Posted by News Express | 23 December 2021 | 542 times
...Says its highly resourceful, enterprising people cannot play second fiddle to anyone
Esan Okpa Initiative (EOI), the newly birthed pan socio-cultural organisation of Esan people in Edo State, has restated its strong demand for a “new deal” that will guarantee justice, fairness and equity to persons of that extraction both in Edo state and within the country.
While commending the very resourceful and enterprising nature of Esan people, located in Edo State and the Diaspora, it insists they cannot play second fiddle to anyone “nor allow others to make mincemeat of our very rich pedigree in Edo nay Nigeria polity.”
In a Christmas goodwill message signed by its President, Rt Hon Matthew Egbadon, and Public Relations Officer, Mr Tony Iyare, Esan Okpa Initiative solicited the partnership of Esan people in tackling germane issues that currently afflict them. These it says, include prevailing insecurity which is threatening the largely agrarian occupation of its people massed in Edo Central Senatorial Zone, leading to imminent famine. Others are lack of industrialisation, threat of extinction facing Esan Language & Culture, and unfair treatment meted to persons of Esan extraction in major public service appointments both in Edo State and at the Federal level.
Reeling out names of renowned persons of Esan extraction like frontline elder statesman, Chief Anthony Eromonsele Enahoro, former Bendel State Governor, Prof Ambrose Folorunso Alli, former Health Minister, Dr Christopher Okojie and prominent politician, Chief Tony Anenih, it argues that the exemplary performance of these prominent personages is an indication that persons of Esan extraction have always acquitted themselves in leadership roles.
Also extending its warm hands of fellowship to its other brothers and sisters in the two other political zones in Edo State for their current political and economic exploits, the organization reminded them that “Edo State was designed to be on a tripod by God himself, and we therefore appeal for their understanding in foisting a harmonious Edo State that is run on the basis of fairness, equity and justice for all.”
Titled, “Christmas Good Will Message By Esan Okpa Initiative: Let’s Keep Hope Alive,” the statement relays in parts.
“Dear brothers and sisters of ESAN extraction, we bring you all good tidings and warm greetings on behalf of Esan Okpa Initiative (EOI), our newly established umbrella socio-cultural organisation devoted to championing the interests of our people.
“Through the concerted efforts of three organisations – Association of Esan Professionals (AEP), Ikolo Esan and Club 30, Esan Okpa Initiative was birthed as a one stop shop pan ESAN organization with the following objectives:
1) Overall development of Esanland;
(2) Ensure cohesion and unity among Esan people;
(3) Promote the welfare and general wellbeing of Esan people; and,
(4) Promote Esan language and defend the culture and other positive values of Esan people, by using ALL LAWFUL MEANS at its disposal to achieving the objectives.
“We have since been embraced by several other groups who share our vision that Esan must speak with one loud voice on all issues pertaining to ESAN land and its people.
“As we celebrate the joy of the birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we wish all Esan people within Nigeria and the Diaspora, a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2022 ahead.
“We also use this opportunity to solicit your strong partnership in our drive to advance the cause of our highly resourceful and enterprising people.
“We need your collaboration in the urgent tasks to tackle some germane issues that currently afflict our people. They include insecurity, lack of industrialisation, threat of extinction facing Esan Language & Culture, and unfair treatment meted to persons of Esan extraction in major public service appointments both in Edo State and at the Federal level.
“We intend to stoke our struggles in these areas with renewed vigour in the coming year. We have also outlined lots of activities in the coming year not only to put Esan Okpa at the heart of our people’s struggles but to reinforce its vanguard role. We also intend to galvanize our people to a new reawakening to take their pride of place in the Edo State polity.
“It is saying the obvious when we say ESAN has an array of highly qualified professionals. In different fields of endeavour across the world, our people have demonstrated strong will, astuteness, and commitment to the upliftment and welfare of their fellow beings. They can be counted when it comes to performing important leadership roles.
“From the epic role of our revered son and frontline elder statesman, Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro in the nation’s independence struggles, to the exemplary role played by Prof Ambrose Folorunso Alli in steering the affairs of then Bendel State, to the pioneering role of former Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Okojie, in the area of primary healthcare delivery, and the unparalleled leadership provided by Chief Tony Anenih in Nigeria’s recent political space, our people have always brilliantly acquitted themselves and radiated like shining stars in leadership positions.
“We will therefore not brook any obsequious design to confine our people to second fiddle, nor allow others to make mincemeat of our very rich pedigree in Edo nay Nigeria polity.
“While we salute our brothers and sisters in the two other political zones in Edo State for their current political and economic exploits, we need to remind them that Edo State was designed to be on a tripod by God himself, and we therefore appeal for their understanding in foisting a harmonious Edo State that is run on the basis of fairness, equity and justice for all.
“Going forward, we are ready to engage our brothers and sisters in the other political zones, to build a consensus on a “new deal” that will guarantee fairness, equity and justice in our dear Edo State.
“As Esan people, our vision is clear, that it is only within the context of peaceful and strategic engagement that we shall be able to realise our common interests and make Edo great again. Let us therefore keep hope alive and jointly walk the talk.
“Once again, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2022 ahead.”
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