ORIGIN, STRUCTURE AND ACTIVITIES OF OGBONA ELITES FORUM
(A presentation to Ogbona Apakhaide Union, April 2017 – By Gilbert Odior, President Ogbona Elites Forum)
Mr. Chairman Sir, members of “The Apakhaide Union”, other protocols well observed. It is with deep sense of honor and privilege for me to stand here today to intimate this house of the origin, goals and objectives, achievements and challenges of Ogbona Elites forum.
The idea of having a social network forum where every INDIGENE of Ogbona can network for the unity and the development of Ogbona was the brain child of Stephen Adomhere and he added Mr. Gilbert E. Odior. Gilbert became the 1st Facebook account Admin for “I’M AN INDIGENE OF OGBONA” in March of 2016. Its primary objective is to unite all INDIGENES of Ogbona at home and in diaspora for the development of Ogbona. It was the first cautious attempt to provide a forum where all indigenes of our community could interact with one another, have insight into our culture and tradition, discuss burning issues and proffer possible solutions.
Sometimes early last year, a lot of accounts were added to the said Facebook account including that of Mr. John Odior Anaweokhai. With the knowledge he gained from I’M AN INDIGENE OF OGBONA he decided to set up “The Ogbona Elites Forum” on WhatsApp in October, 2016 to complement I’m an Indigene Of Ogbona. Along the line, it was discovered that The Ogbona Elites Forum could not meet the yearnings and aspirations of every member owing to differences in religion and politics. Consequently, two additional fora, “Ogbona Political Elites” and “Ogbona Christian Forum” were further created to meet political and religion interests of members respectively. Though, the Christian Forum has been handed over to “The Ogbona Christian Association”.
Today without mincing words, I’M AN INDIGENE OF OGBONA Facebook account has over 1,000 membership while the WhatsApp account has over 130 members.
It is imperative to state here that at the moment we are at the verge of coalescing all the fora under the umbrella body of Ogbona Elites Forum to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
OBJECTIVES OF THIS FORUM
- To unite all the elites of Ogbona extraction in any part of the world regardless of one’s ideological stand on issues that bother on politics, religion, profession, taste etc.
- To cross fertilize ideas on how to move Ogbona forward.
- To support and defend one another.
- To: showcase Ogbona cultural heritage.
- To serve as resource centre on Ogbona culture and traditions.
- To relive history and celebrate those that have helped to shape the history of Ogbona community.
- To restrain from partisan politics but without prejudice to supporting any Ogbona person who is contesting any elective position against an outsider.
- To remain neutral on any issue that involves two or more Ogbona persons.
- To accord respect, honour and reward to those that so deserve.
- To guide against gutter language that will attract sanctions as determined by elders of the forum.
- Gilbert E. Odior President
- Bernard K. Ikhane Vice President
- John Odior Anaweokhai Secretary General
- Peter Aigba Financial Secretary
- Philip Ogedegbe Treasurer
- Philip Orbih Legal Adviser
- Taye Odior Anavhe Public Relation Officer
APPROVED BOARD OF TRUSTEES
- Gilbert E. Odior
- Bernard K. Ikhane
- John Odior Anaweokhai
- Felix Jones Osimerha
- Stella Mode
- Ferdinard Orbih
- Julie O Inu Umoru.
ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR
- In the course of our discussion last year we discovered that our secondary school had only three teachers which had necessitated the mass exodus of our students to the neighboring Iraokhor secondary school.
- It was also discovered that though there are six functional boreholes in our community there was the problem of diesel to power the pumping machines.
- We analyzed the problems and decided to proffer long and short term solutions.
- We sent out to generate fund from our people to meet the above needs.
- So far, through donations and dues we have been able to generate over N2.2M (two million, two hundred thousand naira).
- We have been able to employ thirteen teachers to teach various subject in the secondary school whose monthly wage bill is about N150,000
- We also purchase N100, 000.00 worth of diesel every month to pump water.
- One of our long term solutions for the problem of pumping water at the six functional boreholes is the installation of solar power panels at the boreholes to reduce the cost of diesel.
- In the course of our forum discussions, Chief Dan Orbih promised to foot the bills of two of the solar panel systems for the sum of N10.5M, and the work has been completed and the solar power is working.
- We also discovered that the primary school pupils have acute problem with reading and in February this year, we organized a Three day workshop on the use of phonics, the latest technology in reading for the three primary schools teachers in Ogbona to get the pupils well-grounded in reading. This program was sponsored by Adolphus Asekomhe
- On the 1st of February, this year through our empowerment program, we presented a generator set and a clipper to Steamer the barber to aid his barbing business.
- Through our empowerment program also, Chief Ferdinard Orbih has instituted a scholarship program for an indigent Ogbona student at the Nigeria Law School.
- Our forum is relatively new and most people have no idea of what we are about and objectives
- We are not here to compete with any organization but to complement.
- We need money to execute projects especially, the solar power system.
- The forum is open to every member irrespective of age, sex and political affiliation.
- We need active members to join us and contribute to the development of Ogbona. Encourage your children and siblings to join our forum.
- One of our other objective is to clinch the Chairmanship position of our local government Area in the next political dispensation and we need the support of everybody to achieve this goal.
- Inability to get copies of the papers written on Ogbona-Avhianwu Tradition, Culture, Laws and Development
- Have our leaders document their profile for posterity
- Internet network at home is poor to non-existence and difficult to exchange information
- We need more active members from Ogbona Community in the forum and also help to QA/QC our projects at home
- Knowledgeable persons to QA/QC our write-ups
- Unable to have a clear scan of the past minutes and documents of Apakhaide Union (old and difficult to scan)
Acknowledgement of the following persons at Ogbona for their immense support and contributions
- Chief Willie Idode, Okphe Ukpi
- Thaddeus Anabor (Gagasco)
- Magnus Akpaibor
- Chief Matthias Akpaibor
Thank you for the attention.