President’s address at the General Assembly 13th December, 2014

AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT OF MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO, AKPARAWA (ELDER) MONDAY ETOKAKPAN, JP DURING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO HELD ON SATURDAY 13TH DECEMBER, 2014

PROTOCOL

On Thursday, 24th of July, 2014 the 9th International Executive Council of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio headed by my humble self was inaugurated at this Secretariat, Sir Udo Udoma House, Uyo. Hence I assumed the leadership of this great organization. That epoch making event marked the beginning of a new era with a promise to build upon the legacies left by my predecessors.

Today, members are gathered here by the special grace of God for the 1st General Assembly since I took over as a 9th International President of the Organization. It is with great pleasure that I welcome and address you on this occasion, one hundred and forty two (142) days into this administration.

May I use this opportunity to commend all members for their sacrifices for the organization, you have exhibited a high level of commitment to the activities of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio by devoting your precious time and resources to the realization of the   organization’s goals, I charge you to be steadfast and keep faith with the organization for the task of emancipating the Ibibio’s and indeed Akwa Ibom State rest squarely on our shoulders. We cannot afford to disappoint our generation yet unborn; for if we do, posterity will not forgive us. I therefore, encourage you to feel free to discuss and make objective contributions that will continue to sustain and promote the ideals of our great organization. Infact, every member is recognized as a stakeholder because this administration has no room for divide and rule tendencies.

I sincerely commend all of you for your unwavering support and solidarity even in the face of challenges that had trailed this administration from inception. We are however poised to strive towards overcoming such challenges and to maintain our status as the “foremost socio-cultural organization” not only in Nigeria but in the entire world. This we believe, can be achieved through the collective will of all our members.

In line with the vision and mission of this organization, I had in my inaugural speech unveiled my agenda which includes the welfare of members among the main thrust of this administration. In pursuance of this, we have these 142 days recorded some remarkable strides in the following areas.

27TH ANNIVERSARY OF MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO:

This administration successfully marked the 27th Anniversary of our organization on Sunday, 3rd of August, 2014 with a thanksgiving service held in Qua Iboe Church of Nigeria, Edebom 1. The occasion witnessed the attendance of dignitaries including our Grand Patron Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok, Rtd, and a one time Military Governor of the State, His Excellency Otuekong Air Comdr. Idongesit Nkanga (Rtd.) among others. And also the membership strength of our organization increased with the induction of 73 new members during our 27th Anniversary Ceremony. As one indivisible organization; effort will however be geared towards ascertaining the numerical strength of active members in this organization in the coming year.

VISIT TO SOME CHAPTERS IN DIASPORA:

The International President’s fact finding visit to Chapters in diaspora specifically United Kingdom yielded positive results as it had gone a long way to restore members’ confidence in the Organization. The visit of the International President to South Africa also affirmed their readiness for inauguration which is expected to take place sometime next year.

 

MBOHO UNITY SCHOOLS:

 

The Mboho Unity Schools have been given a facelift to enable her compete favourably with other high profile schools in the State and country at large. We had embarked on:

  • Repainting of the walls of the academic blocks in the two schools through “self-help” efforts of members.
  • Reactivation of plumbing/toilet facilities which, hitherto, had been out of use for years.
  • Construction of a new soak-away to serve the Secondary Section.
  • Clearing of the thick bushes surrounding the schools in order to give a clearer view from the major road.
  • Redeployment of qualified teachers from the Nursery/Primary arm to teach in the High School.
  • Procurement of a lawn mower and employment of an operator to ensure that surrounding fields are kept tidy.
  • Provision of Ebola disease prevention facilities as directed by appropriate government agency.
  • Provision of 65 dual school desks and repair of damaged ones.
  • Re-habilitation of the broken down borehole in the school & installation a new over head water tank.
  • Uprooting of tree stumps, clearing the entire uncompleted administrative block and commencement of construction work for the provision of a befitting examination hall for WAEC/NECO examinations.
  • Motivation of staff through increase in salaries with effect from October, 2014 as approved and ratified by the CWC.
  • Hosting of a PTA General Meeting on Friday, 17th October, 2014 where crucial issues affecting the schools were discussed.

