OGWASHI-UKU ASOCIATION USA, INC
Governing Council Meeting
Minutes of Sunday November 29, 2009 Teleconference
The meeting was called to order at approximately 8:10pm eastern time, the following members were in attendance:
Reginald Ofuani (The National President)
Elias Uwandi (Ex-President,National
Emma Obi (The Vice president)
Mary Okafor (Houston Chapter President)
Dr. Victor Ozieh (President OASEC)
Dr. Chris Agboli (Chairman Washington DC Chapter)
Augustine Nwajei (National Treasurer)
Mary Okolo (Boston Chapter)
Mark Awanyai (President S.California)
Ferdinand Uwaechue (N. California President)
Joseph Otiono (BostonChapter)
Andy Ogbue (Ex-President -National)
Chris Nwadiwe (National Secretary)-Ex-President
Josephine Russell-Toks (National Provost)
Emmanuel Ofuokwu (Boston Chapter)
Absent from the meeting were:
Dennis Okolo (Financial Secretary) out of the country
Sally Nobei (Publicity Secretary) Work schedule conflict
Phillip Nwabuoku (President New York Chapter)
Dr. Chris Agboli led the Governing Council Members in prayer
Reading of Last Minutes: Last minutes was read by the President Reginald Ofuani.
Amendments: The following amendments were made: Dr. Victor Oziehs last name was spelt incorrectly, balance amount given at the last meeting was incorrect ($31, 336.19); the correct amount was $31,436.19, Victor corrected that at the time the balance was given that the figure was correct, but checks written and deposits made during the convention brought the balance to the above figure.
Matters Arising from the minutes: Joseph Otiono suggested that the Secretary should use a standard time when recording the meeting minutes as the time written of end of the last meeting was not consistent, Dr.Victor Ozieh supported the request and Joseph Otiono moved to adopt the minutes and amendment which was also seconded by Dr. Ozieh. In addition, Mark Awanyai asked for clarification regarding the newly ratified National constitution regarding his understanding that all members were to register with a chapter. He indicated that he placed at least three calls to Mr. Nwadiwe to return to the Southern California chapter after the National Convention, and also urged him to do so during the Convention but all to no avail. Mark stated that he was shocked to hear that Chris Nwadiwe has been elected to the Office of the Secretary by the GC members and wanted to know what chapter he registered with. Mr. Nwajei in response stated that he was not registered with a chapter when he was elected and is yet to do so. He agreed with Mr. Awanyai that the newly adopted constitution prescribed that members should register with a chapter, but did not particularly state that it should be the one nearest to the member. The President attempted to defer the discussion on this matter to general, since it was not in the agenda for this meeting. Mr. Awanyai insisted that the matter needs to be discussed now.
Mr. Uwandi appealed to Mr. Awanyai to give the new administration a chance to sort this matter out as it is not in the agenda for the day, and suggested that the President should form a committee to look into the matter. Mary Okafor interjected, stating the issue is not a complicated one as the constitution is clear as to what membership criteria is. She asked if Chris Nwadiwe has registered with a chapter, and if so what chapter. At that point, Mr. Nwadiwe announced that he logged-in to the conference right after the minutes wereread and did not want to interrupt the meeting by announcing his entry at that time. He indicated that he decided to interject at this point to speak for himself on a matter that was particularly brought against him by Mr. Mark Awanyai. He informed the GC members that he made a choice to join the Northern California Chapter and have since registered and attended one teleconference meeting with them. Mr. Uwaechue immediately confirmed Nwadiwes statement indicating his chapter was happy to have him. Mr. Awanyai however argued that it did not make sense for members to register with other chapters when they already have a local chapter that is closer to them. He reiterated that the GC members have deviated from the constitution demanding that members are to register with the closest chapter to them; and threatened thatSouthern California chapter will secede from the National body if his demand for Chris Nwadiwe to return to his chapter is not met. Following his demand Mr. Awanyai hung-up his phone and exit the conference.
