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Yoruba community will not beDistracted;
there's no Trouble in the House of Oduduwa

AN ADVERISER'S ANNOUNCEMENT AND REJOINDER BY THE YORUBA OMO ODUDUWA, YOO


Prior to the 1999 Atlanta Egbe Yoruba National's convention, several major decisions were made by YOO association. One of them was that if no positive resolution was made with respect to the outstanding debt owed to YOO by the National Egbe Yoruba, YOO should immediately cease to be a member of the National. In deed, YOO presented candidates with full understanding that the nomination of YOO candidates was contingent upon clear resolution of the outstanding debt among other issues. And since the issue of outstanding debt was not resolved, YOO candidates did not participate in the election contrary to a published report. After the Atlanta convention, the YOO association reiterated its stand that she wishes not to be a part of and it withdrew its membership from the National Association of Egbe Yourba (North America). The other issue was the illegal and unconscionable admission of another local chapter in the same city. It is the general principle of the Egbe Yoruba National that there can be only one chapter in a city and a new chapter cannot present candidates unless it has been a registered member for, at least, one full year. It is noteworthy that National accepted the newly and only registered second chapter from the same city (the only in any city in North America) by accepting retroactively its dues for the past two years.


We hereby expresses its profound gratitude to our community, to individuals and organizations that contributed to the success of YOO 15th year anniversary. Additionally, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the organizations that recently joined YOO as organizational members. We believe that with your efforts, commitment and dedication we would together be able to build a viable community and move forward.

 The mission of Yoruba Omo Oduduwa (YOO) of Houston, Texas has always been, and will remain, bringing all Yoruba people together in Houston, in America, and in our homeland in order to focus on improving our cultural, economical, and professional growth. Moreover, the mission also includes increasing the political awareness in our community and encouraging programs that can be of benefit to our children, the Yoruba Community and our nation, Nigeria.

For far too long, laudable goals and objectives that can eventually lead to economic, cultural and ethical growth of our children, and our community, set forth by the founding fathers of YOO, have been sidelined by issues that are not connected to strategies for achieving these goals/objectives. Such goals, as well laid out as they have been, cannot achieve their intended results in our Houston Yoruba community if efforts are not consciously made to follow through. It is paramount to pursue a common goal that is bigger than the battered psyche and ego of any individual. Yoruba Omo Oduduwa is bent on making our agenda work for the benefit of our community and our children.

The objectives of YOO can be unequivocally stated as follows:
1) to ensure peace in our community;

2) to cooperate with all Yoruba people and all community-based organizations as long as such organizations and their leadership do not undermine YOO principles and purposes;

3) to encourage interaction between our children in order to achieve optimum growth and participation in Yoruba language and culture;
4) to provide a forum to

educate our children on carrier options for their future professional development and growth;
5) to seek scholarship opportunities for our children and those intending to pursue adult education;

6) to encourage and patronize Yoruba and Nigerian businesses; and

7) to continue with the Yoruba bi-monthly forum where mature Yoruba seek to set new goals for the community and where generic problems (health, personal, insurance, entrepreneurial development, professional development, real estate, legal, etc.) that are common to our community in Houston are preempted, discussed and resolved in a clear, open and non-judgmental manner. Rather than discussing these non-value-adding issues, YOO will concentrate on its programs which are community based and part of which our children enjoy and demand. YOO's programs are as follow:

 1) LANGUAGE AND CULTURE SCHOOL

 2) YOUTH SUMMER PROGRAMS including Computer education camp

 3) YORUBA AWARENESS FORUM

 4) YOUTH GET TOGETHER PARTIES & NETWORKING

 5) ODUDUWA PLANNING COUNCIL

 6) ODUDUWA INVESTMENT CORPORATION

 7) FAMILY & CHILDREN PICNIC

 8) GRANDPARENT'S INVOLVEMENT AND NETWORKING

 

The recent problem that surfaced within the Yoruba community in Houston

existed long before some of us became part of the community. We will provide

some of the background information behind the issues that have been spun to

our community. Some of the issues and statements of fact are:

· RIVALRY ISSUES: There is absolutely no rivalry between Yoruba Omo Oduduwa and any local group. The issues on the table are based upon principles and factual information on record and the issues will be clear as you read along. 


YOO MAIN ISSUES:
We must make it abundantly clear that YOO had serious disagreement with the Egbe Yoruba Executive (North America). Some of our issues have been presented in the following position papers:
a) Redressing the $5,706 Shakedown of 1997 against Yoruba Omo Oduduwa of Houston;
b) Our national officers' lack of Interest in resolving Houston chapter problems;
c) The Houston experience of 1997 and the need for a policy for hosting our conventions; and d) Unconstitutional retroactive admission of a second chapter from Houston (for Election Eligibility?) and Dangerous Constitutional Amendments.


