates after this address.

We cannot conclude this address without mentioning some issues of concern to us as an administration that will engage our attention in the future and for which we call on all, especially our political leaders to help us address.


The political rivalries between political parties and even politicians of the same party in Udu is worrisome. The bitterness and pull him down syndrome has not helped in the development of Udu in any way neither has it enhanced Udu politically. We therefore urge our politicians to ensue bitterness and divisive tendencies and concentrate on the strengths rather than the weaknesses of each other. It is by so doing that they can collectively attract developmental projects to our communities.

  1. FUNDING OF THE UUC. The UUC as the umbrella social-cultural organisation of the Udu people is the

Executive and operational vehicle for driving Udu development. This administration due to the prevailing circumstances has particularly suffered from funding. No patronage from anywhere except the sacrifices and contributions of a few leaders. who have taken considerable risks to stir the tide. In this wise, Chief Vincent Oyibode, Chief Eddie Ono-Sorhue, Chief Henry Sakpra, Chief Andrew Orugbo and Chief Andrew Oyovwiranye deserve a mention. We would have done more if we had more. Meanwhile

Udu Local Government Council is funding a non a non-existent faction with the award of revenue committee. The anomaly should be corrected


We are sad that 30 years after Udu became a kingdom Udu is yet to have a Palace. Our Revered King, His Royal Majesty, Ohworhu 1 still operates from his private residence at Aladja while the Udu Palace Ground remains abandoned. This is not a challenge of one man, but of the entire kingdom. We, therefore, appeal to the Udu Palace building committee; if there is still one, to speed up the completion of the Palace. We also call on Udu Associations, clubs, organizations, Uduindigenes at home and in the diaspora, politicians, and palace Chiefs to facilitate the speedy completion of the Palace We also call on His Royal Majesty, Owhoru 1 to grant access for this to be done.


Many roads in Udu are in deplorable condition, including the ones in the local government headquarters. We appeal to our politicians to attract government attention to this. We want to particularly recommend and will partner with our political representatives for the construction of what I have termed the TRANS UDU ROAD. Which is the road from Orhuwhorun- Ohwrode-Erhiephihor-Otor-Udu-Oghior- Ogbe-Udu-Ubogo road. This artery road when constructed will open up rural Udu and will be a silver bullet for development never seen since the construction of the Udu Bridge.


The iconic Udu Bridge built about thirty-six years ago has become weak, too narrow and inadequate to meet the high traffic that now ply it. We crave the indulgence of the state government to prioritize the construction of a second Udu Bridge through Enerhen to Opete or Okpaka to avert the collapse of the weakened Udu Bridge that may cause unprecedented catastrophe.


This is a misnomer that should never have been allowed to happen. That it has happened does not mean that it should be allowed to persist. The agitation must continue and persistent to return the Udu police divisions to places where we have a contiguous and cultural affinity with.

As I close this speech, I want to assure you that we are not resting on our cars, as there is still so much to be achieved under the life of this administration. Nevertheless, I want us to reflect on the future of Udu Kingdom because it is by so doing that we can build it into the place of our dreams. Hence we have included a lecture on the Udu question as part of this annual event. Let’s listen and learn.

I cannot conclude without a word of thank you to my Executive Committee members who have been very loyal, cooperative, and committed to the cause for a better and united Udu. To our esteemed leaders who have supported us financially and morally through this period, we say thank you. To you the people who have stood with us through thick and thin we salute. Finally and most importantly to the Almighty God from whom all power flows, we bow down before you.

Thank you all very much for your kind attention.

Long Live the UUCI

Long live HRM Owhoru 1, Ovie of Udu Kingdom!!

Long Live Udu Kingdom!!!

God bless you.

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