Isoko Association of North America (IANA) has raised more than 40,000 dollars to support the purchase of engineering equipment to help train future engineers in homeland.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the money was raised at the conclusion of a Biennial Convention of the association held at New Jersey, U.S.
The funds collected included 36,000 dollars as donations from members and 10 chapters of the association in North America as well as 4,000 dollars contributions from members in Nigeria who could not attend the convention.
In his remarks, President-General of IANA, Mr Obaro Odu, said that the fund raising was a response to an appeal from the Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Delta State University (DELSU) Oleh Campus.
He said it was a response to the appeal by the faculty to support with purchase of vital engineering equipment to help train future engineers.
“We quickly adopted it as project for our fund raising and support in our planned 2020 biennial convention but was postponed to 2022 because of COVID-19,’’ the official said.
Giving account of stewardship for four years, Odu said the association responded to the 2018 perennial floods in Isoko land that displaced thousands of families to designated shelters in Isoko.
“As displaced persons, there was dire need for food, blankets, toiletries, and other essentials of daily living in these shelters. The need was great and desperate.
“We stepped in and stepped up with a donation of 3,000.00 dollars which was used to feed displaced persons in the shelters for a considerable period,’’ he said.
In addition, he said the executive members inherited the construction of a six-classroom block at Egbedi Primary School, Ibrede, noting that the construction was stalled and almost in the state of abandonment in summer of 2019.
Odu said the association was decisive in rally support for additional financial contributions which led to the completion and official inauguration of the project in March 2020.
According to him, the project cost $48,914.
In addition, he said Action Committee of IANA became a reality during his tenure and thanked the members of the committee for their contribution to the development of the association.
He also paid tribute to Amb. Eloho Otobo, a Nigerian diplomat and a member of the Committee who died in June and prayed for God to rest his soul.
In his remarks, Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul General of Nigeria in New York also paid tribute to Otobo, describing him as a unifier and wise counsellor.
“We, at the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York have benefited from his wise counselling and that is the reason I deem it fit to honour him by attending this event,’’ he said.
The envoy commended the members of the association for bringing out Nigerian rich culture through the gathering and their dresses.
He invited the association for the Independence Anniversary Parade slated for Oct 1, noting that the 2022 edition of the annual event would be an opportunity to showcase the diversity of Nigerian culture and attract tourism.
NAN reports that the highlight of the Gala Night was swearing in of new national leaders with Mrs Queen Olomu as the President General of IANA for two years.
NAN also reports that some committed members were honoured for their contributions to the development of the association. Among them was Amb. Otobo who got a posthumous award.
Mr Godswill Oletu, Board Member and President, Isoko Association of New York/New Jersey and Connecticut received Otobo’s award on his behalf.
Prominent Isoko sons and daughters from the North America and Nigeria attended the convention.
It had the theme“ Mentoring Isoko Potential Enigeering for the 21st Century’’,
Among the attendants were the Ovie Ellu of the Great Ellu kingdom, Othuke Murphy Urugbezi and Mr Ehahoro Eta. (NAN)