President’s Inaugural Address - By Dr. Mrs. Ada Uzoamaka Azodo

    President Ada Uzoamaka Azodo delivers her Inaugural Address calling for a “return to the mid pathway that shuns absolutism.”

    MAY 12, 2018 at 6:00 PM.
    Igbo Studies Association (USA)
    Dominican University River Forest, Illinois, USA.

    Fellow ISA Members! Lend me your Ears!

    I am humbled by your trust and confidence in me a second time around. Thank you. I am humbled by the task ahead of us. I am mindful of the tremendous contributions of past presidents and the inroads we have made these past two years. I believe we can only go from strength to strength.

    I give thanks to the Executive Management Team I worked with in the past two years, for their diligence, responsibility and service to the Igbo Studies Association of America. Indeed, Presidents who have taken the oath of office succeeded, not so much due to their skills or vision alone, but due to the tremendous support of the Executive Management Team and, of course, to the adherence of the general body as well to the objectives, goals and mission of the Association.

    That is how it shall be again during the next tenure of 2018-2020; the new administration will work hard with all of our members to tackle some of the most prevailing problems assailing the Igbo race. We are here today, united and with one voice profess our hope that it shall be well for Igboland.

    The Igbo Studies Association of America may be only sixteen years old, yet we have come a long way already. In 2019, we shall explore the principal theme of “Aku luo uno….”, a title whose subtitle is “O kwue onye wetalu ya.” Together they spell that when wealth garnered abroad comes home, it tells the story of who brought it home. In other words, colleagues, we shall be called upon to explore how to develop Igboland for posterity, how to protect our fatherland and motherland, how to give back from the bounty of the divine and from our wealth of knowledge, thanks to travel and leave behind a worthy legacy. Let us continue the onward march to progress and development as one big family. We recognize that the sum of all of us together is much larger and stronger than our individual beings and aspirations. We can do very much all we set our minds to do. So, I look forward to our determination to do even better this second term.

    Teachers of the youth, as we are, we must not lose sight of our roles as agents of change. We must bear in mind that we are part of a long chain, from the ancestors to the living dead and on to the living. And we have account to render to all for our stewardship. The spirit of courage, tolerance, loyalty and endurance of our ancestors imbue us with ability, kindness and willingness to serve, support and help those who need it, whenever we are called upon to rise to action.

    I believe we have the tools we need to meet the challenges of the times, which are not really new. We need to return to our values towards achieving the goals of the tasks before us, by embracing the mid pathway. That is the essence of our membership of this great Association, the Igbo Studies Association of America. Our task is to put forward ideas that will stir up minds and galvanize our people into action with a sense of responsibility.

    Again, ISA Members, today you have chosen, for the second time in sixteen years, a woman to be at the helm of affairs. By your gesture you doubly justify the United Nations commemoration this year of the 1929 Igbo Women’s War against the British colonialists for its significance in the world history of women’s activism and achievement. Thank you!

    Let us seize the moment before us, again! With a single mindedness of purpose, let us set goals that will move us forward. We have done it before, and we can do it again! May we be able to tell next year the story of the resurgence of ISA, and with that the endurance of the Igbo nation. May the young be able to say that we delivered on our promises and pledges!

    Our first task on the executive Management Team is to sign the MOU with Dominican University and return it, so that things can begin to fall into shape regarding the Isa integration with that university. We a looking forward to a home for Igbo Studies Association in the diaspora, a Center for Igbo Studies Association and an education program to expose our youth to Igbo Studies. We cannot thank Professor Nkuzi Nnam, our host extraordinaire, too much for leading us in a cleared pathway.

    I give many thanks to Dominican University and the president of the university for everything.

    In a few hours only, it shall be a time to remember mothers, grand-, step-, surrogate-mothers and all other mothers and caregivers in the symbol of mothers.

    I shall therefore conclude with the 2006 eloquent words of Kathleen J. Shields, on the value of mothers in “There are Angels God Puts on This Earth”:

    Thank you!

    God bless you!

    And God bless the Igbo Studies Association of America!

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