The theme of this year’s celebration is “The Next Generation.” This is in the realization of our achievements and contributions to our nation Nigeria and sojourned home as immigrants. As we reflect upon Nigeria coming of age of 60-years, we think it is time as a country that is on a precipice for reflection for the sake of our “Next Generation” that are in Nigeria or that are now the first and second generation of Nigerians in Diaspora. There is no doubt that they have a lot to offer to our nation, regions, tribes, and geographical affinities for its political, social, and economic growths. Without a doubt, Nigeria has presently failed as a country and immediately needs serious surgical exercise to reposition it as the ‘said’ giant of Africa and the most populous black nation in the universe. Without equivocation patriots across the regions in Nigeria have agreed that there is a need to revisit the political and economic structure of the country which could come in the form of Restructuring, Back to Regionalism/Federalism, or measure of autonomy to geographical & cultural bounded entities. Fellow Nigerians, as much these are the realities, we confront to lay the foundation for progressive Nigeria for the “The Next Generation”; violence and abandonment of the negotiation table will not yield the dividend we want. Let us employ the political agitation strategies of Legends like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Representative John Robert Lewis.
As usual, our immense appreciation goes to our sponsors, who every year like the proverbial ‘Oliver Twist’ we are always asking for more financial sponsorship. Thank you very much. Also, we cannot count our blessings without our institutionalized NCF’s annual scholarships sponsors like Amara Home Care (Mrs. Margaret Ogbuji – Owner/CEO- Two Scholarships), La Borincana Foods (Mr. Enrique Rick Muniz), Mr. Paul & Mrs. Oby Okocha, and Ononenyi (Dr.) Emmanuel Okafor, Olatokunbo O. Akinyelure (AKA – Tokunbo), and Dr. & Dr. (Mrs.) Debo Adedipe that has joined the team this year by instituting an additional scholarship, after years of sponsoring the independence anniversary ceremony costs. May God replenish your resources.
One of the cardinal intentions of the current Executive Committee is to consistently look out for our elderly ones who can no longer come to our meetings or events regularly due to their age. Even amid the Corona Virus Pandemic, it is with pride that I inform you that our Women’s Committee has continued doing this with great dedication by regular telephone calls to check in on them.
Our quest for ‘Nigeria Center’ is about the greatest burning ambition of this executive committee, but the emergence of COVID-19 has slowed down the process. I assure you that the next administration will continue the search and I believe will achieve it within the first 2-years of their tenure. We are still indebted to Engr. Bestman Elee & Mazi Chinonye Onyeukwu for their persistent efforts in regard. The ‘Nigerian Center’ when actualize will be for ALL NIGERIANS, not only for NCGC Members, and also will be our collective PRIDE.
It is with gratitude to God Almighty that I observe that up till now we have not lost any member of NCGC and our Nigerian Community in Northeast Ohio to COVID-19. Surely it is not through our powers, but that of Almighty God; with the fact that many of us are frontline workers as Doctors, Nurses, and other medical personnel in hospitals in our area. For those of us who have lost close ones to the COVID-19 or through other ailments, we pray that God continues to give you the fortitude to bear the loss. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 as an Association, we are unable to gather for a Wake-keeping or even observe home condolence visits for some of our Members who lost their parents and loved ones respectively.
At this point, on behalf of the Nigerian Community in Greater Cleveland, I congratulate the recipients of this year’s (2020) “NCGC Hall Fame Award.” They are members of our community who been considered to have over several years gone above and beyond to sustain and promote the growth and ambitions of NCGC in the persons of Engr. Bestman Elee; Chief John Anoliefo; and Late Ezinne Charity Nnewihe. Also, to recipients of the ‘2020 NCGC President’s Award’ in recognition of their support to the current administration.
I want to make an exception to shout out to all us in the Independence Committee Members who without this occasion could not hold under the able leadership of Pastor Dennis Okocha as the Chairman and Mrs. Lilian Iwelunmor as the Vice-Chairperson. And to our sponsors, I am deeply indebted for the support, commitment, and sponsorship for this year and over the years as listed in this brochure. Thank you very much. Without you our sponsors and donors we may not be able to have qualitative celebrations and events as we do. Thank you again. Finally, my heartfelt appreciation is to all members of your executive committee and stakeholders who regularly attended our executive meetings without whom we would not be witnessing the tremendous progress your organization has made since we took over nearly 4-years ago. Thank you for allowing us to serve.
Finally, I thank my wife & Chairperson of the Women’s Committee – Lolo Dorathea Ugomma Muruako – for her unflinching support through my tenure. Without her and my children’s support, I could not have made. I love you.
Fellow Nigerians, Ladies, and Gentlemen please enjoy your evening, thank you again, and happy anniversary.
Long Live NCGC! Long Live USA!! Long Live Nigeria!!!
Nze (Prince) Charlie O. Chiaka Muruako – Dikenaechemba