By Felix Ekwu
A 10-member Board of Trustees has been inaugurated for the Okpe Union at Orerokpe headquarters of Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State.
Okpe Union, founded in the mid-1920s and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on May 29, 1934, is the apex socio-cultural organisation of all Okpe sons and daughters at home and in the diaspora.
Chief Charles Obule chaired the inauguration which was held Saturday, August 27, 2022, in Dafinone Hall of the Orodje of Okpe Palace in Orerokpe, during an emergency annual general meeting of the Okpe Union led by the Interim President-General, Prof. Emurobome Idolor.
The inauguration of the Board of Trustees comes on the heels of the Union’s application to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, for the registration of new Trustees since the first set of Trustees have all passed on leading to the issuance by CAC of Certificate of Incorporation with Registration Number 69 in July 2022.
The reactivation of the records of Okpe Union with the CAC followed huge financial intervention by the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, Orhue 1, which enable the Union to clear all its outstanding indebtedness to the Commission over 80 years.
In his address, Prof. Idolor noted that the apex Okpe socio-cultural body is currently witnessing an increase in the number of expected new branches in places like Ughelli, Oghara, Udu, Abraka, Adeje, and Agbarho, which are due for inauguration within the year 2022.
According to him, “This is to strengthen the home base and enable the Union to achieve its purpose of establishment.”
The Okpe Union Interim President-General said, “We wish to thank His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa for the Commissioning of roads and bridges across Okpe kingdom. Of significant importance is his commitment to the political support of our dear son, Okakuro Rt. Hon. Sheriff Francis Orhowedor Oborevwori, to become the Executive Governor of Delta State come 2023.
“We are also grateful for the appointment of our Royal Father, His Royal Majesty, Orhue 1, CFR, mni, The Orodje of Okpe Kingdom as the Chairman of Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers. Above all, we congratulate you on your appointment as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential flag bearer. Thank you very much, Sir.”
Speaking on the immense contributions of the Okpe monarch to ensuring that Okpe Union bounces back, Prof. Idolor said, “There was no way we would have succeeded in achieving the reactivation and registration of the members of Trustee if not for the goodwill, concerns and contributions of the Okpe people.
I must say thank you a million times to the Orodje-in-Council, His Imperial Majesty, Orhue 1, CFR, mni, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom; to his wonderful lieutenants, all members of Udogun-Okpè, The Okpe Leaders of Thought, teaming population of Okpe sons and daughters for your kind presence and overwhelming encouragement when we needed you most. Of special mention is Okakure Barr Bright Igbako who has consistently been on ground in Abuja to achieve this result from the Corporate Affairs Commission. I sincerely appreciate your stake with us through thick and thin periods to achieve our goals. May God Almighty bless you all abundantly-Amen.”
Earlier while setting the tone for the inauguration, Chief Obule said Okpe Union had been treading a path of abandonment and gross neglect until the Orodje of Okpe intervened saying, “His Royal Majesty, Orhue 1 is the one who has created the enabling environment for this Union. We recognise the effort and great contributions of the Orodje to the Okpe Union.
“So, we are happy we have gotten to this stage and we believe that henceforth Okpe Union will bounce back with more strength and vigour. We have plans to relocate the headquarters from Lagos to Orerokpe. This should be our headquarters not sitting in Lagos, a Yoruba set-up.
“If you see those that have listed for the Board of Trustee, you will see that they are all topnotch of Okpe. They are people who have distinguished themselves in their personal capacity. They are people who have held offices in government and have done very, very well. Some of them are retired with wealth of experience. We are confident that the future of Okpe Union will be going to be great, greater than what it is now.”
Okakuro Isaac Itebu, a lawyer administered the Oath of Office on the 10-member Board of Trustees while Prof. Emurobome Idolor performed the investiture.
The Board of Trustees has Okakuro Dick Tienakpomue Gberevbie, Mr Iroro’netaye Clark, Okakuro Bright Igbako, Ohovboren Margaret Unukegwor, Okakuro John Oviemen Ebireri, Okakuro Robert Onome, Ohovboren Augustina Wansimevbo Erorodeediae, Okakuro Ede Dafinone, Mr Austine Echare Ayemidejor and Mrs Victoria Agodo.