IGALA ASSOCIATION U.S.A INC.
IGALA ASSOCIATION U.S.A INC.

Communique of the
2005 National Symposium of the Igala Association, USA

Held at Washington, DC


As a mark of its stability and maturity, Igala Association, USA has resolved to start rotating the venue of its annual symposium between US cities, where it has members, starting from next year. This was one of the resolutions reached at this year’s symposium, which was held recently at the ballroom of Points of Light Foundation in Washington, DC. The first six editions of the symposium were held in the Maryland and Washington, DC area between 2000 and this year. The first city outside the region to take up the challenge is Cincinnati, Ohio, and the date is September 2nd and 3rd, 2006. All the participants and even those members who could not make it this year were enjoined to take note of the date, as it gives all of us a whole year to prepare for the next one.

One other highlight of this year’s symposium was the founding of the women’s wing of Igala Association, USA. Led by Mrs. Ikede Wada, the women folks seek to be a source of cohesion for the association, and also act as an effective link between grassroots women’s associations back in Nigeria and ours. Efforts to rekindle the interest of Igala youths in our core cultural values were revitalized, with the reconstitution of the youth wing. Ms. Esther Bako volunteered to serve as coordinator.

As the association’s motto and the theme of this year’s symposium urge us all, participants reminded themselves that unity of purpose, sacrifice and an abiding sense of community are critically important ingredients in the quest of the igala nation to become an active force in the committee of tribal nationalities in Nigeria and the world. The current situation where a critical mass of Igala citizens remain perpetually relegated to the status of the proverbial hewers of woods in a world that is getting increasingly mobile, technologically was strongly frowned at. 
The symposium took a hard look at the state of education in Igala land and resolved that urgent steps need to be taken, if the currently deplorable state of things are to be turned around.

On a positive note, the symposium recognized and applauded the yeoman role being played by Professor Francis Idachaba in seeking to make education accessible to Igala sons and daughters. In particular, his establishment of the Igala Education Foundation, which provides scholarships for students at various educational levels, was especially commended. Similarly, his acceptance of the Vice-Chancellorship of Kogi State University was commended. The symposium prayed the Ibrahim Idris-led administration to give the renowned educationist the support he needs to win the much-needed accreditation for courses at the institution.

Another Igala son who was praised for his sterling public service, scholarship and honesty, which reflects favorably on Igala people, is Justice Stephen Adah of Federal High Court, Abuja. Justice Adah who took time off his schedule to participate in the symposium at his personal expense, was enjoined by the symposium to keep up the good work, which has earned him the reputation of a “fair, firm and upright justice”, and continue to make Igala people proud. Justice Adah who spoke on the corruption pandemic in the Nigerian public service and the creeping intellectual fraud and laziness among Igala youths, urged all well meaning Igala sons and daughters to join forces with like-minded individuals and groups to bring positive changes to Igala land and people.

For its part, Igala Association, USA decided to bill its members $200.00 (two hundred dollars) each to effectively fund the library and resource center at the state university in Anyigba. The project, which was started about three years ago so far, has only one computer, which is currently serving dual purposes in the university, and volumes of books, which have been individually donated by members. To demonstrate the urgency and seriousness it attaches to the project, the symposium appointed regional coordinators, and enjoined members of the association to pay up their contributions before the end of March, next year.

The regional coordinators are Mrs. Theresa Edoja, Ohio; Dr. Jonas Iyaji, New York; Mr. Arome Adegbe, Boston who was also appointed provost for the association; Mrs. Ikede Wada, Texas; Mr. Joel Jaja, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas; Mrs. Bridget Abuh, Florida; Mrs. Mary Shaibu, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia; while Dr. Paul Ocheje will coordinate the contributions of members in Canada.

In a related development, Dr. Bello Adejoh volunteered to coordinate the collection of medical materials and education supplies for distribution to medical centers and schools in Igala land. He will work in conjunction with Dr. Yahaya Abuh, Dr. Siaka Alhassan, Dr. Idoko Salifu, as well as Dr. and Mrs. Baba, who are already steep in the books drive project.
Laudable as these plans and efforts may sound, the symposium recognized that they are only short-term measures, which can only compliment well thought out, long term solutions. And these long-term solutions, in the thinking of the symposium can only be enunciated and inspired through visionary governmental policies.

Indeed, the symposium agreed that the fact that we, as private (though concerned) citizens are looking for ways to perform basic governmental functions such as funding public schools, providing books for schools and winning accreditation of courses, only indicates a fundamental failure of government. And this failure of government has come about because, for way too long, Igala people have allowed themselves to be led and represented in government by people whose motivations for going into government are mostly selfish and dishonest.

To solve the problem, the symposium resolved that even though Igala association, USA is non-partisan in principle, it (and other like minded organizations) must find a way to get actively involved in the recruitment of honest, visionary and hardworking technocrats to represent us at all levels of government. As a corollary, the symposium urged well-intentioned men and women to step forward and put their necks on the line, if necessary, to provide genuine leadership and help Igala people secure their future.

