· Urge Okowa to revisit Sapele Polytechnic issue
· Sad over inadequate number of public Secondary Schools
· Condemn purported imposition of illegal Interim leadership
· Pledge support to Orodje
Okpe leaders at the weekend urged President Muhammadu Buhari to open up different areas in the Southern parts of the country which have good seaports to decongest Lagos and ease the gridlock in the Nation’s commercial capital.
‘’On the economy, now is the time to look at opening up different areas in the Southern parts of the Country which have good seaports to decongest Lagos and ease the gridlock in the Nation’s commercial capital. One Seaport that will help achieve this is the Sapele Natural Harbour which from Colonial times is renowned for its advantages of being one of the few fresh water ports in Africa. The reopening of the Sapele Seaport as well as others in the South South Region will be a definite solution to the ports crisis in the Country’’.
They also called on Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to revisit the suspension of the establishment of the only higher Institution in Okpeland which is the proposed Sapele Polytechnic, at Elume.
The polytechnic construction began during the Administration of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan administration but was suspended by the current Administration.
At a meeting in Lagos, the leaders called on the Government of Delta State to look into the issue of inadequate number of public Secondary Schools in Sapele and Okpe Local Government Areas.
“The large town of Orerokpe with its population has only one Government Secondary School. The entire stretch of communities from Okurighwre, Amuokpe, Igbeku (Old Sapele/Warri Road) up to Ibadan Elume in Sapele Local Government Area has only Okpe Grammar School with the only other Secondary School near this area, Eziafa Grammar School being far into Eku/Abraka Road. Parents who are unable to afford private Schools for their Wards therefore find it difficult to afford the huge transport costs. We therefore call for the immediate establishment of more Government Secondary Schools in Okpe kingdom.”
In a State of the Okpe Union address by Mr. Patrick Akpotor, Outgoing President General, Okpe Union, the leaders enjoined the chairmen of Sapele and Okpe Local Government Areas to work with communities to enhance the effectiveness of the Vigilante neighbourhood security arrangements in order to improve the security of Okpeland.
The leaders recalled how Okpe Union started in Lagos.
“Assembling here by the Okpe people began under a mango tree for Okpe dance practices at the early times of British governance of Nigeria until the Okpe people organised themselves into a formal Union of the Okpe people. They were able to acquire the land of the epic mango tree by purchase decades later and on the land the founding fathers of the Okpe Union planned the future progress of the Okpe Nation including the resuscitation of the Okpe Monarchy of the Orodje throne we are assembled here today.”
They urged members and branches to be steadfast.
“On the 14th of November, 2020, in very unprecedented circumstances, the General Assembly of the Union met here and took some important decisions. The Assembly on that date gave specific mandate to the Executives (now outgoing National Leadership) to ensure that the independence of the Okpe Union is protected from influences outside the provision of the Constitution which has been the case for ninety one (91) years of its existence as a Union and voice for the Okpe Union. We report to you that we have done exactly that even in the face of daunting challenging circumstances. The Okpe Union having been a registered democratic Organization with its own inviolable Constitution since the 13th of December, 1934 on which date the Union was incorporated with Registration Number 69, has never allowed Institutions or individuals who are not empowered its Constitution to dictate to it or interfere in its governance. We remind all Okpe people and the World that Okpe Union is a member’ ONLY Organization. To participate in the Union, an Okpe person will have to register in a Branch and pay all the prescribed fee. Therefore, the purported imposition of an illegal Interim Leadership which parades itself on the pages of newspapers and about and on an extortion of unsuspecting Members of the public must be condemned by all patriotic Okpe persons and lovers of democracy and good governance. To permit that in our time will amount to the betrayal of the legacy handed over to us by the founding fathers of the Okpe Union.”
The leaders called for unity, solidarity and love amongst members and branches all over the Country and the World.
“Members must close ranks and join hands to defend the Independence of the Union from forces of destabilization whose sole objective is to reap political benefits. That is not the purpose for which our founding fathers established the Union.”
Specifically, they called on Okpe elite especially those who have the interest of the development of the Okpe Nation at heart to work closely with His Royal Majesty, Orhue I, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom as the Okpe Union has done for ages to continually offer their expert advice so that the quality of human resources available to him will be enhanced.
“This will promote unity and inclusiveness in the decision making of the Udogun Okpe Traditional Council. To achieve this, honest and dedicated Ekakuro have to be regular at the Udogun Okpe meetings.”
They urged Okpe people to avoid artificial divisions and Fifth Columnists.
“Nigeria is facing precarious times. This is a time that the Okpe ethnic nationality must close ranks and plan on how to achieve greater cohesion for the survival of our people. We must avoid artificial divisions and Fifth Columnists, whose Main Agenda is to break our ranks and set Okpe Nation backward.”
The leaders called on all levels of government to provide for and support well-coordinated community or neighbourhood vigilante.
“The Nigerian State is undergoing serious security and economic challenges. The Nation cannot afford to slide into chaos. The Okpe Union therefore calls on all levels of government to provide for and support well-coordinated Community or neighbourhood vigilante. Alternatively, put in place localised security structures. By so doing, the incidences of kidnapping, robbery and ritual killings pervading different parts of the Country will be minimized.”
The leaders renewed their calls for true federalism in Nigeria to reduce the responsibilities of the Federal Government for the States to be viable for the overall social and economic development of the Country.
They paid tribute to fallen Hero from Jos.
“Let us pause for a minute, and pay tribute to one of us, the Chairman of Jos Branch of the Okpe Union, who transited to join our fallen heroes. Mr. Johnson Usieta the Chairman of Jos Branch, danced into eternity in April, 2021.”
“Let us remain steadfast to the dreams of the founding fathers of Union for a Representative, vibrant and independent Okpe Union.”