@ 91: Okpe Union Launches One Billion Naira Scholarship Fund For Education Of Okpe National

As Okpe in Nigeria and worldwide celebrate the 91st Anniversary of the Okpe Union, the oldest ethnic organization in Delta State, President General of the Union Prof. Igho Natufe has announced the sum of one billion naira scholarship trust fund for the education of Okpe national.

Prof. Natufe who stated this at the Okpe Union regional headquarters in Lagos as part of activities marking the Union 91st anniversary maintained that the education of the girl child remain Paramount to advance the social economic development of Okpe Nation

The Nigerian-born Sovietologist and a specialist in International Relations and Soviet/ Russian Foreign Policy, Prof. Natufe who was represented by his 1st Deputy President General Engineer Francis Redemi had earlier congratulated the Okpe Nation on her 91st anniversary as he paid gloomy tributes to the union founders for their foresight in establishing the Okpe Union as an umbrella organization of Okpe nationals in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.

Founded in Lagos on May 16, 1930, he explained that the Okpe Union was technically a “near Diaspora” organization. By “near Diaspora” referring to Okpe residents in non Okpeland in Nigeria. Well established in several Nigerian cities, including (in alphabetical order) Abeokuta, Abuja, Ibadan, Ilesha, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, etc. and in the “far Diaspora”, the United Kingdom and North America decades before a branch was stablished at home in Okpe Kingdom, in Sapele Local Government Area.

Prof. Natufe said they are proud to celebrate the Founder’s Day and marvel at the successes and achievements of the Okpe Union in yesteryears, just as he encouraged everyone to redefine their strategic approach to enable Union members grapple with contemporary challenges that confront them in Delta State and in Nigeria.

While recognizing the imperative of unity within a society for any Union to move forward meaningfully by providing a conducive environment for its citizens to progress and develop, Prof. Igho Natufe disclosed that there are no faction in Okpe Union.

Prof. Natufe said in recognition of the value of education in the development of the Okpe Nation hence this launching of ONE BILLION NAIRA OKPE SCHOLARSHIP TRUST FUND for the education of Okpe nationals in post secondary institutions.

He maintained that the Union shall establish a data base of Okpe nationals (teachers and students) in all post-secondary educational institutions in Nigeria and in the Diaspora as well as facilitate the establishment of a post-secondary educational institution in Okpe Nation.

The President General further said to enhance an appreciation of Okpe Identity, the Union has began an agitation for the teaching of Okpe Language, Okpe History and Culture in all educational institutions in Okpeland.

He explained that to further promote the learning and speaking the Okpe language that the Union has perfected plans to liaise with all religious places of worship in Okpe land for the use of Okpe Language in their sermons.

In order to deepen the teaching and learning of the Okpe language, the Union has equally designed template to revive the Institute for Okpe Studies that was established by the OKPE VOICE INTERNATONAL in 2008.

Host an International Conference on Okpe Society in collaboration with the Institute for Okpe Studies in 2022.

Liaise with Local Government Councils in Okpe Nation, District and community leaders on key issues affecting Okpe.

Liaise with youth and women organizations in crafting developmental strategies for the Okpe Nation.

Liaise with appropriate authorities to recognize Okpe as a distinct ethnic nationality in DESOPADEC among other Programmes and policies that would be carried out in the days ahead.

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