Talking about representation, the symposium resolved, in a vote of 18 to 8 (eighteen to eight) to put off the election of a new executive team for the association until next year. The election, which was supposed to be one of the major highlights of this year’s symposium, was shifted because the constitution of the association, which was supposed to guide the conduct of the election, was found to be defective and suspended.

A three-man committee, comprising Dr. Paul Ocheje, a legal luminary and law professor in Ontario, Canada, Dr. Yahaya Abuh and Mrs. Theresa Edoja was constituted to fashion out a new constitution for the association. All the committees are expected to work in conjunction with the executive committee.
Similarly, Mr. David Shaibu of Maryland was unanimously selected as an addition to the board of trustees.

Attendance:
1. Dr. Andrew Zekeri, Auburn, Alabama
2. Mrs. Lillian Zekeri, Auburn, Alabama
3. Dr. Emmanuel Wada, Houston, Texas
4. Mrs. Ikede Wada, Houston, Texas
5. Dr. Paul Ocheje, Ontario, Canada
6. Ms. Achenyo Idachaba, Fairfax, Virginia
7. Ms. Esther Bako, Silver Spring, Maryland
8. Mr. Sonnie Ebikwo, Dallas, Texas
9. Mr. Joel Ijaja, Columbia, South Carolina
10. Mrs. Regina Ijaja, Columbia, South Carolina
11. Dr. Idoko Salifu, Baltimore, Maryland
12. Dr. Yahaya Abuh, Winter Haven, Florida
13. Mrs. Bridget Abuh, Winter Haven, Florida
14. Master Achimugu Abuh, Winter Haven, Florida
15. Master Idoko Abuh, Winter Haven, Florida
16. Ms. Ele-Ojo Joshua, Norfolk, Virginia
17. Justice Stephen Adah, Abuja, Nigeria
18. Mrs. Adah, Abuja, Nigeria
19. Dr. Aaron Baba, Cincinnati, Ohio
20. Mrs. Pauline Baba, Cincinnati, Ohio
21. Ms. Susan Baba, Cincinnati, Ohio
22. Master Fred Baba, Cincinnati, Ohio
23. Master Victor Baba, Cincinnati, Ohio
24. Mrs. Martha Alfa, Hyattsville, Maryland
25. Dr. Samuel Alfa, Hyattsville, Maryland
26. Mrs. Fatima Alfa, Hyattsville, Maryland
27. Master Onuh Alfa, Hyattsville, Maryland
28. Master Attah Alfa, Hyattsville, Maryland
29. Ms. Oka Alfa, Hyattsville, Maryland
30. Mr. Abu Acheneje, Baltimore, Maryland
31. Mr. David Shaibu, College Park, Maryland
32. Mrs. Mary Shaibu, College Park, Maryland
33. Ms. Barbara Shaibu, College Park, Maryland
34. Master Benjamin Shaibu, College Park, Maryland
35. Ms. Diane Shaibu, College Park, Maryland
36. Mr. Ogu Idakwoji, Bronx, New York
37. Mr. Chris Okolo, New York, New York
38. Mr. Paul Edoja, Tacoma Park, Maryland
39. Mrs. Josephine Edoja, Tacoma Park, Maryland
40. Mrs. Theresa Edoja, Columbus, Ohio
41. Ms. Paula Edoja, Columbus, Ohio
42. Ms. Ramatu Sule, Columbia, Maryland
43. Mrs. Habiba Usman, Columbia, Maryland
44. Dr. Siaka Alhassan, New York, New York
45. Fr. Joseph Abbah, Hyattsville, Maryland
46. Mr. Jonathan Adejoh, Baltimore, Maryland
47. Mrs. Rachael Adejoh, Baltimore, Maryland
48. Master Jesse Adejoh, Baltimore, Maryland
49. Mrs. Atule Adejoh, Baltimore, Maryland
50. Mr. Ibe Ogwu, Boston, Massachusetts
51. Mr. Augustine Omale, Boston, Massachusetts
52. Mr. Arome Adegbe, Boston, Massachusetts
53. Mr. Amade Abalaka, Boston, Massachusetts
54. Mrs. Inikpi Vera Abalaka, Boston, Massachusetts
55. Ms. Ufedo Abalaka, Boston, Massachusetts
56. Master Enejo Abalaka, Boston, Massachusetts
57. Dr. Bello Adejo, Union, New Jersey
58. Dr. Jonas Iyaji, Staten Island, New York
59. Master Benjamin Iyaji, Staten Island, New York
60. Master Reuben Iyaji, Staten Island, New York
61. Ms. Ejura Edoja, Columbus, Ohio

Prepared by Abu Acheneje,
Secretary,
Igala Association, USA

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