WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CARETAKER COMMITTEE,
BEN. OMON. ETIOBHIO AT THE LAUNCH/FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION IN DALLAS, TEXAS. August 13th
- 15th, 2010.
My fellow Uromi people, Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Caretaker committee of the National
Association Of Uromi Sons And Daughters USA, I welcome you all to this historic event at this august
period in Dallas, Texas , the traditional home of the Cowboys. The event is historic because this is the
first time in America that all Uromi sons and Daughters are gathered together at one venue in fellowship
with a view to engaging in deliberate discussions on issues which concern and affect them here and their
home town, Uromi.
Before I go further, please permit me to register my profound appreciation to all whose contributions made
this event possible today. My immense thanks go to Elder Adams Ebhomielen for initiating this journey
when he sounded the clarion call about a year ago, to all Uromians in the US that the time has come to
come together and begin a dream for ourselves and for our home town. I salute you Sir. I shall also
express my deep gratitude to my fellow members of the Caretaker Committee for their commitment, and
their strong and active faith in this cause which I very much believe prompted their cooperation with me
throughout this period. To the members of other committees and individuals who have worked tirelessly
to make this day a reality, I also say “IBHA OBULU”
Brothers and Sisters, the mission of NAUSDA is clear and unambiguous. Our objectives among others
are to create a forum for social and cultural fellowship among Uromi indigenes in America where we can
discuss and rob minds on common issues affecting us and our families, and share our challenges and
experiences here in the US to the benefit of all members. This National Association will also coordinate
and complement the efforts and activities of all local associations, organizations and individuals in the US
whose aims and objectives are geared towards the development and progress of our home town, UROMI.
Hence the theme of this first National Convention is aptly termed ‘TOGETHERNESS FOR PROGRESS’.
However, let me hasten to add that this association is purely non political as clearly spelt out in its
Constitution. It will not and does not intend to participate in political campaigns nor endorse candidates for
any political office anywhere.
Brethren, our home town , Uromi , for some time now has been plagued with a myriad of problems
ranging from almost non existent Healthcare Delivery system, to a very deplorable situation in the
Education sector, and lack of portable drinking water . Other infrastructures have also suffered neglect;
neglect that is indefensible by those in charge. With these situations confronting our home town at this
period of time, it is my belief, ladies and gentlemen, that we have a choice; either to come together and
plough the ground or let the weeds continue to grow. The presence of all of you here today convinces me
beyond all reasonable doubt that we have all decided to go with the former choice. For this I thank you all.
Therefore, as we all gather here today to re-unite with our brothers and sisters, re-establish old friendship,
meet with new friends, and fellowship together, let us also resolve to chart an attainable and sustainable
program that will light up the hope of our people at home. This is my challenge to all of us this afternoon. I
am not unaware that there are some other associations or groups that also have programs aimed at
addressing some of the problems within Uromi and Esanland in general. The aim of NAUSDA should be
not to compete or get into conflict with these groups but rather to collaborate with and also complement
their efforts with a view to making a difference collectively in the lives of our people at home.
As part of the efforts to move forward, the association will this afternoon elect the members of the first
executive committee to lead us. Brothers and Sisters, as we move forward, who leads us at this time is
less important than what leads us. Let us not lay emphasis on who leads us, but rather let us focus on
what leads us; the conviction, the energy, the devotion, and above all, the faith we all bring to what I will
call here, if you will permit me, ‘This Great Moral Enterprise’ which we are embarking on. I do not want us,
after socializing for this couple of days, to retreat to our individual comfort zones and forget about this
dream. We must not abandon this dream lest we abandon our people to hopelessness. God Forbid. We
must come together to do something. The time to act is now because there is an immense and painful
longing for the basic amenities and necessities of life by our people at home.
In conclusion, Brothers and Sisters, and as we formally launch this association today, I hereby call on the
best that is in every Uromi son and daughter here this afternoon to support and identify with this our noble
cause. Let us make our collective commitment the rallying point through which we must lend a hand. With
optimism, Brethren, let us look forward and not back, let us look up and not down, let us look out and not
in, as we all come together to lend a hand. What we need is the will, courage, faith and a little sacrifice
here and there. All these and with prayers and God’s guidance I hope we shall make it.
While I wish you all successful deliberations, I hope you will enjoy the beautiful weather of Texas.
Thank you and God bless you all.
God Bless Uromi.
Ben Omon. Etiobhio
Chairman, Caretaker Committee