On behalf of the new Board of Directors, I thank you for the confidence you reposed on us and granted us this privilege to lead our community for the next two years. As I noted in my manifesto, the framework for this new administration is to make ICAE an active membership Association. In my estimation, we have over one hundred Igbo families in Edmonton today. One hundred Igbo families are more than enough for us as a group to become a major player in the political, economic, and social-cultural arena of Edmonton, but we need to come out of our shells. This country belongs to us and to our children. While we support our Igbo brothers and sister in Nigeria to preserve the respect of Ndigbo and build a place where our children can trace their origin, we shall not forget that few, if any of our children will go back to live in Nigeria or Biafra if or when it becomes a reality. The future of our children is in this beautiful country called Canada and we should do our part as a group to give them a leg up.
Therefore, that time has come to rise up and exploit the numerous opportunities this beautiful country presents to us and lay a solid foundation for our children in Edmonton. Ndigbo, we cannot miss these opportunities. We are the sons and daughter of the great men and women who fought the Biafran war at all odds, to defend the “Igbo Honour”. The “Igbo Landing Story” in North America was about our relatives. We are the children of our fathers, as the saying goes in Igbo adage. We are also the children and grandchildren of those brave women who during the Biafran war discovered assorted wild leaves and tree roots that kept some of us alive during the war despite the Nigerian government’s demonic policy of “starvation as a weapon of war”. Most of us are alive today because of the bravery of our fathers and the resourcefulness of our mothers. The Igbo ingenuity is in our blood. A lion cannot give birth to a lamb. Time has come for us to write our own Igbo story in Canada for the next generation of Ndigbo. Will you be a part of the Igbo story in Edmonton?
Please, say yes. In the next few weeks, the Board will be approaching many individuals in our community to serve in various committees that will execute our Igbo projects in Edmonton. Please, don’t wait to be approached. We all have a stake in the affairs of Ndigbo in Edmonton. Ndigbo needs you today. Our children need you. Let us do this together for the sake of our children. Let us work together to create an Igbo story in Edmonton. Let us proof to the whole world in our own little way, that free and independent Igbo people will be a plus to this God’s world. We are waiting for you.
We want to use this rare opportunity also, first, to thank our numerous volunteers and sponsors. Your contributions, large and small are well appreciated and documented. You are major parts of our Igbo story in Edmonton. When the history of the Igbo in Edmonton is officially documented, your name will be there. Every donation that you made, every committee that you served in, all the times you volunteered at the Casino and Bingo, your name will be there. Second, the Board is appealing to every Igbo person in Edmonton to get involved. It is a new Igbo era in Edmonton, and you cannot be proud to be Igbo and be missing in action. If you are Igbo, stand up and be counted. The Board expects every ICAE member to participate one way or another in making Edmonton an “Igbo City”. There is enough for everyone to do.
Join us during general meetings. We are counting on you to be present and to support this renewed Igbo effort to stake our claim in Edmonton. The Board will be appointing members to head or serve in the following committees:
1. The Igbo Community Centre Coordinating Committee
2. Iriji Festival – The Yearly Igbo New Yam Cultural Festival
3. The Ndi-Diaspora Editorial Board
4. Igbo Language School Board
5. Igbo Women Cultural Dance Group
6. Igbo Men Cultural Dance Group
7. Igbo Children Cultural Dance Group
8. Igbo Credit Union Exploratory Committee
9. Igbo Cultural Choir
10. Casino and Bingo Organizing Committee
This is your opportunity do something special for Ndigbo. Together we can do something to benefit us and our children in Edmonton. We are really excited. We are looking forward to working with you to actualizing the Igbo Community Hall or village, inaugurating the Igbo Credit Union, and celebrating the Yearly Iriji Festival. On behalf of the Board, I thank you for identifying with your Igbo brothers and sisters in Edmonton. We have absolute confidence in the collective will of Ndigbo.
God bless you!
God bless ICAE!
God bless Ndigbo!
Udo Nke Chineke Diri Unu!!