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Onokpite: A year after, friends eulogise slain politician

By Gab Ejuwa

The ancient Okpe community of Ugolo Okpe in Okpe local government of Delta State was agog last Monday  as politicians, human rights activists beseiged the sprawling  town in their hundreds to mark the first year anniversary of the slain  Urhobo human right activist and former Delta State gubernatorial candidate, Chief Ogbe Onokpite. One after the other, the eminent personalities at the event mounted the podium to renew the call for justice on the fallen hero, who was killed  under mysterious circumstances.

An activist, Chief Paul Ibeyon who chaired the event, was the first to speak. In a manner  reminiscient of a typical village spokesman, he greeted the crowd  in the language they understood and then cleared his throat  to garner the attention of the momoth crowd who converged to ostensibly honour their sudden departed hero.

Just like conversation,  Chief Ibeyon began, “those who killed Chief Onokpite can never kill his dream of a better society for all. We, his friends and associates have vowed to keep his dream alive.”

Similarly, renown human rights activist  in Oshimili North, Comrade Ifeanyi Agbah who made  a tearfulspeech noted that both Chief Onokpite and his killers  made history but however  added that  his  killers  would be dumped on the bad side of history unlike Chief Onokpite who he said would  always be mentioned for good.

The Oshimili North born human right activist noted that Chief  Onokpite did not die fighting the course of the Urhobos alone but the oppressed Deltans.

He noted in dismay that some of those who benefited from the  late Chief Onokpite had not shown interest in the fight for justice over his death. The activist  likened late Chief  Onokpite to Isaac Adaka Boro, Ken Saro Wiwa and Martin Luther King (Jnr). “Before he was killed, he was a gentleman that was established with over four thousand workers who received their salaries  when due.

Late Chief Onokpite

“So the accusation by the police of being a gun-runner was baseless and frivolous,” Comrade Agbah who later read the biography of  the late Chief  Onokpite added.

Similarly, the Personal Assistant of late Chief  Onokpite and the DDP councillorship aspirant in Uvwie Local Government Council, Comrade Wilson Akpos noted that those who killed his boss were afraid of him. “They even begged him to work for them but he refused and chose to work for Chief Great Ogboru. They have killed him but they can’t kill what he stood for, the course  for a better Delta State and Urhobo nation”.

While calling President Jonathan and Inspector General of Police to bring the  killers of Chief  Onokpite to book, he observed that if the slain politician was to be an extraction of  Oduduwa, Arewa, Ohanaeze, the Ijaws and even the Itsekiris, they would not have taken the gruesome murder of Chief Onokpite lightly. He also lamented the silence of those that matter in Urhobo kingdom on the death of Chief Onokpite who he said  died fighting the cause of the Urhobos.

Even as the call for justice continues unabated, the younger brother of the slain politician, Diemo Onokpite has hailed the  efforts of the Inspector General of Police (IGP),  Mohammed Abubakar.

The brother disclosed that according  to available information,  some police officers allegedly fingered as being  behind the  dastardly act are  currently being  tried for their alleged role in the murder of Chief Ogbe Onokpite. He, however, expressed optimism that the trial would  not end  as an exercise in futility.

The DPP Uvwie Local Government Council Concillorship aspirant disclosed that the event would be celebrated annually and that a book on the biography of Late Chief Onokpite would  be launched in no distant time.

“He founded Ogbe Political Change (OPC) and Ogbe Foundation. Infact,he was a source of  inspiration to most of us, particularly we the Urhobos”.

But Pastor, Apostle Love Ededuwah who officiated at the event, presented a copy of  the photograph of late Chief Onokpite to every one present  through which curses were rained  on the killers of Ogbe , with backings of  some powerful inscriptions from the bible.

Placards protesting the killing of Ogbe and calling for justice  on his death were also displayed at the event. Some of them read : ‘Chief Ogbe, your vision is our mission’; ‘Chief Ogbe died as an hero’; ‘Your dreams of founding Ogbe Political Change (OPC) Ogbe Foundation and Urhobo New Faceis still alive’; ‘CJN, please bring the killers of Chief Ogbe Onokpite to book’; ‘We are asking Urhobos, Nigerians, Deltans, what did Chief Ogbe Onokpite do to deserve his death?.’ and ‘Chief Ogbe, your song of freedom, love, peace and unity, will never be in vain’.

The peaceful event was also blessed with a beautiful weather.

However, there was a general silence but an accepted fact that the slain politician left an oversized shoes and indelible footprints in the sand of times.


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