Dear brothers and sisters of Upper Banyang, ladies and gentlemen. Saturday October 11, 2014 goes down as a very important day in the history of UBACDA Maryland. It is a day that marked the end of a significant chapter in the life of our association, and the beginning of a new one.
I wish to start by thanking God for the vision and burden he laid in the hearts of the founding fathers and mothers of this association. We undoubtedly came here for different reasons, pursuing different ambitions. However diverse and divergent our paths might be, one thing remains common among us: the quest, the thirst, the yearning for the communal life that defines us, and gives us a sense of purpose, belonging, and achievement.
This is so true both at the group and personal levels. When my wife and kids came to this country a couple of years ago, I could tell from the get go that my wife was not happy. Nothing helped. Not even my promises of gold and silver, or heaven and earth. But all that changed when we relocated here and met this wonderful upper Banyang community we are so proud to call our family.
God did not only give these founding fathers the vision. He clearly equipped them with endurance, indulgence, perseverance, patience and love; all of which are essential for the survival, and success, of this association, as well as the perpetuity of our heritage here in the United States. I have watched with admiration and awe, how selflessly and always with relish, members of this community attend to grieving brothers and sisters. Aunty Lydia, Aunty Joan, you are such an inspiration. Pa Akwo, our father and friend, you will always remain the heartbeat of this great family.
Let me take a minute to recognize my predecessors. Truly, without able leadership, the demise of an association is almost always certain. I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to them for their sacrifice.
And talking about predecessors, one person comes prominently to mind. President Patience Ebini. The legacy of a leader is judged by his or her ability to keep constituents together. The legacy of a leader is judged by his or her ability to demonstrate calmness, restraint, understanding, impartiality, and above all wisdom. The legacy of a leader is judged too, by his or her ability to lead in times of crisis. As the reign of President Ebini comes to an end, and historians are poised, to chronicle the past, critics ready to criticize, judge and pass judgment, one thing is true: she did an awesome job.
At the time when our very survival as a group was threatened, and we all watched with trepidation, and craved for leadership, she was there to provide it with remarkable astuteness. We emerged victorious, proving wrong all those who had thought the collapse of UBACDA Maryland, was only a matter of time. She was there to show leadership when we needed to do what we did for our kids back home.
True, we would not be where we are without her leadership. But most true is the fact that we would not be where we are without the oneness, commitment, solidarity and love that is unique to us. To her we remain indebted forever.
This is the picture of the UBACDA I am called upon to lead: a unified, strong and invincible UBACDA. I cannot thank you enough for the confidence you have placed in me. As I get ready to take over, I pledge to deliver no less. True, I will make mistakes, as none is infallible. But let me beg for one thing: judge me not by my mistakes, but by my intentions which, I can already guarantee, are the best and the most genuine for this family group. I am here to serve no special interests, but to serve to the best of my abilities, the paramount interest of those who did, and also those who did not elect me.
With your help, we shall bring many other Upper Bayangians to join us and enjoy the warmth this group is generating. We shall do whatever it takes to fortify the cords that bind us together as a people, so that we shall continue to hold hands in good, as well as in bad times.
When it comes to disagreements and differences in opinion, UBACDA Maryland shall continue to be the envy of many. Whereas in most cases they are exploited to portray greatness of self and status, and meeting sessions a platform for self- aggrandizement, in our Upper Banyang, they will serve as an asset to bring out the best in us, for the benefit of all. Where differences in opinions help to slam others, we shall use them with humility and respect. Respect for the elders, respect for the young. Respect for the fortunate, respect for the less fortunate. The Upper Banyang I am taking over has never had any great and any small people. As a matter of fact, we have all been great in our own right, with the beauty of it all being that individual greatness of mind, character, and resources was harnessed for the common good of the community. I intend to keep it that way.
With your support, we will continue with our outreach endeavors. We shall continue to share with our brothers and sisters back home. Deservedly, we here in Maryland are the cradle of UBACDA. We shall continue to provide that critical leadership and support to other UBACDA chapters. We will continue to maintain existing alliances and forge new ones with other cultural groups in Maryland.
Before I close, let me beg your permission to do something that is completely out of character for me to do: boast. I have the most awesome team any administration can ever dream of. I wish to thank them for hearkening to the call to work with me to serve our community.
- Vice President: Mr. Ebini Bechemanyoh, Njock
- Secretary Geneal: Mr. Ebini Bechemanyoh, Achuo
- Vice Secretary: Mr. Eyong, Jose
- Treasurer General: Mrs. Mondi, Belta
- Treasury Secretary: Orock, Samuel
- IT specialist/Public Relations officer: Mr. Emmanuel Tabi
- Conflict resolution delegate: Miss. Tabi, Lydia
- Women’s deleate: Miss. Essim, Joana
- Cultural affaires delegate: Mr. Tabe, Maurice
In closing, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters of UBACDA Maryland, we are meant to be great. Great we are, and great we shall always be.
Long live UBACDA Maryland,
Long live Upper Banyang Sub division.
Prince Enojh-Ebika Ashuagbor
ACCEPTANCE SPEECH FROM NEWLY CROWN UPBACDA PRESIDENT