Members of Igbodo Development Union (IDU), North America have provided bounteously for the people of Igbodo community to silent the ravaging hunger occasioned by the lockdown directive. This was revealed to our correspondents in a chat with Dr. Charles Ego, the current resident of Igbodo Development Union (IDU), North America. He also outlined other remarkable achievements of the association so far, while pledging on behalf of the association to do more for their mother community, Igbodo.
May we know you?
My name is Dr. Charles Ego. I am an indigene of Igbodo. I have a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Howard University, a Master’s in accounting degree from Stetson University, and PhD in Advanced Accounting from North Central University in the United States of America (USA). I am also a Certified Public Accountant, and have worked for the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) for over 20 years as a Senior Auditor.
I am the current President of Igbodo Development Union (IDU) North America (National), and was voted into office in August 2017. My tenure will elapse in 2021. The association is made up of six (6) local chapters, whose members reside in USA, and each local chapter reports directly to IDU North America, the parent body on the national level. We believe that we achieve more when we gather and deliberate as one body, rather than as discrete units.
What is the aim of Igbodo Development Union (IDU)?
The major aim of Igbodo Development Union (IDU) North America is to reach out to our mother community, Igbodo, in whatever way we can to ensure that our people do not lack any good thing within our capacity. Another aim of the association is to render help to our members when the need arises.
When was Igbodo Development Union (IDU) founded?
The association was founded in the late 1980s by then Igbodo students in Diaspora (USA and Canada), and it emanated out of a few chapters that got together. It was born out of a careful thought of what to do to give back to the community where we hail from and love dearly. So, we decided to form the organization, and today, the organisation has grown. It is a fully registered nonprofit entity in the USA, governed by the laws of USA, the organisation’s constitution, and by-laws.
How is the association funded?
As a national body, the association receives funds mostly from chapter-members, other organisations, friends, and well-wishers. We do fund raising during our biennial national convention. We held our 13th national convention in 2019 in New Jersey, USA, and our 14th convention will be in 2021.
Have the people of Igbodo so far benefited from the association?
The people of Igbodo have since the inception of this association really benefited from us. Our first project was ensuring that our late Obi crowned in 1986 (the father of our current Obi) had a befitting palace. So, we built the palace. When the immediate past Obi was alive, we fully sponsored his trip to America, along with his entourage. Our children, spouses and many Igbodo sons and daughters that did not know him were privileged to meet him, and we were all jubilant. Similarly, we fully and glamorously sponsored the current Obi’s trip to the United States of America in 2017 for our 12th national convention in Charlotte, USA, along with his entourage of the Queen mother, Igbodo Development Union (IDU) President General Deacon Mathew Okwaje and his wife. At the end, we presented our Queen mother with the gift of a car.
Any other achievements?
Sure, there are other achievements. Other achievements of IDU North America include:
An illustrious member (Chief Emma Mbulu) singlehandedly sponsored the University education of our current Obi (HRM Barr. Ikechukwu Nkeobikwu Osedume 1).
Contribution to the building of the stalls at Igbodo market.
Contribution to the building of the Youth Corpers Lodge.
Contribution to the building of the Police Station
Contribution to the renovation of Igbodo Community Hospital
Donation of medical equipment to Igbodo Community Hospital
Contribution of chairs to all schools in Igbodo
An illustrious member, Dr. Victor Ubani contributed science equipment to the secondary schools; provided each student of the 5 primary schools and secondary schools with a bag filled with notebooks, pencils, eraser, and pens.
Many illustrious members provided scholarships to students.
As you can sense, we Igbodians in Igbodo Development Union (IDU) North America (National) truly love our people in Igbodo. In all, we were able to accomplish most of these endeavors in collaboration with the Central Executive Committee of Igbodo Development Union in Nigeria currently headed by the elected President General, Deacon Matthew Okwaje.
How has IDU contributed to ameliorate the hardship of the people of IGBODO occasioned by the lockdown?
Presently, when we heard about the lockdown and the consequent suffering it has brought on our people at home, we immediately decided to do something to give them succour. So, we donated 80 bags of rice, which was distributed directly to all the six (6) quarters (villages), based on their population. They were distributed on May 8th and were supervised by the elders we call ‘ogene’in Igbodo.
What was the feedback like?
The feedback was tremendous. We were informed that the people were all blessing us and praying for us. Their show of gratitude gave us joy and we feel so happy that, we have been able to directly help our people in their time of need in our own way. It is a good feeling to be able to put smiles on the faces of the people at a time when they need help. Their show of gratitude will in no doubt spur us to do more directly to them.
What are your challenges over years?
As evidenced by the outlined achievements throughout the years, there are always obstacles to growth in any organization. Igbodo Development Union (IDU) North America has been able to weather the storms of such gathering of different minds in a community of people. The biggest obstacle of progress that we keep facing, and will continue to manage, is the sudden and fragmented attacks from ill-willed, corrupt myopic minded few. These few are always in antagonism within any “broad-effect” system. Broad-effect means reaching all citizens of Igbodo – from the least to the biggest. These few people are fixated on favoring certain elite person(s) for their underlying gains. The current executive of IDU North America will continue to ensure that the aim of the organization is respected and carried out: Reaching the people directly and alleviating their insufficiencies.
BY STEVE ASHIEN AND WILLIAM USIFO