Urhobo Blow or UB, Ubi ejeh [meaning: service of punches] or Ohore r’ubi [meaning: battle of punches], is a traditional martial art developed or modified by the Urhobos for military purposes, originally, but has been witnessed in recent times as a ceremonial contest of strength by young males at annual or seasonal festivals. UB has its similarities with mainstream boxing but the differences are quite divergent. Many ethnic groups along coastal West Africa have their own idiosyncratic boxing and wrestling arts but the main distinguishing feature of UB is that the knock-out punch hand is placed by fighters on their backs just above the buttocks during fights. UB is gradually becoming extinct due to lack of both funding, organisation, and exposure but may make a glorious comeback as a mixed martial art of international importance. What makes UB special and worthy of attention?
At the moment the Urhobo nation is both essentially saviourless and leaderless, forget the ethnic bosses. Chiefs Mukoro Mowoe, Michael Ibru, Great Ogboru, and James Ibori have all been arguably seen as saviours of the Urhobo nation. However, only the legacies of Mowoe and Ibru remain as genuine saviours unperturbed and Mowoe the singular unobstructed unifying leader of Western, Central and Eastern [Isoko] Urhobo. This is shocking considering that Mowoe, the foremost Urhobo nationalist and first president-general of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), died 70 years ago. This no disrespect to UPU and its influential leaders. The Urhobo people have produced many illustrious sons and daughters in many endeavours of life, some even rivalling in achievement the four named saviours. One may wonder what it is that distinguishes these four men as saviours to Urhobos but not necessarily leaders? Continue reading
As ridiculous as it may sound, if Anioma were to be granted a State today, the new capital of Delta State would be either Koko (Itsekiriland) or Bomadi (Ijawland) or even Oleh (Isokoland). However, some Urhobos are crying for a [reinstated] “voice” in federal politics at the 90-day suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agage (Delta: APC) from the upper house of the National Assembly but they cannot even handle themselves well politically within Delta State. Is this not the time for Urhobos to look inwards?
When you hear the phrase “Warri No Dey Carry Last” it sounds funky but it is also a delusional statement. Warri people especially the Urhobos do come last in most things but most importantly in the federal politics of Nigeria. The Urhobos are the fifth largest ethnic group in Nigeria yet have no president, no vice-president, no minister, no head of national security force, no governor and now no senator, The Urhobos, again, have no state, no state capital and so much nothing. Continue reading