By Uchendu Onuoha
Dr.Innocent Abakwue, a Man The Cap Fits To Lead Ngwa National Association USA (NNAUSA)
“The views of men can only be known, or guessed at, by their words or actions”. (George Washington)
As the election for a new Executive for the Ngwa National Association USA (NNAUSA) came up in November 27th 2016, candidates lined up to contest for the leadership of one of the apex Nigerian diaspora organizations in the U.SA.
One of the top and favored contenders to clinch the leadership position as President of the association for the next 2 years is, Dr. Innocent Abakwue; A man whom his outstanding leadership qualities, views, words and actions speak for him.
In an interview with a foreign correspondent, Uchendu Onuoha in U.S, Abakwue disclosed his visions and agenda for the association.
The election has come and gone, and Abakwue has emerged as the man whom the cap fits to saddle the affairs of NNAUSA for the years ahead. Here is the excerpts of the interview had with him prior to the election.
Que. Please tell us briefly about your Biography and Education?
Ans. I was born in Umuadikwu (Itu- Ukpa) in Isiala Itu autonomous community in Obingwa LGA, Abia State, Nigeria. And I am married to beautiful Mrs. Adaku Charity Abakwue and our marriage is blessed with five children.
I had my University Education at Texas College, Tyler, Texas. Texas Southern University – BS, Accounting and Doctor of Chiropratic (DC) at Texas Chiropractic College.I am currently the Chief Executive Officer of Delight Healthcare, Services, Inc., and Kina Healthcare Services, Inc., both in Houston Texas.
Que. What motivated you to run for this position and what leadership positions have you occupied before now?
Ans. I am a bridge builder, and I have come to build a bridge among our people. I have been involved in Community leadership and activities before now. Based on my experience and what I did in the past, as a community leader,I believe I can do better and is motivated to do more and my past records will enable anyone to make a well informed decision.
1985 – 1987; Financial Secretary NNAUSA, Houston chapter
2002 – 2006; President of NNAUSA, Houston Chapter and hosted the NNAUSA Convention in 2006
2007 – 2010; Houston Chapter Council Representative
2002 – Present; Distinguished SDA church Elder in Houston. And Chairman of SDA church convention committee in 2015 – 2016.
I established wake keeping services for members who lost their love ones and initiated a $2,000.00 benefits to help members who lost their parents and established a death entitlement for the remains of members to be taken home at the expense of the Association for the first time in Houston.
Also established $45,000.00 scholarship fund for Ngwa sons and daughters in Nigeria who gained admission into Nigerian Universities. And created a program that awarded a onetime congratulatory scholarship to our children in Houston who finished one branch of school or the other, as a way to encourage other children to take their education seriously.
I paid flight tickets for ten members to go to the NNAUSA convention in Los Angeles.
When I took office in 2002, I inherited $1,500.00 from my predecessor and when I left the office 5 years later, I left $84,000.00 for our Association.
During my administration, I got the Ngwa youth in Houston involved in the Association. Also my administration hosted the 2005 National Convention in which we paid the entire cost of the Convention without a dime from the National Treasury.
Que. What plans and prospects do you have for NNAUSA if elected?
Ans. My mission, plan and vision is to be the standard bearer of NNAUSA and serve as a cohesive and pivotal link between chapter branches in the USA with a view of completion of projects initiated by my predecessor.
Maintaining and nurturing peace within our rank and file and integrating our youth in the welfare and progress of our organization.
Among my plans and goals are; The completion of the Ngwa Unity Complex in Aba, Abia State Nigeria and the establishment of the “Ahuike” center within the complex, resume the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church Tricycle program and encourage the Sunday Church Blind “Cane” program initiative, for the benefit of our people.
Empower youth education in collaboration and modification of Ngwa Educational Outreach Foundation (N.E.O.F) program and revitalize NNAUSA’S annual convention to incorporate educational activities. And promote a Proactive Youth and Young Adult Involvement to get our youth more involved in NNAUSA activities.
Also, I will harness and incorporate the talents and experience of ex- NNAUSA officers to improve on the Association’s leadership and annual convention process.
As President, I will support the Diaspora project that was recently initiated by the Abia state Governor. I will establish a National Directory that will provide yearly NNAUSA directory for all members of our association to facilitate easy contact with members when the need arise.
Realizing that we are living in “Information age”, I will support a hostile free Internet Communication. And encourage Professional Mentoring Program (PMP), enhance membership recruitment and build a bridge with our homeland to become united and stand together as one.
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters”. (Abraham Lincoln)
And indeed, on 27 November,2016 NNAUSA made a right choice. And today, the ball lies in Abakwue’s court to take NNAUSA to the promised land.