At this juncture, let me on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Advisory and International Executive Councils, Central Working Committee and indeed the entire members of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio commend our member Akparawa-anwan Aniefonama Jacob of London Chapter, the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Akparawa Udeme Udoh and some Lagos Chapter members, who donated textbooks and set of Computers/ICT equipments respectively, to the schools. I implore others to key into such philanthropic gestures for the uplift of the schools. We are also faced with the challenge of providing additional facilities to meet the needs of the Mboho Unity Schools, especially now that the school had been given a full accreditation to write the May/June NECO and WASSCE.

We wish to renew our appeal to those of you with viable connections/contacts to get companies, donor agencies, philanthropist, government and public spirited individuals to visit the school; construct/donate block of classrooms, hostels, assembly/dining halls, staff quarters, books, educational materials and instructional materials to the schools.

INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT:

Our resolve to build on the achievements of previous administrations had been slowed by financial constraints. In-spite of this, the current administration had made reasonable strides in the following areas:

  • Constitution of a committee headed by the Vice President II to verify and ascertain all outstanding work yet to be completed in the Secretariat for necessary action.
  • Installation of a water tank to service the presidential wing of the Secretariat.
  • Procurement and installation of a standard photocopier in the Secretariat.
  • Furnishing of the International Executive Council Chambers with a befitting conference table.

Let me also mention here that the 500 KVA generating plant promised during the commissioning of the Secretariat on the 12th of June 2014 by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency (Chief) Godswill Akpabio, CON is still being expected.

Since we took over, we have attempted within the last four (4) months to build on the foundation laid by the immediate past administration. We had inaugurated the Advisory Council and Standing Committees, it is our hope that members of the Council and Committees will be alive to their responsibilities as we count on them for progress and development.

WELFARE OF MEMBERS:

As a cardinal programme in the agenda of my administration, the welfare of members is being pursued vigorously through timely attendance and support to members at outings approved by the CWC.

CHAPTER ELECTIONS:

Elections had been conducted in most Chapters and new Chapter Executives inaugurated. It is expected that by the end of this year all elections into Chapter Executive Councils would have been concluded.

MBOHO’S MICRO FINANCE BANK:

The take off of Mboho’s Micro Finance Bank in 2015 remains a priority programme of this administration. As at today the total sum of over N2.6million being subscription by members is in the bank. Those who are yet to subscribe to the investment are advised to do so soon, to avoid being left out.

INTER-MINISTERIAL PROJECT:

The Inter-ministerial Project is yet to be handed over by the Immediate Past Administration. 10 Interim Payment Certificates (IPC) are still being expected from the office of the Accountant-General to enable the Organization to return to site according to that administration.

CHALLENGES:

As stated earlier in this address, though the challenges facing this administration are enormous, with God on our side we shall overcome them. Prominent among these are:

  • Lack of Official Vehicle for the International President’s Office – The office of the International President has no official vehicle four (4) months after inauguration. The International President, therefore, resorts to the use of his personal vehicle for Mboho’s activities because the Immediate Past President is yet to handover the presidential vehicle.
  • Handing Over from the Immediate Past Executive: – The administration had operated till date without the Immediate Past Executive handing over officially to the current Executive. What had been received from the previous EXCO were copies of unpaid vouchers and statement of accounts from 1st April to 24th July, 2014. The need for a complete handing over process cannot be over emphasized as it is in the best interest of the organization for this to be done and soon too.

 

  • Court Case: The organization is currently in a legal battle with one Mr. Ime Okon Edet (Managing Director of Imeson Enterprises) who instituted a case in an Uyo High Court on 18/9/2014 against the organization for failure to settle an unpaid balance of N6,306,250.00 for building materials purportedly supplied to the organization during Immediate Past Administration. The organization had put up a legal team for the defense of the matter in court.