The President advised members that the matter of Mark Awanyais behavior and complaint will be continued in another GC session and deferred the subject. Mr. Uwandi condemned Mr. Awanyais behavior, citing his threat as an attempt to disorganize the Association. Mr. Uwandi reacted by stating that maybe the S. California chapter should allowed to secede if they choose to; his statement was redirected with an opposing view by Mr. Ferdinand Uweachue of Northern California who resolved that Nationals position should be to employ reasonable effort towards working with the S. California chapter to resolve their issues. Members agreed to move on with the agenda and address this matter at a later date as suggested by the President.
Mr. Andy Ogbue asked for clarification of the Constitution as it relates to ex-presidents on GC membership. Members advised Mr. Ogbue that all Ex-Presidents are included in the GC, only the last two Ex-Presidents have GC voting rights.
Financial Report: The President reported that Mr. Dennis Okolo was out of the country, and unavailable to give the financial report, he stated that he will give an overview of the financial report until Mr. Okolos return and present a more detailed report. Mary Okafor objected indicating that since members did not have a copy of the financial report that the President was attempting to address, she suggested that the Financial Secretary send copies of the financial report to members for review and we will discuss it in the next GC meeting. Dr Agboli and most members supported Marys position and financial reporting and budget presentations were deferred to next GC meeting.
Ogwashi-uku Association South East Chapter:
Dr. Victor Ozieh stated that the chapter has nothing to report at this time, but wanted to know from other chapters how they meet their membership drive challenges, and able to grow. He added that he is working with the President to give our web site a new face lift and one that will be able to update by the different members with very limited hassle. Some members gave ideas for membership drive.
Mary Okafor reported that her chapter gathered names of indigenes in the Houston area, and visited old members as in an effort to bring them back to the Association, she stated that this method has worked, and that her chapter currently has at least 28 active members in the Houston chapter as a result of this exercise.She advised Dr. Victor Ozieh who actually sort for a direction on this subject, to try the same. Mr. Uwandi commented that it may not work for everyone suggesting that more efforts should be directed to keeping those who are already members to become more committed.
Washington DC Chapter:
Diokpa Dr. Chris Agboli stated that he will like members send materials from Ogwashi-uku indigenes in Diaspora for a paper that he intends to publish; he urged interested members to forward whatever materials they will like to contribute to the paper by 12/30/2009.
Action item: 1./span> The Dennis Okolo, the National Financial Secretary to provide financial statement prior to the next meeting.
Action item: 2. The President to present the 2010 budget for the organization.
Action item: 3. Dr. Ozieh- to provide details/estimate for the website overhaul.
Action item: 4. To discuss the complaint by Mark Awanyai and make a copy of the Constitution available for clarification on, if members are required to register with the chapter nearest to them and the purpose of the amendment.
Chris Nwadiwe requested two minutes and made a statement in regards to what he saw as a personal attack by Mr. Awanyai. He indicated that Mr. Nwajei and Mr. Nobei the Treasurer do not belong to a chapter but has informed the GC of his efforts to form the Midwest chapter still in the making. He noted that Mr. Mark Awanyai never called him to discuss membership issue and reminded members who went to Atlanta that when Mark decided to put him on the spot on this issue during the business session in Atlanta, he made no promises. Mr. Nwadiwe indicated that he did not leave the S. California Chapter; the members demanded that he leave following the 2005 Convention in Los Angeles and refused to attend meetings. He also stated that he believes that he has complied with the constitutional requirement in this matter.
Mr. Joseph Otiono moved to adjourn the meeting; it was seconded by Mr. Ferdinand Uwaechue, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:45 pm eastern standard time.
Josephine Russell-Toks Reginald Ofuani
National Provost (for the National Secretary) National President
Ogwashi-uku Association USA Inc. Ogwashi-uku Association USA INC.