AMALUNWEZE IKEMEFUNA EJIAMIKE: MAKING THE CASE FOR DISENFRANCHISED AGBALANZE DIASPORA MEMBERS.
Agbalanze Ogbuevi Ogbuevi Nuoo!
As you already know, I am seeking your support in contesting for the position of President of our great, ancient and prestigious association and would like to highlight a point that has for long been occupying my mind.
It is a known fact that ours is a body made up of members spread across the globe but it seems to me that we have not been fair in the way and manner we’ve been carrying every member along with respect to the process leading up to selecting our leaders.
Specifically, I refer to the outdated and grossly impartial penchant for excluding diaspora members from the voting process for if we are all agreed that the world has long evolved into a global village with technology playing a pivotal role in ensuring individuals can sit in various far flung places and yet conduct meetings, it then follows that there is really nothing stopping us from relying on same technology to ensure every member has a voice in not only determining who leads our great association but also taking critical decisions that are binding on all.
I firmly believe that it is grossly unfair and unjust to make same diaspora members commit their hard earned resources towards sustaining Agbalanze Onicha but deny them a right to determine those that would pilot it’s affairs and the time has now come for us to do away with this archaic and repressive practice for the fact that a titled man is based in the diaspora does not make him any less than those domiciled in Ani Onicha.
It is my aim that when voted in, I will immediately champion a stop to it by instigating a review of our constitution to enable such disenfranchised members exercise their rights.
As we well know, technology has made it possible for people to vote on a matter from anywhere in the world and I shall be constituting a committee that would come up with a viable option that would be subject to ratification of the general house for I intend to run an all inclusive administration that would carry every member along.
As you also well know, I have made public my manifesto which is predicated on a Four-Point Agenda that is aimed at revolutionizing Agbalanze Onicha and give it a pride of place within the Socio-Economic and Political space of the Onicha kingdom and would enjoin us to take a critical look at the intended in-depth plans designed to properly position Agbalanze Onicha in the 21st century.
Permit me to once again highlight these core aspects of my agenda which are:
1. AGBALANZE ADMINISTRATION
The Administration, under my watch, shall be all inclusive. Every available and willing Agbalanze shall participate in the governance of the Society through membership of committees.
Such committees will include:
(I) Committees for Onicha Affairs
(II) Screening Committee for new memberships
(iii) Conflict Resolution Committee, for resolution of member disputes
(iv) ICT Committee, to deal with new trends in ICT and how they would benefit the Society and the Onitsha Community.
To foster cohesiveness, my administration shall re-visit and resolve issues that currently attract disaffection. They include:
a) Ndi Oga
b) Ndi Egwu
c) Ndi Okike
d) Use of Language during functions.
e) Ndi Diokpa
3. ONITSHA GOVERNANCE
Agbalanze Onitsha shall be re-positioned to be visible in the governance structure of Onicha Ado N’Idu. We should be seen serving in various committees created for the emancipation of our Kingdom, especially all the programmes being rolled out by the Onitsha Advancement Foundation (ONAF) towards positioning Ndi Onicha for post Covid-19 and 21st century Socio-Economic challenges. They include Skills Acquisition; Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Employment Creation; Education; Population; Land, Land Management and Borders; Local Government Administration; Politics and Political parties; Ime-Obi Administration; Housing; Security.
4. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
The Society shall explore the social and economic potentials available in Onitsha, and acting in concert with other relevant parties, seek to generate revenue. Such activities include:
(I) Loading Pits and Parks, Markets etc.
(II) Seeking and increasing existing distributive channels for beer and liquor.
(iii) Creation of an Agbalanze website where its activities will be annexed and moved to YouTube. As viewers visit the YouTube, some revenue would accrue to Agbalanze Onitsha.
(iv) Socializing the “Ogbo na’ba Uno”, for members attaining 80years would create additional window for Agbalanze socialization contacts and create a ceremony that would add to the development of the tourism ecosystem of Onitsha and generate funds for Agbalanze.
4. WELFARE OF MEMBERS
To cushion the effects of the economic hardship on the members, welfare schemes shall be embarked upon. They include:
(I) Medical Insurance Schemes, to enable members receive medical care through a cheap and pooled medical insurance facility.
(II) Life Assurance Scheme for members to cushion the economic effect of a member’s demise on his family. The Society currently gives a purse of N200,000 to a deceased member’s family but we shall initiate a Life Assurance Policy programme of not less than N2million payable to a departed member’s nominee.
(iii) Palliatives for Handicapped members is also been proposed. Five percent, 5%, of the profit to be generated from Agbalanze business/economic ventures shall be dedicated for this purpose.
Let me at this juncture state that my aspiration is largely driven by a love for our great institution and the need to properly position it for the 21st century for ours is an association with largely untapped potentials that we must harness if we must remain relevant in the years to come and I enjoin us to view this contest as one between brothers and not an opportunity for baseless propaganda and mudslinging that will not augur well for all concerned for at the end of the day, I like to think that all aspirants seek the good of Agbalanze Onicha.
Amalunweze Ikemefuna Ejiamike.