NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF UROMI SONS AND DAUGHTERS, USA.
2ND NATIONAL CONVENTION, NEW JERSEY, AUG. 12TH-14TH 2011
WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT, BEN OMON ETIOBHIO
Ben. Omon. Etiobhio
Uromi Sons And Daughters, USA, (NAUSDA),
I welcome you all to this convention in the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey. I thank you all for taking some time out of your busy schedule to honor our invitation to this August occasion. Also, I particularly want to extend my profound gratitude to all those who organized and made this event possible this evening, especially the members of the local chapter of NAUSDA and the convention committee.
We hold this convention today first, as a family re-union , and secondly as a forum to mobilize resources with the help and support of friends and well-wishers of Uromi people to carry out some projects that will uplift the lives of our people in Uromi, the land of our birth. Therefore, our gathering here this evening is a bold step by a people committed to giving back to a city from where they all started, a community that nurtured and prepared them for what they are today. In other words, today’s gathering is a tribute to Uromi, our hometown. Uromi Cty is the Headquarters of Esan North East Local Government Area (LGA), one of the 18 LGA’s that make up Edo State of Nigeria. With a population of approximately 120,000 (2006 Nigeria census) it is the second largest city in Edo State after Benin City. Uromi city serves as the commercial nerve center of Esanland. Its Commodity Market Center – Eki Olele - is one of the largest for farm produce in Edo State. Despite all these, however, the city and its people lack some of the basic necessities and amenities of life. Healthcare Delivery System is almost non-existent, commercial activities in the city are seriously impaired by lack of electricity supply and good roads. With no stream or river within Uromi and its immediate environs, getting potable water has become luxury which most of the inhabitants cannot afford , thereby making sanitation in the city deplorable. In the Education sector, most of the primary school buildings are in a state of disrepair, with falling roofs, no chairs for pupils, no windows and no toilets. The conditions in the Secondary Schools are no better.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is precisely the current situation in our city, Uromi, a situation that poses a great challenge to all Uromi indigenes both at home and in diaspora. This is part of the reason we are gathered here tonight; to try to mobilize resources to meet this challenge. At this point in time we do not want to bother ourselves with the ineptitude and ineffectiveness of those back home whose duty it is to address these problems. Instead, we the members of this great association have, with stoic resolve, decided to act. And bearing in our minds the time-honored saying that “Health Is Wealth” , our first port of call is in the area of Healthcare Delivery, hence the theme of this convention “ Quality Healthcare For A Better Tomorrow” is very appropriate. We are aware that the task ahead may not be easy. But we are also aware and believe that doing nothing is definitely not an option. Hospitals and Health centers in Uromi are in dire need of medical equipment, personnel and good infra-structures. We shall not allow the pressure of our individual schedule in America here to deter us from associating or coming together to act; neither shall we consider the distance from home an excuse not to lend a hand to our people. Though far away from home, we shall continue to maintain that social , cultural and economic affinity with our brethren over there.
At this juncture, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to thank and commend the efforts of some Individuals, Associations and Organizations that have in various ways made some contributions toward the Healthcare Delivery System in Uromi. I hereby appeal to other Uromi People and well-wishers of Uromi for assistance too as we still have work to do.
In conclusion, while I once again thank our friends for honoring our invitation tonight, I want to solicit for your unflinching support in meeting this our great challenge. Apart from today, we shall in the future and from time to time have cause to call on you. I hope when these times come, and we call on you for help, you will not ignore us. I hope when these times come, and we call on you to stand by us, you will not abandon us. And I hope when these times come and we call on you, as friends, to lend a hand, you will not forsake us.
Thank you and God Bless you all
God Bless Uromi. Uromi Khide.
Ben. Omon. Etiobhio President, National Association Of Uromi Sons And Daughters, USA