I have observed the inciting utterances of one Prof Igho Natufe and gullible cheering fans at an anniversary of the Okpe Union in Lagos, where he chose to resurrect the reckless insult he has been leading some lunatic fringes within Okpe to smear the larger Urhobo nation in the name of fighting for Okpe as an ethnic nationality independent of Urhobo nation.
I am not unaware, in case Natufe and cohorts think they can fool the entire Urhobo nation, that through the consultations and campaigns for the 2023 elections season they were compelled to drop this divisive agenda because promoting it would have ruin the desperation of Okpe son, Sheriff turned Francis Oborevwori, to become governor of Delta state.
How would Natufe and cheering crowd have liked to see Obororevwori during his campaign across Delta Central, telling non Okpe communities that he wasn’t Urhobo, but hails from an Okpe nation with no ancestral affinity with rest of Urhobo? How would it have helped Oborevwori’s campaigns if he had been ‘unwelcomed’ in other 23 Urhobo kingdoms with Natufe and his gang were following Oborevwori’s campaigns to other Urhobo kingdoms flying placards screaming, “Okpe is not Urhobo”, ” Our son, Oborevwori is not Urhobo”, Okpe is a tribe of its own unconnected to Urhobo.”
That is why it is even more inciting that a petty Professor has chosen to wake up a petty issue to disturb Urhobo nation at a time an Okpe son is still enjoying the privilege of a governor-elect. It is so annoying because Natufe and cohorts are driving this conspiracy all based on fallacies.
Okpe is not a tribe. Okpe is one of the kingdoms or clans of the Urhobo tribe or ethic nationality. The Okpes were under the Western Urhobo District in the past. Today they have two LGAs known, namely Okpe and Sapele. Okpe has a dialect of Urhobo distinct as other kingdoms in Urhobo. That doesn’t confer on her the status of an ethnic nationality separate from Urhobo.
Natufe spat out that Okpe suffers marginalisation for being part of Urhobo and apparently blinding self willfully to the undue advantage Okpe has enjoyed political power sharing in the comity of Urhobo kingdoms, he pointed to Okpe being denied positions in DESOPADEC. Even that reference in itself is most fallacious.
Natufe is surely not in touch with the Okpe Kingdom he is fighting for. He must lower his professorial ego to ask career Okpe politicians, especially those of PDP, to educate him on how Okpe had always been the weakest link to sell out Urhobo in key political appointments.
Natufe can’t claim ignorance of one unlettered political bully called Michael Diden, (also known as Ejele). Everything about Ejele politics from his Sapele base was Itsekiri. He as Chairman, Transition Committee, Warri North LG. Then he got elected substantive chairman of same council. Twice he was appointed Commissioner representing Itsekiri ethnic nationality in DESOPADEC. He had a term in the Delta State House of Assembly in 2015 representing Warri North.
Then, Natufe should recall, in 2019, on Urhobo (Delta Central’s) turn to be Chairman of DESOPADEC Board, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa appointed an Itsekiri man, Ejele. And who endorsed that robbery and impunity, Okpe kingdom. Rental praise singers rose in paid advertorials, news campaign, promoting a family tree that rubber stamped Ejele as an Urhobo, precisely an Okpe freedom from Aghalokpe.
Ejele as PDP candidate went to contest the 2023 Delta South Senatorial District seat which he deservedly lost to Joel Onowakpor of the APC. Where was petty Prof Natufe when of all the informed minds abound in Okpe Kingdom, it was an unlettered Itsekiri Okpe promoted to take Urhobo’s turn to be DESOPADEC Chairman. And you are here blaming Urhobo for Okpe’s self inflicted shortchanging.
Is Natufe not also aware of Okpe’s endorsement of another Itsekiri man, Kingsley Esiso to reign as Okpe (Urhobo) occupant of Delta state PDP Chairman. Esiso was Special Adviser to Okowa on Library Affairs before May 2016 when Okowa, supported of Okpe collaborators, imposed him as Delta State PDP Chairman as a Delta Central appointee.
When he emerged, dissenting voices raised the alarm that Esiso was too Itsekiri to be an Okpe occupant of State PDP Chairmanship. Okpe political power brokers drowned the critical voices of dissent and beautified Esiso with chieftaincy title. But the time same Okpe political jobbers who promoted Esiso rejected recanted to call him stranger, Itsekiri in the race for his second term as Delta PDP Chairman. Okowa imposed Esiso again with the support of Okpe collaborators . Is Natufe not aware the shame some Okpe collaborators’ extreme greed bring upon Urhobo? Is the Urhobo nation Okpe’s problem?
Even without this incontrovertible instances, how can Natufe justify Okpe’s marginalisation among Urhobo kingdoms? Under the new democratic dispensation, which kingdom has enjoyed more fortunes that Okpe on political power sharing in Urhobo. Adego Eferhakeya was elected Senator representing Delta Central as Okpe man. With the election of Ede Dafinone whose father was 2nd Republic super senator, Okpe is now the only kingdom enjoying a second senatorial run for Urhobo under the current dispensation.
Aside that, Oborevwori enjoyed two terms as Speaker, though rubber stamp, of the Delta House of Assembly till becoming governor- elect now. Before him, Monday Igbuya (Okpe) occupied the State Assembly Speakership. These are aside several appointive offices, including plum Works Commissioner. What does Natufe want Okpe Kingdom to have as part of Urhobo, all positions meant for Urhobo, when Okpes are selling out Urhobo positions?
If Igho Natufe is looking for relevance he should seek appropriate guidance and counselling to do it without causing division among the Urhobo kingdoms. Natufe and the gullible fans cheering him must stop misleading the public on the status of Okpe nation.
Igho and Natufe are pure Urhobo names. Prof Igho Natufe is seeking cheap relevance by misleading the people of Okpe Kingdom/Clan in my opinion. And such misguided exuberance will do Okpe no good.
Okpe is one of the kingdoms/clans that make-up of Urhobo tribe, period. Okpe has right to even ask to be a state of its own in the Nigerian federation.
Nothing wrong with that, but Natufe and co must stop driving some Okpe people’s greed in divisive tendencies against the collective Urhobo interest.
We Mobilize Others To Fight For Individual Causes As If Those Were Our Causes!