 

  • Indebtedness to the Organization by Members: – This has been a serious bottleneck which has strapped the organization of the much needed funds which could have been ploughed into useful ventures. Most members allow their debts to accumulate waiting for others to defray same during elections. This negative attitude is hereby condemned in all its ramifications, as it is not in the best interest of the organization. Members are encouraged to contact the finance department to know their financial status and clear any outstanding debts in their own interest.

STATE OF THE NATION:

Dear compatriots, the continued insurgency in many parts of our country is a matter of concern to all peace loving citizens. The shedding of innocent blood through bomb blast carried out by suicide bombers especially in the Northern part of our country is alien to our culture and believe and is hereby condemned in its entirety. We should not allow the labours of our heroes past to be in vain, for no country has ever achieved greatness nor meaningful progress through shedding of innocent blood of her citizens. We therefore call for a truce between the Boko Haram sect and the Federal Government.

Here, we are faced with the challenges of sustaining the socio-political relevance of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria. We need your prayers, cooperation, contributions, encouragement and support in all ways.

We are also reminding the authorities in the State of their primary duty as Government to protect live and properties especially during the upcoming electioneering campaigns   and the elections itself, as we all should be guided against a repeat of the blood bath and wanton destruction that characterized the last general elections in the State.

We urge politicians and contestant to remember that elections are not “do or die” they should know that they are seeking elections to rule over the living citizens and not over their graves, hence a level playing field should be provided for all contestants as leadership should be seen as a call to service. We therefore call on the law enforcement agencies such as the state security apparatus to eschew partisanship in the discharge of their duties.

We would be doing everything possible to ensure that Mboho is integrated into the scheme of things. We pledge to make Mboho to continue to act as a watch Dog in the society to justify the purpose for which it was setup.

Dear members, let me on behalf of all of you

  1. Commend the State Government and the security agencies for their efforts in reducing the rate of kidnappings in the state, while calling on them to rise to the challenges of eliminating child theft/trafficking and other vices bedeviling our society today.
  2. The Government should address the issue of epileptic power supply in the state as the economy is near a total collapse as a result of poor public power supply.
  3. The terrible nature of Calabar – Itu high way is of great concern, therefore the government should cause the federal government to give attention as a matter of urgency.
  4. Address the security of the state to secure lives and properties of the residents during this Christmas, New Year and beyond.
  5. To put in place sustainable economic development programmes that will address the unemployment problem of our youth and reduce poverty level of indigenes.

CONCLUSION:

This administration in the last four months had endeavoured to carry every member along by operating an open door administration. Our assembling here today is to plan for the future as we have a collective responsibility to build a strong, viable and reputable organization. We must all shun divisive tendencies and remain focused in the spirit of “Oneness for Service” while looking forward to enduring legacies in the years ahead.

As members of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio we should be careful of the statement we make, where and how we make them in order not to be quoted out of context. The challenges ahead are enormous.

Accordingly, as stated in my inaugural speech our doors are still open for all our estranged members the world over who should show adequate remorsefulness if they hope to return to the organization and join in contributing their quota to the development of our dear organization.

My dear Mkparawa Iden ye Iban, relevance of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio rest on both the leadership and followership, I therefore urge you all to cooperate with the Executive Members both in Chapters and the International levels so that together, we can surmount the challenges of leadership and community service that lies ahead of us.

Our dear Grand Patron, Board of Trustees, members of Advisory Council, Founding Members, Past Presidents, members of the Executive Council, , Central Working Committee, the entire members of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, gentlemen of the press and indeed the general public I will continue to count on your unflinching support as our doors shall always remain open for your wise counsel and inputs in the pursuance of our collective goals.

Thank you and God bless while wishing you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR in advance.  

 

Akparawa (Elder) Monday Etokakpan, JP

International President