It was an evening of honest exchanges of ideas, between Edo professionals and Edo union executives in the UK. At the end, it was agreed the Edo community in the United Kingdom was underachieving considering its vast resources.
The Edo community executives were very pleased to interact with the new blood led by Mr Omoruyi Igiehon. The executives, led by ex-president of Benin Union, Mr William Okeaya Inneh, and current Vice president, Henry Aimiuwu, gave an insight into the workings of the Edo community and what was currently available for Edos in the UK via the unions. The current advantages, he listed, included personal support, building projects in Benin, ranging from health centres to community centres and direct contribution in village activities. The major obstacles highlighted were finance, mindset, trust, and tapping into the top-end and younger generation of Edos. Ms Lucy Ogida, a member of the executives, finished off by stating the advantages the Edo community in diaspora can enjoy, depend on how united we are as a community.
Mr Igiehon and his Edo team of new bloods spoke about the economic potential of our community, how we must start achieving it, the boost that it can give us in solving our problems in the diaspora and Edo state. They explained that the Edos in diaspora community is now an “Economy”. A thriving economy that sends the largest amount of money to a single state into Nigeria and has over the last 20 years consistently contributed over 60% of the financial resources used in Edo state. We are an Economy. He stated the financial lifeline needed in the community is available if we can get value for the money we spend. People are taking from us but are not giving anything back in return. A prime example, Mr Igiehon gave, was the number of millions of dollars Edos have paid in transfer fees over the last 30 years to big corporations like Western Union and MoneyGram and have got nothing for it. He said when organised, we can keep those fees saved to develop our diaspora and home state. Also, corporate companies would be willing to bid for our patronage and give us something better for it than what we are currently getting. The bottom-line is, Edos in diaspora can get better value across the board from mortgages, immigration assistance and better governance at home by starting to see ourselves as the “Economy” which we are! Making our hard-earned Edo resource work better for us as a community is what we have to do.
The executives were happy, confessing that one of their biggest challenges so far was harnessing young and bright minds that can take the community forward. It was acknowledged by all that the projected progress is dependent on our unity as one people and community interaction. There is no need to colla
pse the current structures of associations and unions but rather a need to ensure we are reaching every Edo person possible in the UK diaspora. That should be our target, collectively.
The Edo National President, Esan and the Afemai Association presidents have been invited to the next zoom meeting, where they will give more insight into The Edo diaspora UK community patterns and offer their thoughts on the challenges to be overcome in achieving a united Edo economic strength, starting in the UK diaspora. Mr Igiehon and his team will need as much information, understanding and corporation with Edo community elders in the UK, to come up with systems to enable our Edo unity and the economy to thrive and grow from strength to strength.
Contributors at the Zoom included Mr Uyi Okundaye, Mr Bankole Omokivie, Mr Omoruyi Igiehon, Mr Thompson Omoruyi, Mr William Okeaya Inneh, Mrs Lucy Ogida, Mr Henry Aimiuwu, Alhaji Yusuf Idehen, Mr Oseimokhai Giwa amu and Mr Alex Oni-Edigin. We thank the many attendees who came in observing capacity.
The next Edo 1 structure Zoom meeting will be held on Sunday 01 November 2020, 7p.m to 9p.m. Everyone is invited. Zoom ID will be available this weekend.