By Sanco Ese.
I have said this before and I will say it again: Okpe is an integral part of the jurisdiction that makes up Delta Central, and those who see our agitation for the recognition of the oil-producing area in Okpe communities as a call for the recognition of Okpe as a distinct ethnic nationality are not only utterly progressing in an avoidable error, they are also totally misguided.
Our agitation is that Okpe should be recognised as a distinct oil-producing nationality in relation to the extant laws governing DESOPADEC . If you feel anything short of this, then consider yourself a victim of one of the very parochial sentiments that have held us hostage in the cause of our collective history as a people.
Whether you like it or not, treating the Ika, Ukwani,Ukwani and Ndokwa people as distinct oil-producing communities under DESOPADEC did not stop them from being recognised as Anioma people.
My grouse is that if these three sets of people are treated as distinct oil-producing communities, why can’t the Okpe oil-producing communities enjoy a similar fate as it relates to the laws governing DESOPADEC ?
The continuous classification of various oil-producing communities in Delta Central as one under DESOPADEC has robbed the Urhobo nation of immensely benefiting from DESOPADEC , and classifying the Okpe people under Delta Central in the allocation of resources accruing to them as a distinct oil-producing community is to me utterly satanic, undeserving, and totally repugnant to the law of natural justice and equity.
DESOPADEC never recognised ethnic nationalities under the law establishing it, but oil-producing areas, and until we are treated accordingly, the agitation for more and equitable inclusion in the disbursement of revenue accruing to us as a people will remain a subject of contention and a veritable source of relentless agitation.
The Okpe people are not fighting for a distinct entity under the Urhobo Nation; rather, we are fighting to be recognised as a distinct oil-producing community under the extant laws governing DESOPADEC .
We are battling for our essence as a people; we are battling for its future. We’re fighting for our people’s fate, and we’re fighting to ensure that we have a progressive oil-producing ethnic nationalities in which everyone feels equal, with no masters or servant relationships, and without fear of domination or subjugation.
We’re trying to create an equitable society where everybody feels like a true Deltan and where everybody feels they have a future. We’re trying to establish a better economy and a greater nation of endless opportunities within the ambit of our God-given resources.
We are determined to speak the truth to the political class and the government in order for them to look into the plight of the Okpe people, who incidentally own one of the largest oil and gas producing communities within the Urhobo nation, with a view to addressing the apparent injustice meted out to them as it relates to the derivation formula currently being practised by the political class to the detriment and disadvantage of the Okpe people.
We have started putting facts and figures in place, and we intend to make sure this economic injustice against the Okpe people is addressed through relevant legislation in no distant time for the purpose of ensuring a united, peaceful and mutually beneficial union within the oil-producing communities and ethnic nationalities.
God’s willing, we shall prevail, and justice shall be established in our land and in the sharing of our God-given resources.
May God hear our cry.
My name is
Cordinator, Okpe Oil Producing Area Development Committee
I am God’s Pen of Intervention.