Communique of the
Fifth National Symposium of the Igala Association, USA 2004

For the fifth year in a row, the Igala community in North America gathered in Washington, DC for the annual symposium of Igala Association, USA on the weekend of September 4th and 5th,. And after two full days of frank discussions, merry-making and networking, the group resolved that the idea of coming together on a regular basis was not only worth it, but also that the state of the association was very strong. The symposium also recognized that there were challenges, which need to be tackled urgently if the association's quest of becoming a veritable instrument of cohesion and development is to be realized.

Among the celebrated successes of the organization is it's very continued existence. This is especially so, considering the pessimistic view in some quarters that the association was doomed to follow the footsteps of previous attempts, which collapsed before they took roots. Against this background, members were enjoined to take a positive view of things and project the organization in bright light, despite the challenges. The symposium agreed that the heroics of the president of Igala Association, USA, Dr. Sam Alfa, the executives and trustees were largely responsible for much of the successes recorded thus far.

\The symposium also voted unanimously to continue to hold the event on an annual basis at the ballroom of the POINTS OF LIGHT FOUNDATION in Washington, DC. Similarly, the date remains the Labor Day weekend of every year, which puts the date for the 2005 symposium on the weekend of September 3-4.

The symposium, among other things also resolved that:

  • Members should expect disagreements among themselves every once in a while, and that a mature handling of such disagreements can only lead to growth and development;
  • One of the sure ways in which we can achieve our objectives is by building and sustaining relationships; building relationships for the sake of the association involves several elements, including the followings:
  • Make regular phone, email and personal contact with members;
  • Recognize the youths/children in our midst as the future of the Igala nationality, and to do everything possible to give them a sense of belonging. This includes having programs that cater to their peculiar needs and interests in our events;
  • Make new comers to our midst feel welcome, and to give them all the information and emotional assistance they may need to adjust to their new environments;
  • Be tolerant of one another's shortcomings, which means that if one member disappoints us, it doesn't mean that every member will disappoint us. The nature of the society in which we live makes it inevitable that we will disappoint ourselves once in a while;
  • That we need to show greater commitment to the cause of the association, without which there can be several reasons why we cannot do what we need to do to take the association to greater heights.

Talking about commitment, the need to promptly follow up on the issues raised at the symposium was stressed. In this regard, members were enjoined to take assigned tasks seriously, and not wait until the next symposium is around the corner.

The issue of folks who continue to stay away from the association's activities was raised, and the symposium resolved that we should not give up on the effort to bring in as many Igala sons and daughters as possible, and as are willing to join the cause of moving Igala forward. To this end, the question was rhetorically asked: What is in it for me? And the symposium resolved that in seeking answers to the question, we will come up with creative ideas and incentives that will make the association attractive to all eligible Igala sons and daughters.

The issue of keeping Igala culture and customs alive was another focus of the symposium. This calls for the education of our children. To this end, the children in attendance were taught some basic Igala, including counting, singing and reading. An entertaining presentation was one of the highlights of the closing ceremony.

To tackle all the challenges, hanging issues, and make next year's symposium even more memorable, the symposium named three sub committees to work hand in hand with the executive committee and trustees, namely: symposium planning, membership drive and constitution review sub-committees. The sub-committees, which are to work with the executive members and trustees to achieve their set goals have the following members:

Mr. Joel Jaja,
Mr. Dominic Ugbeda,
Ele-Ojo Joanne Joshua
Dr. Jonas Iyaji;

Mrs. Fatima Alfa,
Mr./Mrs. Shaibu
Ms. Achenyo Idachaba;

Mrs. Theresa Edoja
Dr. Yahaya Abuh.

In order to further the cause of keeping the Igala legacy, the following people were added to the YOUTH COMMITTEE:

Mrs. Lilian Zekeri
Master Samson Ogohi Ojih.

They will now work with Mrs. Mrs. Mary Shaibu and Mrs. Bridget Abuh who had been on the committee the previous year.

1. Dr. Sam Alfa
2. Mrs. Fatima Alfa
3. Dr. Andrew Zekeri
4. Mrs. Lilian Zekeri
5. Mr. Joseph Attawodi
6. Mr. David Shaibu
7. Mrs. Mary Shaibu
8. Dr. Aaron Baba
9. Mrs. Pauline Baba
10. Dr. Yahaya Abuh
11. Mrs. Bridget Abuh
12. Fr. Joseph Abah
13. Sr. Christiana Amedu
14. Mr. John Ojih
15. Mrs. Philomena Ojih
16. Mrs. Theresa Edoja
17. Mr. Augustine Ayeace
18. Mrs. Ejura Ayeace
19. Ms. Ramatu Sule
20. Ms. Achenyo Idachaba
21. Ms. Ele-Ojo Joanne Joshua
22. Mr. Amade Abalaka
23. Mr. Joel Jaja
24. Mr. Dominic Ugbeda, Snr
25. Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim
26. Mr. Ben Akubo
27. Mr. Ibe Michael Ogwu
28. Dr. Jonas Iyaji
29. Mr. Ogwu Idakwoji
30. Mr. Paul Edoja
31. Mr. Peter Edoja
32. Mama Martha Alfa

Sam Alfa, PhD, president
Abu Acheneje, Secretary


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