AN OPEN LETTER TO THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
OF THE OKPE UNION
As elected members of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Okpe Union, your core responsibility is to promote and protect Okpe interests in Delta State and in Nigeria. Unfortunately, what we have observed since your election in 2016 is the continuous power struggle that has brought disrepute to Okpe. Due to the focus on personal interests the leadership of NEC has failed to articulate any policy or programme beneficial to the Okpe Nation. Your collective failure in this regard has diminished the status of the Okpe Union as an organization established to project Okpe. In fact, you have demonstrated an inability to speak for Okpe. That Okpe is the most populous monolithic ethnic nationality in Delta State becomes irrelevant vis-à-vis the robust policies being pursued by other ethnic nationalities in articulating their respective interests and identities in Delta State. What you have excelled at is an internal scramble for power that is detrimental to Okpe Union. Thus, you have forfeited your collective responsibilities to the Okpe Nation.
- ESCALATION OF CRISIS
HRM Orhue 1, Orodje of Okpe Kingdom has invested his time to mediate the crisis in NEC. This is vividly evident in the resolutions of the MINUTES OF MEETING AT THE INSTANCE OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS OF OKPE UNION AT ORODJE PALACE, OREROKPE ON WEDNESDAY, 29TH JANUARY 2020. There was a justifiable glimmer of hope that peace would prevail in NEC and that you would begin to behave responsibly in managing the affairs of the Okpe Union. Unfortunately, the reverse has been the case since that meeting. You have continued to exhibit dysfunctional attitudes that have caused grave disarray in the Okpe Union. The Report of the meeting of NEC on August 29, 2020 demonstrates the depth of disarray that has engulfed the NEC and it seriously underlines your inability as a collective to manage the affairs of the Okpe Union. (A copy of the Report is attached.)
- WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
There is truth in the postulation that a society gets the leadership it deserves. Leadership and followership are vital features of the growth and development of a society. For a society to grow and develop positively it is imperative for both properties to operate from an agreed prism based on progressive constructs. Good governance and ethical behaviour are enhanced when a conscious followership acts as an engaged monitor of the conduct of leaders. But when followership is docile, leadership tends to gravitate towards undemocratic characteristics as, unfortunately, we now witness in the NEC of the Okpe Union.
There is a need, now more urgent than ever, for Okpe nationals to participate in the affairs of the Okpe Union at all levels – village, town, district, etc. It is only by this active engagement that we can begin to expect a positive turn in the style of leadership. Such an active engagement must be anchored on objective reviews and constructive criticisms of the activities of the leadership. Thus, we need to instigate a re-birth or renewal of Okpe Union.
This renewal must commence at the next Annual General Assembly (AGA) that is to elect a new NEC to replace the current NEC whose tenure expires on November 17, 2020. Towards this end, it is expected that you, as current members of NEC, will ensure that all constitutional requirements are complied with regarding the election of a new NEC by November 17, 2020. There should be no thought of aborting this process. There should be no room for a repetition of the shameful display that occurred at the NEC meeting on August 29, 2020.
- CONCLUDING REMARKS
The Okpe Union was established in 1930. Unfortunately, the NEC failed to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Okpe Union because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a general view that if you were united you could have published a statement celebrating the 90th anniversary in various newspapers and electronic media in Nigeria.
It is also painfully observed that there is a reluctance of Okpe nationals from various professions – academia, politics, businessmen/women, etc. – in identifying with the Okpe Union. One of the immediate tasks of a new NEC is to devise a strategic recruitment drive of Okpe in these categories at all levels – village, town, district, etc. We have to put all hands on deck to improve Okpe Union, and to build an Okpe Union that will boldly and proudly promote and defend our Okpe Identity.
Have a blessed weekend.
God bless the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom.
God bless the Okpe Kingdom.
God bless the Okpe Union.
Prof. O. Igho Natufe