*SPEECH AND RECOMMENDATIONS BY DR CHARLES OMORODION, A STRATEGIC WAY FORWARD FOR GREAT BENIN ORIGINS DIASPORA ORGANISATION*
Lets identify serious issues to address but in doing so we must focus on what is possible or realistic within our present or expected resources rather than pursuing idealised or phantasmagoric projects or issues.
We can start by identifying the problems confronting our people and how to tackle them. This is what will differentiate GBO from other talking shops.
For example and with all due respect, ENA Worldwide has been conferencing for over 15 years now but what is their impact on ground?
We must learning from the experiences of other groups and avoid organising an annual jamboree that makes no meaningful impact.
I saw a brilliant video clip done on Benin kingdom public monuments recently by GBO. I will be glad to see GBO championing further campaigns to raise awareness of why and how we should or can respect, protect and maintain these tourism assets, monuments and attractions. We can use the conference to debate this issue including how to raise funds to restore, resuscitate and preserve these monuments for today and future generations. We can partner with Edo State MACTDA to employ restorers to look after this heritage monuments.
We can even encourage schools to incorporate these monuments in their history classes.
We can look for other similar critical issues to conference on.
We explore how to encourage international manufacturing companies to locate factories in Beninland and create jobs and wealth.
Once, again I am only lending my little knowledge and experience here because beside my involvement in teaching MSc Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) and BA Business Studies (Mobile App entrepreneurship) modules, I also lecture MSc Project Management at London South Bank University. I see my role here as helping members to appreciate their roles and responsibilities to GBO membership and EC.
In regards to GBO vision, let me first start my appreciating and congratulating all of you who have worked assiduously to get GBO this far. We are getting very close to establishing a truly worldwide organisation that can speak for, and on behalf of the people of the Benin origin, similitude to the likes of “Ohaneze Ndigbo, Arewa, Afenifere etc.
There is a big void in our national and international representation because the Beninland or Benin people lack a unified voice that speaks or represents her at national and international levels. Though, we have our Oba and Palace, but there is a degree to which these institutions can voice their true feelings in order not to be seen as playing politics. We can learn from what just happened in Kano, when the Emir of Kano was systematically minimised by the Governor.
We should use this opportunity to talk about some of the following burning issues:
1. How to stop the killings of Benin by herdsmen – security issue,
2. Responding to the Iyaw’s people attempts to annexed Beninland in Ughoton and Gelegele areas,
3. Addressing the lack of jobs for our teaming youth population,
4. Advancing solutions to the snowballing crime and kidnapping incidences in Beninland and Nigeria as whole
5. Discussing the drift from rural to urban areas in search of illusive jobs and prosperity,
6. Campaigning to stop the physical abuse and battering of women (marital abuse),
7. Campaigning to stop female genital mutilation (FGM)
8. Addressing the debasement of our culture, image and revere traditional institutions on social media,
9. Exploring ways of resuscitating our abandoned public monuments and tourist attractions
10. Educating our people on the calamity from attempting to cross into Europe from Libya
11. Engaging government to rise up to its responsibilities to providing an environment that is safe and conducive for learning by repairing all dilapidated school buildings in Beninland.
12. Making our marketplace safe from contaminations through daily sanitation and cleaning of markets
13. Contributing our views to the ongoing Nigeria restructuring debates
14. Many more.
These are my humble submission for the consideration.
By Charles Omorodion