THE BEGINNING OF A NEW DAWN AFTER THE LOTUS DESSERT

My dear brothers and sisters, it is a great pleasure to be here this morning; in fact it gladdens my heart to be present to observe the beginning of another Unity Conference by Edo Global Organization, this time hosted by Edo Nation Association of Italy in this beautiful holiday resort of Le Gardia in the province of Verona the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, an Etruscan settlement before the conquest by the Romans in 89 BC. We can draw Edo Empire parallels with Verona. Whereas Verona was a great city state, we had the great Edo Empire. Both Verona and Edo Empire had people of valour. Both were subdued by superior fire power at their weakest moments in history and both have risen from the ashes of conquest to attain world fame; Edo Empire for carving and brass casting and Verona for marble work. It is therefore not a coincidence but fate to be in this place at this time of a new era in Edo history.
The gathering here is truly global considering the representations from both north and southern hemispheres and both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. As unity is our purpose, we are well under way in achieving that considering this huge global representation.
In two years of its existence, Edo Global Organization (EGO) has come a long way having weathered many storms in its desire to stay the course of its founding fathers.The formation of EGO was not an end, it was not meant to be. It is a process to an end.
That end is the ultimate goal, which is complete and rapid development of Edo Land
and the improvement of the living and social standard of Edo people at home and in
Diaspora.
In achieving this goal, we must be ready, armed with the armour of truth and honesty
to challenge the status quo where presently there is little or no accountability in the
disbursement of the resources accruing to our people from all levels of government
meant for their benefit.
We must be ready to fight waste with efficiency at work, in the home, in the
community, in the state and the nation at large. We must also ensure that square pegs
are placed in squared holes in our body politics as that will benefit our people. We
should struggle relentlessly to remove the word ‘fixing and zoning’ from our political
life as these are devious terminologies that perpetuate mediocrity. Let the best Edo State
can provide prevail either from the north or the south, the east or the west.
We must assist, direct, pressure or prosecute those in office if need be to act in
consonance with good governance as established in the constitution of our nation for the
benefit of the people. Their duty is to serve and not the reverse.
We must be ready to sacrifice our time, financial resources, professional training for the
common good of our people when called upon to do so.It will be inappropriate to be complacent. Therefore we must act in unity to confront
the worst fears of confronting those who are obstructing the wheel of progress in Edo
State and Nigeria or at worst keeping our people down for their individual benefit and
making the development of Edo Land nearly impossible by their below the surface
activities and party patronage.
Do we today accept pittance and a meal of porridge as patronage and mortgage our
future and the future of our children yet unborn?
The answer is definitely NO!
If we are to succeed with this experiment called Edo Global Organization, we must set
example by living equitably, acting equitably, speaking equitably, and conducting our
activities equitably so as to epitomize the best of Edo culture and tradition wherever we
may be. A good Edo individual translates into a good human being, a good Nigerian,
and a good African.
My brothers and sisters these are hard times and we must be realistic to our true
position and situation in the body politics of our nation.
In the creation of Edo State, we accepted what was left after everyone has had a fill,
thanks to our brothers who were in the corridors of powers and did nothing; we must
never let that happen again. Let me remind you of ‘kpe ni kpe ne Ezomo ya se Ero’.
Humility can be detrimental sometimes if not most of the times. We must be assertive
and struggle to protect that which is ours by divine rights and ask for our rightful share
simultaneously with others. We must therefore be proactive in Nigerian body politics.
We must work to rectify those forces, factors and people that impede Edo peoples’progress for their own benefits and selfish ends so that we can dine at the table as equals
and not insignificant minority as others would wish.
We are Edo and we must remember that fact always. Our forebears built the ancient
Edo Empire. We have been in total slumber; the bell is now ringing for the
BEGINNING OF ANEW DAWN AFTER THE DESSERT OF LOTUS. We must
hearken to that harmonics.
The Edo gene of hard work, selflessness, accountability, value systems, honour,
discipline, creativity and industry, chastity, charity and valour which we have allowed
to become dormant over these years must be reactivated so that we can soar to our
rightful place in the Nigerian nation. We all recall with sweet memories the slogan
Bendel No 1. The calibre of men and women that made that to happen abounds in Edo
State today. We can be number one again if we resolve these petty squabbling in Edo
State and get down to productive work for which Edos are known world wide.
Eten ni ghan, wa bo khian.
Osanoghodua ori afiangbe ni ma hia.
Oghi vbe vuen kpo ni ma na rhie igho ni ima ya re.
My dear Brothers and Sisters; let us put our thinking hats on and come out with
workable solutions and suggestions to facilitate a more rapid progress and development
of a united Edo people in Edo State so that our people do not have to run to greener
pastures abroad.
To achieve the above we must make manifest Edo Unity.
In manifesting Edo unity, let us come out with a common Edo Agenda,
In manifesting Edo unity let us standardize a common and written Edo language.In manifesting Edo unity let us preserve, protect, and advance Edo culture and tradition. In manifesting Edo unity, let all Edo in Diaspora aim for a unified sustainable development plan in Edo land instead of this present piecemeal and ad hoc approach. In manifesting Edo unity in Diaspora let us blend our Edo traditions with the demand of our host countries which in itself will be a credit to Edo and Nigerian nation. These; my brothers and sisters are the purpose of this gathering. We hope at the end of this meeting we would have a working blue print to take away, we would have put more muscle to the EGO structure, and increased our fixation on the vision of our organization.
It is therefore my honour and privilege to welcome you all on behalf Edo Global Organization to this annual conference in the historic love City of Verona. Thank you. Oba ghato Okpere Ise!
SEO OGBONMWAN NOVEMBER 2004. VERONA ITALY.

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