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Some of our bone of contentions are:
IRRECONCILABLE 1997 CONVENTION FINANCES
To be specific, YOO authorized the issuance of its 1997 convention Advertisement payment/checks in the name of National Egbe Yoruba (North America) with the understanding and agreed upon sharing formulary after the convention. The representative of YOO communicated YOO association's agreed upon sharing formula to the then National President and to the then legal secretary by telephone and by fax. At the conclusion of the convention, YOO requested to be paid her share of the Advertisement revenue but was told, after the fact, that the agreement which cannot be produced was that payment was contingent upon Egbe Yoruba (North America) making profit from the borrowed money. Unfortunately for YOO, there was a meeting of National Executive Council (NEC) and local executives of member chapters held in Florida in January 1999. Olu Otubusin represented to NEC that no money was owed to Yoruba Omo Oduduwa of Houston. It must be mentioned that no member of YOO was present at the meeting. Thereafter, at the eve of the 1999 Atlanta convention, some of the issues that were raised via E-mail to all member chapters were also brought to the floor of the house. The general body, over the strong and strenuous objection of the outgoing president, decided to form a five-member committee to look into these issues and report back to the house on the convention day. The committee consulted YOO and offered to pay her $1,000.00 only. YOO took the understanding under advisement and categorically made it clear to the committee that it had no such power to accept the proposal and as such, the report of the committee is yet to be reported to the house.

 REGISTRATION OF NEW AND SEPARATE HOUSTON CHAPTER

What Otubusin failed to let NEC know at the Florida meeting was that even though YOO had twice nominated him for the National legal Secretary, he had not attended the meetings of YOO in over a year. In fact, while still the

National legal Secretary with the endorsement of YOO, he registered for the first time a separate chapter from Houston.

ELECTION OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE

Prior to the 1999 Atlanta Egbe Yoruba National's convention, several major decisions were made by YOO association. One of them was that if no positive resolution was made with respect to the outstanding debt owed to YOO by the National Egbe Yoruba, YOO should immediately cease to be a member of the National. In deed, YOO presented candidates with full understanding that the nomination of YOO candidates was contingent upon clear resolution of the outstanding debt among other issues. And since the issue of outstanding debt was not resolved, YOO candidates did not participate in the election contrary to a published report. After the Atlanta convention, the YOO association reiterated its stand that she wishes not to be a part of and it withdrew its membership from the National Association of Egbe Yourba (North America). The other issue was the illegal and unconscionable admission of another local chapter in the same city. It is the general principle of the Egbe Yoruba National that there can be only one chapter in a city and a new chapter cannot present candidates unless it has been a registered member for, at least, one full year. It is noteworthy that National accepted the newly and only registered second chapter from the same city (the only in any city in North America) by accepting retroactively its dues for the past two years.

DUAL MEMBERSHIP ISSUE IN YOO Yoruba Omo Oduduwa Association had addressed the dual membership issue and her decision was to discontinue dual membership. Membership in YOO is open to all Yoruba descendants as long as the individual, organizations and their leadership do not undermine the Principles and purposes of Yoruba Omo Oduduwa. The members of YOO that previously maintained dual membership with Concerned Yoruba Committee were not kicked out but were asked to decide their membership between two Yoruba groups that have opposing objectives.

 Contrary to the claims of some untutored spin-doctors, YOO's decision was a policy and not a disciplinary issue. Disciplinary issues are usually handled through disciplinary committee and warnings may be given before final decision is taken. However, with a policy issue, immediate action, which when not taken, at an appropriate time may jeopardize the interest and existence of any association/organization. 

Any one that is willing and capable of visiting the issues with clear, rational, logical and objective manner will understand that there is no trouble in the house of Oduduwa.

 Perhaps, it must be clear to all that parochialism tends to retard the unity of our community and, in deed, of any nation. Our common goal is to improve the community espirit de corps. To this end, all hands must be on deck for the sake of our community, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our nation. The price of building a community is eternal vigilance. We must, therefore, protect and strengthen our Houston community against internal distracters with personal hidden agenda. Yoruba community will not be distracted so, let peace reign.

Signed: Bode Odetunde, Ph.D.
(General Secretary)


Kunle Adetomiwa
(Public Relations Officer)

 

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Nigeria's key military leaders playing a game of draughts in the 1970s. This historic picture is an all too apt pictorial irony and metaphor for the complicated and intertwined layers of power and friendships in the country of over 100 million governed by a couple of friends who disagree over "power moves" and sometimes, rarely, on principles.

Regardless, draw your own conclusions and share it with
USAfricaonline and NigeriaCentral.com. This picture, acquired by a Nigerian, Laolu Akande, captures the wisdom that a picture speaks a thousand words. Here, it does more than speak; it yells a million messages.... L-R: late military dictator/ruler Gen. Sani Abacha (1993-1998); military ruler (1976-79 ruler and current president of Nigeria, retired Gen Olusegun Obasanjo; center is retired Gen. Theophilus Y. Danjuma Nigeria's former Army Chief under Obasanjo's first rulership, and now Obasanjo's Defence minister; engaging Obasanjo in the draughts showdown is the retired head of state 1985-1993, Gen. Ibrahim B. Babangida (IBB).

Lest we forget, USAfricaonline.com deems it necssary to remind Nigeriand and its watchers that IBB was (and is still) known as 'Maradonna' of Nigeria's milito-politics. Many are wondering what IBB's next moves will be. And, how will his former boss President Obasanjo with the watchful and supporting eyes of Danjuma contend with or handle any Maradonic maneuvres.The answer, my friends, is simply blowing in the wind. Yet, the remarkable twist to Nigeria, as is evident in this picture remains: The More you look, the Less you see....
by
Chido Nwangwu

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