Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Nigeria: Okpe Leaders Insist On Comprehensive University in Orerokpe

Delta State Map
Map of Nigeria showing location of Delta State

….Want Sapele Polytechnic Completed

By Henry Ovie

Prominent Okpe leaders in south-south Nigeria on Thursday appraised the performance and competence of the Delta State governor, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, praising him for his positive impact on the lives of their people.

Rising from the crucial meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Okpe Union worldwide, the well-meaning and illustrious sons and daughters of Okpe Kingdom urged the good people of Delta State to rally behind the relatively new administration of His Excellency, Gov. Sheriff Oborevwori.

“The administration got distracted by a huge number of court cases before finally getting the imprimatur of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. With some of the projects already being witnessed round the state and some policy reviews like clearing of the backlog of pension entitlements of retirees as well as cadre regularisation/transfer and upgrade of civil servants and teachers round the state, something progressive is happening in the State.”

In a statement which encapsulated the union’s educational proposal for the development of Okpe Kingdom, the leaders commended Oborevwori for responding promptly, correctly and unequivocally to the educational needs of the state.

“The National Executive Council(NEC) of the Okpe Union, the Ethnic Union of the Okpe Nation, having been inundated by reports of reactions (some disruptive) from several quarters of our dear Delta State and especially from the Isoko areas of the state in relation to the reports of a reported planned relocation of some programmes of the Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, a town of the Isoko Nation, held an Emergency Meeting to evaluate the report, its impact on the stability of the administration and ethnic relations in the state as well as determine suggestions to both the government and the people of the Isoko Nation, the historical cousins of the Okpe people who have reacted to the reported policy.”

The statement titled, ‘A Call for Calm, Re-evaluation of Policy by Government and Restatement of the Position of Okpe Nation to Foster Ethnic Harmony in Delta State” and signed by President General, Okpe Union (Worldwide), Prof. Igho Natufe and General Secretary, Okpe Union (Worldwide), Barrister Kingsley Akpederin, commended Oborevwori for having the redress of the abnormal historical abandonment of Orerokpe and its environs in his balancing agenda.

“Governor. Sheriff Oborevwori is commended for the decision to have a look at the deficit of public institutions in Orerokpe which is one of the oldest administrative centres in the country having been hosting  one of the largest areas of local administration in the histor of Nigeria. Orerokpe, from the late 1920s became the headquarters of the Western Urhobo District which covered the present day Ethiope West, Ethiope East, Okpe, Uvwie, Sapele (at a point) and Udu Local Government Areas of Delta State. Public institutions like Universities, Polytechnics, Petroleum Institutes and Infrastructures, Colleges of Education, Schools of Nursing, Schools of Agriculture, Federal Medical Centres and many others have been cited in various areas without the ancient headquarters, Orerokpe, being considered. It is worthy of note also that another city of the Okpe Nation, Sapele, which was one of the foremost townships created officially by the early British Colonial Government with the status of other early official townships like Calabar, Ibadan, Kaduna, etc, has suffered similar government neglect as Orerokpe.”

The leaders urged the governor not to do things for ephemeral benefits and instant fame but to reevaluate the planned policy.

“As the ancient city of Orerokpe is so centrally located in the state being close to Warri, the Commercial capital of the state and therefore not far from the riverine areas of Delta South Senatorial District; and fairly accessible to all the areas of our dear Delta State, we suggest a comprehensive University of Education to be established there. The quest for the acquisition of education degrees has now got the various Colleges of Education in the State to haphazardly secure multiple affiliations with different universities in Nigeria in order for them to be degree awarding. A University of Education for Delta State is long overdue. We believe the resources for the creation of another campus would be nearly sufficient for the establishment of this all-important institution for modern competitive teachers’ education for the state. It is also instructive to note that a University of Education can accommodate any disciplines that a government may deem necessary to apply for approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in the future. It is also time for the Sapele Polytechnic which construction began under the Gov. Uduaghan Administration to be completed. By so doing, the historically neglected areas of Orerokpe and Sapele would have been assuaged to some extent”.

The prominent Okpe leaders emphasized senatorial and ethnic balancing in the state.

“We acknowledge that since the administration of Gov. James Ibori in 1999, the siting of public institutions in Delta State has upheld the template more or less of Senatorial and ethnic balancing. This resulted in the domiciling of the three Delta State Polytechnics in towns in the three Senatorial Districts of the state. Consequently, the famous Sapele Technical College (STC) which is one of the oldest technology institutions in Nigeria lost out in upgrades. The same Senatorial balancing was followed by the Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa Administration in establishing the recent state Universities. It is therefore understandable how our Isoko brothers have reacted with protests to the reports of the planned relocation of parts of university already sited in Delta South Senatorial District and Isoko land.”

“The leaders also appealed for “understanding and calm.

“We are fortunate to have a listening Governor who will certainly do what is best in the interest of the State. Violence and destruction of public and private properties cannot be a panacea to this kind of decision. We appreciate the fact that the State Government has met with stakeholders of the Isoko Nation including our sister union, the Isoko Development Union (IDU), Traditional Rulers of the Isoko Nation and other Stakeholders. We appeal to them to prevail on all, especially the youths, to give peace a chance as the Governor of the State has promised not to undermine the development of the Isoko Nation nor any other part of the State.”

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One thought on “Nigeria: Okpe Leaders Insist On Comprehensive University in Orerokpe”
  1. I am an Okpe Son from Evwriyen, a stone throw from the Okpes People headquarters, Orerokpe. My take is for a comprehensive University with full faculties and departments that covers Management Sciences, Medical Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Law, Arts, etc. and not just “University of Education” as being suggested here. We already have Colleges of Education scattered around the state. So, a formal University with full-fledged faculties and disciplines in Medicines, Pharmacy, Nursing, Laboratory Sciences, Biochemistry, Accounting, Management, Marketing, Theatre arts, Law, etc is what the Okpes should demand. This will have a far- reaching development and also impact the areas economy than the University Education being canversed here.

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