Good Morning to you all and welcome to ODUNA 11th National Convention here in Houston Texas. I hope you all had a fun and save trip to Houston. It is my prayer that we will have a successful and fruitful convention while we enjoy the hospitality of the people of Houston. Foremost, I wish to thank the members of Houston chapters for accepting to host the convention this year and for working hard to make it successful despite all odds. Your efforts are well appreciated and will not be in vain.
I want to seize this opportunity to give account of what this National executive has done on behalf of the association in the past one year:
1. The NEC has met each month by teleconference for the entire year; each meeting was conducted with focus and was productive.
2. We successfully re-register the association as a non-profit organization, the organization had been out of status for a few years.
3. We successfully open a new bank of America account for easy access to relevant NEC members. We are in the process of closing the old Wachovia account.
4. We just awarded twenty four (24) high school Scholarships worth ten thousand Naira each for the 2011-2012 academic year.
5. I represented the association on invitation of Kabiyesi at the first Ijakadi Day event in Offa in December 2011. During this visit I conducted the following:
A. Visited the King at the palace and had constructive deliberations
B. Represented ODUNA at the Ijakadi Day events
C. Visited the ODU president and the ODU secretary in Offa and met with some
members of ODU NEC.
D. Gave a speech at the ODU National convention meeting in Offa
E. Visited Professor Oyawoye and had productive deliberations on the state of affairs in
F. Toured Offa General Hospital and had a meeting with some of the staffs.
6. ODUNA membership drive; We wrote a letter available to all chapters to send to Offa indigenes and encourage then to join ODUNA. Another letter was written to encourage non active members to become more active in the association.
7. Ijakadi day fund; we were able to raise $3,200.00 from members despite short notice. We remitted 500,000.00 Naira home in 2011. This year a letter was written to members to encourage the contribution of this yearly dues. This due is not limited to ODUNA members, all indigenes of Offa are expected to contribute some money to this fund.
8. Scholarship Fund raising drive; a new effort is being made to encourage members to take advantage of our non-for-profit status to raise money within the community we live. Members are encouraged to use a letter developed to raise this fund.
9. ODUNA new website has just been launched. It is an effort to improve our image and boost our standing with the society. Please visit the website regularly as we will work hard to make it more relevant and useful to all of us. Your participation in using it will help it evolve into a useful product.
10. Symposium during our convention; this is a new idea that will provide us the opportunity to review and highlight relevant issues in Offa and our community. We hope to improve on this initiative in years to come.
I will also like to use this opportunity to share my thoughts with you about the future of this organization. We have to improve on our memberships and members participation. For those of us who have been active since inception, I encourage you to double up on your involvement and continue to lead by example; this is not the time to cut down on your participation because our membership needs to be boosted. We need to encourage previously active members who have become less interested and less active to change course. Our Elder council will have to do more to achieve this goal. We have to explore new ideas on how to contribute to solving the deplorable education situation in Offa. We have to also find ways on helping improve health delivery in Offa. These are big issues that demand thorough examinations. All hand should be on deck. I wish to encourage you to give though to all these issue starting now as these issue needs immediate attention.
Once again thank you all for making it to this convention, thank you for all the sacrifices made to make this possible. I wish you a productive deliberations and successful fund raising night. At the end I wish you a save trip back to your respective stations. Alale Offa Yio gbewa o Ami-ase.
Adegboyega Abdulkadir MD
National President ODUNA