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No alternative to federalism says Igho Natufe

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President General of Okpe Union, Professor Igho Natufe, has said that restructuring will foster federalism.

‘’Our contribution to Nigerian development shall be influenced by the tenets of federalism. As a component of the Nigerian federation of ethnic nationalities, we endorse the call for restructuring the Nigerian federal system in accordance with the notion of federalism,’’ he said.

Natufe spoke at Okpe House in Lagos.

In a paper entitled Internal Cohesion and Development in Okpe Nation, he said the active participation of Okpe Union in Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination will encourage rapid development of Okpe kingdom.

Natufe added: ‘’Nigeria is a federation of ethnic nationalities. Okpe is one of the more than 350 ethnic nationalities that constitute this federation. Like all the other components of the Nigerian federation, there are opportunities and challenges that we must grapple with to move Okpe forward and firmly establish Okpe Union as a powerful voice for the Okpe Nation in the various communities of ethnic nationalities in Delta State and in Nigeria, including the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination’’.

He said: ‘’Okpe Union shall be an active participant in these organizations by promoting and defending Okpe interests as a distinct ethnic nationality. These interests shall be pursued at all fora, domestic and international, with inputs from all stakeholders in Okpeland and Okpe in the Diaspora. Towards this end, we shall establish and maintain strategic relationships with all ethnic organizations in Delta State and in Nigeria on the principles of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect of the rights of each ethnic nationality to define and determine its own socio-economic and political development’’.

The foreign policy expert hailed the contestants, elders, delegates and observers that contributed to the success of the Annual General Assembly (AGA) and National Elections of the Okpe Union.

He said: ‘’Yesterday, a new National Executive Council (NEC) was elected to guide the affairs of the Okpe Union for the next four years. I congratulate all the contestants, elders, delegates and observers that contributed to the success of the Annual General Assembly (AGA) and National Elections.

“I commend and congratulate the Immediate Past President, Mr. Patrick Akpotor and members of the previous NEC for their stellar leadership in conducting the affairs of Okpe Union during their tenure. I also congratulate Mr. Igho Akeragha, Chair of the Electoral Committee and his committee members for their invaluable services to the Okpe Union. Be assured that every one of you shall have a role to play in Okpe Union as we move forward’’.

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