EKPEYE SOCIO-ECONOMIC & POLITICAL ADVOCACY GROUP
•6th August, 2022.
EKPELENI EKPEYE HARPS ON UNITY, COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS FOR EKPEYE’S REBIRTH
~ Advocates a Round Table Discussion of all Stakeholders
Ekpeleni Ekpeye, a foremost Socio-economic and political advocacy group in Ekpeye Ethnic Nationality in Rivers State has canvassed for unity of purpose, a robust collaborative effort among all stakeholders to usher in the much needed Ekpeye rebirth.
The compelling need for key stakeholders across board to unite towards strengthening the Ekpeye Socio-economic and political institutions amongst many- a process that would occasion the much needed radical change and rebirth process is ever imperative.
Ekpeleni Ekpeye expressed the position on Saturday August 6, 2022 during a courtesy call on the Nye Udu Upata Kingdom, His Majesty, Nye Udu Felix Enene Otuwarikpo PhD, at the Udhor Upata Kingdom Palace (Upata House), Edeoha town in Ahoada East LGA of Rivers State.
While commending the king for his foresight, uncommon transformational leadership style, the building of an Ultra-modern Upata Central Palace edifice to institutionalize kingship in Upata plus other economic and human capital developmental policies, the group called on his other brother kings in Ekpeye and across Rivers State to emulate and implement same in thier various domains.
In a speech christened “The Ekpeye Ethnic Nationality Rebirth”, the leader of the Ekpeleni Ekpeye delegation and President, Elder Jonathan Robinson Ewoh said the convergence of Ekpeye’s illustrous sons and daughters to an extra ordinary Ekpeye Socio-economic and Political summit to brainstorm and come out with a clear blueprint for Ekpeye’s rapid development and set in motion the rebirth process was long overdue.
The group who noted the importance and strategic position the former Ekpeye’s Regent occupies, pleaded with him to galvanize and rally other Eze Igbus (Kingdom kings) to the new Ekpeye headship ably led by HRM. Eze Kelvin Ngozi Anugwo PhD., the Eze Ekpeye Logbo III.
Ekpeleni Ekpeye deeply frowns at the resurgence of insecurity in Ekpeye communities and said it should never be allowed to rear it’s urgly head again. The body called on the Local Government Chairmen of Ahoada East and West being the Chief security officers of the areas and the traditional institution to quickly nip the situation in the bud.
The pressure group formed out of the compelling need occasioned by the absence of a vibrant and formidable voice in Ekpeye, stressed the need to radically de-emphasize Igbu-centricism and promote Ekpeye-centricism to further foster a one united Ekpeye logbo.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Board of Trustees of Ekpeleni Ekpeye, Rev. Dr. Justine Ogwuegbe described the Upata monarch as a leading light that must be aligned with in any discourse on Ekpeye’s development following his leadership track records and developmental strides in his domain and Ekpeye by extension within the short time he ascended the revered Upata stool.
Dr. Ogwuegbe further extended goodwill messages from members of Ekpeleni Ekpeye in the diaspora, especially, in the United kingdom and America expressing optimism to partner with the Upata sage to galvanize and drive the Ekpeye Rebirth.
Chief Micheal Nwuche JP who expressed satisfaction with the developmental pursuits of the monarch and the new Upata Central Palace building assured the king of the unwavering support of the group in his Programmes and promised that the group will attend the palace commissioning ceremony this August 20 in Edeoha town.
In his response the Upata monarch, Nye Udu Dr. Felix Otuwarikpo thanked the group for the timely call and the bold step taken in forming Ekpeleni Ekpeye.
On Ekpeye’s unity the monarch expressed *worries over the inability of Uzugbani Ekpeye – being the apex Ekpeye social-cultural organization in asserting it’s true position on burning issues. Her inability to draw up a workable Ekpeye constitution to spell out the roles of the Eze Ekpeye logbo and other first class kings in Ekpeye land.
“I wrote and explained to Uzugbani Ekpeye severally in details about the importance of an Ekpeye constitution to the Ekpeye ethnic nation but they didn’t understand. What I was trying to avoid is now playing out in Ekpeye.”
On news making the rounds that members of the Eze Ekpeye logbo in council are not united, the king questioned what platform is available to unite the kings who already enjoy autonomy in their various domains.
