YEAR END MESSAGE FROM THE ODA NATIONAL PRESIDENT

Good Day Great Sons and Daughters of Okun Nation at home and in the diaspora.
Compliments of the season to us all.
As we inch closer and closer to the end of 2017 and look forward with hope to a more fruitful 2018, it is important to reflect on a few issues.
First we must all thank the Almighty God that we made it this far. We might not have achieved all our objectives for 2017, I am convinced each one of us can recall a few individuals who we shared happy New Year with in January 2017 who today are no more. Some are alive but in various hospitals. Some are alive and well but in various prisons. Are we alive, healthy and enjoy our liberty because we are better? Certainly not. It was and still is His love, grace and mercy. So we must thank God.

PROUDLY OKUN
Part of what we must thank Him for is that He brought you to this world through Okunland. If you believe that He does not make mistakes, you must know He did that for a purpose. Some have discovered and fulfilled that purpose. Some are yet to discover that purpose not to talk of fulfilling it. Some are on course in fulfilling their purpose. As we start a new year in a few days time I pray that God will reenergise those who are already on course and reveal to those who are yet to discover their purpose for being an important product of and from Okun nation.

THE ODA
Your Umbrella Association, the ODA, like each one of us, is also not a product of accident. It was inspired by and for a purpose. Over the years, our founding fathers and our other predecessors did their best to fulfil that purpose. We must give credit to them. But as we all know, as long as there is life, there will always be more to do. Therefore there is still a lot to be done.

APPRECIATION
Your new Executive team has the passion, is determined, willing, and eager to significantly advance our course towards the accomplishment of the objectives for which ODA was formed.
In this regard the Executive team will like to thank each one of you for the enthusiasm and readiness demonstrated so far in our support since we assumed office about two months ago. There has been a continuous flow of ideas and suggestions as to what ODA should do and how to go about it.

FUNDING ODA
In one of our earlier communications to you, we appealed to you all to translate these enthusiasms and support to financial contributions by sowing a seed that will give you a legitimate voice in the affairs of ODA and enable the ODA to function effectively. Once you sow that seed, you automatically acquire all the rights due to all financial members of the Association. You can take the Executive up on any steps taken that you are uncomfortable with. You can insist on being heard. You can challenge financial behaviours. You can initiate changes in any aspect of ODA. You can vote and be voted for. And you enjoy all such other rights that flow with financial membership. The flip side is that if you are not in good financial standing in the Association you are handicapped in all these. The responses to our appeal in terms of how to make payment of the annual due effective were fantastic. We are already incorporating some of the suggestions in our operating procedures to ensure transparency and accountability.
Not later than the 30th of December, by the grace of God, we will publish in every Okun based platform the names of all those that have paid their annual financial obligations in response to our appeal. Pls note that all such payments are in fulfilment of your 2018 financial obligations. Your Association cannot and will not be effective without adequate funding. We therefore urge you to be a part of the continuous improvement process that we are looking for in Okunland.
For the benefits of those who might have forgotten, find below the account details to pay all monies into :

OKUN DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
FIRST BANK PLC
AC NO-2001849398 (new AC No).

The old Ac No 2010048022 was cited in our earlier communication. Pls use the new Ac No going forward.

In addition to our annual dues, we will be reaching out to prominent Sons and Daughters of Okun who we believe can do more and will do more than just the annual dues. God will give all of us the necessary enablement.

OKUN VOICE MUST BE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR!
One of the recommendations that has been consistently put forward by different people is the need for ODA to have a strong voice on current topical national issues. Many of you will recall that this was one the points canvassed before and during the election of the present Executive. With all sense of modesty, I can confirm to you all that the present Executive has the capability to draw from the best of what Okun has to offer to articulate an Okun position on any current topical national issue. However, for our voice to be heard the way we all want it, we must go beyond the social media. Our engagement so far at the social media level limits our voice to mainly ourselves alone. For our voice to be heard beyond that level, we need the mainstream media, both print and electronics. Thank God Okun is blessed with highly placed and successful practitioners in this field. That notwithstanding, a significant investment of resources would be required for effectiveness and maximum impact. This is one more reason why your annual due is an imperative.

ODA BRANCH DEVELOPMENT
A very important part of our plan for 2018 is to see that we launch new ODA Branches in not less than five states of the federation. To this end, we are making a clarion call on Volunteers who would act as contact person(s) in each state where there is as yet no formal ODA presence. Or you can suggest anyone you know in your state of residence who has passion for community related work that we can contact.
All Volunteers or others in the Southern states of the country (SW, SE, &SS ), other than Lagos and Oyo states are to forward their contact phone numbers and addresses to the President or Vice President -South, Elder Mesirin S Omotunde 08165009880. Similarly, Volunteers from the Northern states (ie NW, NE,& NC) should forward their phone numbers and addresses to the President or Vice President -North Barr. Sam Morito 08035966619.
A minimum of 10 people will constitute a branch. ODA Executive will collaborate with any community to launch a vibrant branch of ODA anywhere. Once we have the contact details as requested above, we will swing into action.

POLITICS IN 2018
In 2018, we expect to see a lot more of political activities and political engineering, in view of the elections of 2019.
We appeal and plead with all our politicians who hope to seek elective political offices to always put the overall interests of Okun ahead of any other interests. It must be Okun first at all times.
We equally appeal to the voters to reflect on the decisions they make with their PVCs. Your decisions will define your future and the future of your children and your children's children. Therefore apply wisdom.
To our many of our youths, you must redefine your vision for yourself.
Ask yourself a simple question. Will this politician that I'm risking my future for have been what he is today if he did what I'm doing for him when he was my age? Why don't you have a vision of yourself being in his position sometime tomorrow too.
Again ask yourself, where are his own children amongst us in all this?
Whatever you decide to do, just know that you are laying a foundation of your future. God will guide us all in our decisions.

In closing, we like to connect our faith with yours in prayer that in the new year, the Almighty God will send help from above to all Sons and Daughters of Okunland wherever we may be. He will open doors of opportunities for us. He will connect us with those individuals He has anointed to favour us. We will enjoy excellent health. We will have cause to celebrate. Overall, by His grace, the new year will turn out the best year ever for everyone of us.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
ILE OKUN AGBE GHA O

Femi Mokikan
National President
Okun Development Association

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