Okpe leaders in Delta state have accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government under the administration of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of denial in allocation of top positions, calling for urgent attention in the next political dispensation.
They however urged President Goodluck Jonathan to give a ministerial slot to an Okpe indigene while Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan should appoint Okpe indigenes as commissioners and chairmen in key ministries and boards.
The leaders who met in Okpe Union Headquarters in Lagos said it was on record that Okpe voted massively for Jonathan and Uduaghan and as such should have a say in the running of the country and the state.
They called on Governor Uduaghan to address the problem of underdevelopment in the kingdom by empowering the people of the area after his inauguration on May 29.
They also urged him to embark on massive development of the areas through the take off of Sapele Polytechnic and completion of the Sapele Main Market.
Briefing newsmen after the closed door meeting, Secretary General of Okpe Union Worldwide, Henry Ebireri said the rancour especially among Okpe political elite, repositioning of Okpe to enable the people get a fair share under President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan led governments as well as the state of underdevelopment in the kingdom were among the issues that topped the agenda of the meeting.
According to Ebireri, “We are interested in what will benefit the larger Okpe people for now. One thing we expect Uduaghan to do is to address the fundamental developmental problem of the kingdom.
“We want to see Okpe people empowered like others. We want Uduaghan to go right ahead and develop the kingdom. Orerokpe is a glorified village. It is yet to be updated to a standard local government headquarters. Sapele is dying. Okpe is grossly marginalized in terms of sharing of the state’s largesse. Governor Uduaghan should take deliberate and concerted steps to ensure massive development of the kingdom.
“There is need for massive infrastructural development of the kingdom. More roads should be opened up to make the kingdom accessible. Portable drinking water is another serious challenge facing the people. Unfortunately, not much has been done to address this problem as majority of the inhabitants still drink untreated water. We don’t have industries. We feel a bit worried. We need a minimum of five local governments. The area needs special attention. We want to see responsible people as members of caretaker committees in Sapele and Okpe Local Government Areas”
“When there is adequate infrastructure in the kingdom, especially, good roads, life will be more meaningful to the people, business activities will boom, internally generated revenue increased, and then the environment would be attractive to foreign investors.
President General, Okpe Union Worldwide, Architect Ralph Karieren and chairmen of affiliate bodies at home and abroad were some of the prominent Okpe sons and daughters who attended the meeting.