“How can they be united. What is the platform for unity in Ekpeye, there is none! Some times, when I make pronouncements, some people make wrong speculations that Eze Upata doesn’t want Peace and unity, but I will keep telling people the truth wether they like it or not. Without an Ekpeye constitution Ekpeye cannot move Forward, but a time is coming when they will appreciate the truth”, he noted.
He recounted his advise to Uzugbani Ekpeye on the event of election of Eze Ekpeye logbo that there should be an Ekpeye constitution in place before the election to enable each of the six autonomous Igbus (kingdoms) that make up Ekpeye ethnic nation confer legitmacy by donating some amount of powers to the central Eze Ekpeye logbo stool to enable it function well but Uzugbani undermined his counsel and went on with the election without a constitution.
He explained that while late Eze Ashirim ruled Ekpeye as a clan and late Eze Robinson ruled Ekpeye as a kingdom and when Governor Wike created six first class stools in Ekpeye, a new standard was set. Being that, the Chieftancy Law of Rivers State does not recognize an ethnic nation, it was normal for an Ekpeye constitution to be operationalized to define the roles of Eze Ekpeye logbo to avoid confusion and rivalries amongst these first class kings.
On rumors that he is against the Eze Ekpeye logbo III, he said that’s not true.
” I love him, but I want him to rule well. Before you rule you must derive legitmacy from somewhere.
The legitmacy of the Eze Ekpeye logbo stool in the present Ekpeye must come from an Ekpeye constitution”, he noted.
Eze Igbu Upata who noted a new traditional system advised kings in Ekpeye to rise up to thier roles in driving development in their domains.
He called for unity of purpose in Ekpeye land. The monarch who regretted the long acrimony between late Eze Robinson O Robinson and late Eze C.C Nwuche which lasted for many years said if such wasted energy was channeled on Ekpeye’s development, Ekpeye would have developed farther than where it is today.
Eze Igbu Upata said as an advocacy group a lot of work needs to be done. He advised the group and Ekpeye people to make the incoming Uzugbani Ekpeye Executives to write the Ekpeye constitution for it to make provision for Eze Igbus to confer legitmacy by donating powers to the Eze Ekpeye logbo stool.
“Until we donate power to the central kingship, the Eze Ekpeye logbo stool will remain ceremonial. We can make the stool relevant only when the right thing is done by calling on Uzugbani Ekpeye, to draw up an Ekpeye constitution that would be adopted by the general assembly of Ekpeye people. Once this is done, we will communicate our position to government that this is what we want as a people.”
On galvanizing Ekpeye people to a national Socio-economic summit Eze Igbu Upata assured of his full support and charged the group to consult wider across the political, academic and traditional leaders and all leaders of thoughts in Ekpeye.
He noted that the summit is timely and will give the Ekpeye people the ample opportunity to disect burning issues bedeveling the Ekpeye ethnic nation and proffering solutions to her problems.
As 2023 approaches Eze Igbu Upata spoke on burning political issues. He noted that while other ethnic nationalites in Rivers State and Nigeria are strategizing on how they can get positions in government, Ekpeye cannot afford to be lagging behind politically.
He noted that as an ethnic nation strategic positioning is key in the political dynamics, saying that it was risky for everyone in Ekpeye to belong to PDP or APC.
He decried the seaming politics of anger hatred and bitterness played by some Ekpeye people because they dont belong to the same party or the rulling party; he describe same as retrogressive pattern of politics and advised Ekpeleni Ekpeye to take this message to the Ekpeye political leaders.
“As an ethnic nation we must have people in all the political parties; PDP, Labour party, APC etc so that in any situation, it will favour us. As an Ethnic Nationality, It is not safe to put all our eggs in one basket”, he said.
On the Upata Central Palace, the king said the Upata Central palace project was concieved by the fact that kings should not rule thier people from their private residences but from a palace building, this he said is to institutionalize kingship and deepen traditional governance towards delivering service to the local populace. He called on other kings to emulate and replicate same in their respective Kingdoms.
On Upata’s development Nye Udu Otuwarikpo revealed so many ongoing projects in his domain- the Upata Police station, the police health center nearing completion, the acquired land by two commercial banks- Guarantee Trust Bank (GT-Bank) and Heritage Bank in Edeoha town, the Upata Central market in Edeoha and many others.
Gideon Chims Ele
Director, Media & Strategic Communication
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