President’s Address, February 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Ndekem mmammanuo! It was a great joy to see many of you at Maryland during the 2014 completed Iriji Festival. Like our people say, “ihu enya, ka igbu ewu!” All the phone calls and emails cannot equal the value of meeting in person and sharing so many memories. For our Ehugbo sons and daughters who were able to attend, thank you for making the gathering a memorable one.
Our thanks go to the organizing team of DMV area namely: Mr. Ndukwe Azuewah, Mrs. Immaculata Ukoh, Mr. Chukwuemeka Agha, Mr. Edward Nnwachi and Mr. Victor Ugwu. Thank you for all your time and hard work. You did a great job. The cultural component was very well represented in your program. We are very proud of the young girls and boys that danced to our great delight. The women took us right back down memory lane with okokoriko, egwu okpaa, nkwa nwite and egwu onwa. We even had a wrestling match! Thank you awesome DMV team! You did it! All the calls and reports from our brothers and sisters who travelled back to their respective homes, confirm that they all arrived safely. We thank God for journey mercies, for our people say, “kpaji laji akagi iheo jeri’. Obasi nelo, nari ekele o!
To our able Ambassadors-at-Large and their family members who shared this time with us, thank you. Thank you for your financial and moral support. Unu dike.
I’d like to use this opportunity to give you an overview of what this administration has accomplished, and areas where more work is needed. We will continue to need the support of every member of AOI and our Ambassadors-at-Large in order for us to keep growing. During our 2014 annual meeting, we agreed (among other things) to the following:
- Create a Youth Forum/Affairs section on AOI website, afikpousa.org to serve as an information site for youth affairs, cultural education and more.
- Make an annual budgetary provision of $500.00 in support of youth activities.
- Increase the representation of the pictures on our website showcasing some of the needy persons to whom we provide services during our annual medical mission.
- All monies raised for medical mission at the conference goes ONLY to medical mission, and other monies raised should go to the branch to offset expenses, unless the branch chooses to give it also to the national body.
- Since our newsletter is now professionally packaged, we appeal to members to read the newsletter (sent via email and uploaded to our website) and to submit announcements and information to share with our community.
- Let us seriously take charge of handing our culture to our children. Let’s teach our children the Afikpo dialect.
- Dike/Nwanyi Ike of AOI was instituted to honor and thank our members and Ambassadors-at-Large for leadership, service and commitment to the organization and Afikpo.
- We appeal to our members to pay their annual dues of $100 per adult and $25 dollars for Iriji in a timely manner.
In spite of the aforementioned accomplishments, we need to improve our attendance to our annual general meetings and Iriji celebrations. An organization is made up of committed members. AOI is greater than any one of us, and we must view our goal of keeping our people connected and celebrating our identity with gravity. More work needs to be done on our website to link it to Facebook and Twitter, and to have a blog component. There is always room for growth, and this administration is committed to continue in this path. I wish you all God’s grace and blessings in all that you do. Thank you for giving me the chance to serve you.
God bless Ehugbo! God bless AOI! And God bless America!
Your Sister In Service,
Dr. Immaculata N. Igbo
President, Afikpo Organization, Inc.