Message from the Chairman.
It is now a moot point to say that these are uncertain times. Per- haps what is certain is that we may be in this pandemic holding pattern for quite a few more months. Adjusting to the realities of the situation, while remaining thankful to God for preserving us is the ideal thing to do if we want to remain sane. Some may refer to this as the new normal. It was against this backdrop that this year’s Independence Planning committee had to go to work to develop the concept and plan for this milestone.
Our usual call-in meetings received an upgrade with video conferencing which was obviously a silver lining in a dark cloud. We were optimistic that “this too shall come to pass” and pave the way for us to have the usual funfair event in a hall. As weeks and months went by, the situation did not improve or did not look like it was going to abate, we had no choice, but to shift gears and activate “Plan B”. After 16 meetings every Tuesday evening from mid-June to the end of September and several Virtual event subcommittee meetings, we were relentless in our desire to make this year’s celebration a success. The outcome was the decision to safely mark this milestone anniversary on a global (virtual) stage.
As an organization in diaspora, our deep interest lies in seeing that the image Nigeria projects to the rest of the world is indicative of responsible leadership and a look ahead to the next generation to keep the flag flying.
The Planning team spent quality time discussing and formalizing the documentation for the recognition. The culmination of these efforts led to the approval of the document by the General Body of NCGC on August 16, 2020. It is a thing of pride that we now have criteria for considering nominees to the Hall of Fame and also a rubric which will provide objective basis and a tool for decision making. Induction into the NCGC Hall of Fame is the highest honor and recognition to be given by The Nigerian Community in Greater Cleveland (NCGC).
This year’s event reflects on the 60th Independence anniversary of Nigeria as a country from Britain. We celebrate our achievements as a nation (despite what at times may be seeming setbacks) and the individual contributions that has made these achievements possible. The theme for this year’s celebration The Next Generation is apt in the sense that 60 years in the life of a man (used in its generic form) is a point at which handing over the baton to the heir apparent becomes pertinent. Strong guidance and tutelage remain essential in order not to repeat the mistakes of the old while creating opportunities for the young heir to channel their strength to scale new heights.
As an organization in diaspora, our deep interest lies in seeing that the image Nigeria projects to the rest of the world is indicative of responsible leadership and a look ahead to the next generation to keep the flag flying. This laudable goal can only be accomplished by focusing on recruiting, engaging and guiding our youth to be leaders now and into the future.
We leveraged talents of our youth to present a virtual event using social media to take us global in outreach. The youth also put their skills to work in interviews for our Hall of Famers in our quest to gain valuable insights and words of wisdom from the inductees.
I will like to appreciate Congressional Representative Marcia L. Fudge 11th District of Ohio United States Congress, Councilwoman Yvonne M. Conwell, District 7 of Cuyahoga County Council and Mayor Frank G. Jackson of the City of Cleveland for the proclamations and recognitions of our community on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence. Your support for our organization is phenomenal.
A big thank you to all the Independence Planning committee members for your hard work and flexibility in bringing our assignment to completion. I cherish you and I pray that God will keep and reward you bountifully. Finally, I wish to express my special appreciation to Mr. Kunle Thompson for leading the Virtual event initiative, your tireless work has not gone unnoticed.
God bless Nigeria! God bless the United States! God bless NCGC!
Dennis C. Okocha, CPIM, C.P.M, CSCP Cleveland, Ohio