The President’s Message
Greetings! On behalf of my Executive Committee, I would like to welcome you to Mzough, MUTUK’s first edition and the official launch of our bi-annual magazine. When we were brainstorming with the editorial committee about the name of the magazine, we had several suggestions, but the proposal for Mzough reflected what we stand for and therefore we considered it most appropriate.
The idea of the magazine is to have an avenue for capturing our knowledge and the events over the months preceding each issue. We also wanted to create an opportunity to help members promote their businesses or activities across the broader community at a minimal cost. The Mzough Magazine will reflect a more dynamic and contemporary approach of talking in print and expanding online editions to share the significant accomplishments and impact of MUTUK to the Tiv Nation.
This edition aligns with this Year’s Tiv Day theme, which focuses on Strength in Unity: The Future of The Tiv Nation. We have selected this theme because the Tiv Nation is presently facing a trying time in Nigeria and disunity appears to have played a significant role in this situation. Thus, we believe the only way we can achieve our full potential is if we come together as one, contributing our ideas, skills, resources, and time for the common good of our Tiv Nation before we can overcome any situation. Since our election as Excos, we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we meet our goals in line with the manifesto I pledged to deliver.
Some of our achievements to date since our election to office include:
- Setting up a Constitutional Review Committee to bring matters up to date in line with recent UK legislation and in line with best practices. I am proud to say that the committee comprised members who are lawyers and some who have ample knowledge about UK charity legislations. Each has worked tirelessly and with apt precision and finalised the amendments which we shall present to the General Assembly at a Special General Meeting for further changes/or adoption.
- The Mzough Magazine is another notable achievement which, as you carry on reading, will illustrate the opportunity we have created for members to showcase their talents and to also promote their businesses.
- Through the birth of the Mzough Magazine, we have been able to start generating alternative revenues for the Society outside of the members’ dues, which historically have been the main source of MUTUK’s revenues. The amounts raised will be reflected in our prepared accounts and made available for all members to view at the end of the financial year.
- We also promised to rebrand MUTUK and give it that professional outlook. We have redesigned our stationary, a new logo and also created a state-of-the-art, responsive and user-friendly website to drive traffic. We also are proud to say that our response to queries has improved and is immediate (less than 5 hours). We can achieve this because we have made it a duty to work-as-we-go. Our location does not stop us from responding to enquiries.
- While we are working on promoting unity among members in the UK, we are equally ensuring that the Tiv Nation is safe. We added our voice to caution the Federal Government on the consequences of the RUGA settlement without dialogue with the State Government (which has now been suspended by the Federal Government).
- Because of some of the challenges we faced as an organisation and the interruptions in leadership, the society’s annual accounts for the Financial Conduct Authority was not up to date. However, I’m proud to announce that our financial accounts are now current.
- Our activities so far have given the community a greater sense of belonging and this is evidenced in the voluntary financial contributions and personal sacrifices towards the success of our projects. We have improved communication and bonding among members. The committees (constitution review and editorial) that we created have been able to achieve a network of members who now interact regularly. So far, these committees comprise members in England and Scotland.
- Through MUTUK, we have been able to sponsor one of our own, the renowned young Tiv musician, Rapizo, to travel to the UK to perform at our 2019 Tiv Day event. This is a unique opportunity for this young man to have international exposure and to add value to his music and career.
Our Next Agenda
Notwithstanding our achievements, we cannot say that this leadership responsibility is not without challenges, but we are determined to make concerted efforts to create a more professional organisation that will serve the needs of the Tiv community in the UK and in Nigeria. As a result, we have created a calendar of events for the remainder of the year to help members plan their participation well in advance, and this will be shared on our social media and email communication to members. By way of a summary, we have outlined the following upcoming projects:
Teaching the Tiv Language
We want to maintain our language, culture and traditions. As a result, we will be commencing teaching the Tiv language every two months starting from November 2019. We are currently discussing with volunteers who will teach the Tiv language, dance and culture to our kids.
Organising Educational and Research Related Seminars
These seminars will be designed to help research students to develop their research proposals and offer them an opportunity to discuss their research with other academics. We will also organise programmes that will encourage our youth to be actively involved in the work of the society. We are currently engaging with the young folks and their parents to understand the sort of programmes they would be keen to participate in.
Continuing with membership drive via outreach, publicity and promoting the benefits of joining MUTUK.
Providing scholarship opportunities to outstanding Tiv students living in rural communities.
Supporting with medical bills of Tiv sons and daughters with mitigating circumstances.
Organising more business meetings/conferences (possibly in conjunction with MUT worldwide) for investors to come and contribute to the development of the Tiv Nation.
Supporting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the respective camps with food, clothing and other resources while pressurising the state and federal governments to relocate the IDPs to a safer and more conducive environment.
Our achievements have been possible because many people have played significant roles. Some have offered help, advice, and encouragement, while others actively contributed their time and resources. I cannot mention everyone by name as space will not allow me.
However, at this juncture, I would like to appreciate my Exco who have offered their absolute support to ensure that we achieve our goals. I remain indebted to you all.
I would like to recognise the family members of my Excos for their patience. This is because service to the community can be time-consuming, thereby denying them of quality time. It is on this note that I would like to appreciate my wife, Mrs Sadiksha Iornem and daughters, Jemima Iveren and Samantha Iwuese for being my support base.
I would like to thank the past presidents, the Board of Trustees and elders for the good work that they did to keep the association going despite the challenges. We are here today because of the roles you played. Thank you.
I want to appreciate the Constitution Review Committee Members, starting with the Chairman, Mr Joseph Yashi, the Secretary of the Committee, Mr Kevin Korgba, and the distinguished members, Barr. Eva Daboh Aondo, Dr Terzungwe Abu, Mr Martin Akiga, and Dr Tony Yange. In particular, I want to specially thank the Secretary of the Committee, Mr Kevin Korgba for the sleepless nights drafting minutes of the meetings while at the same time, working as the Editor-in-Chief. Your contribution is priceless.
I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of the editorial committee, starting with the Editor-in-Chief, Mr Kevin Korgba, the Creative Director, Mr Akaa Fele and the Associate Editors who, with me, included, Joy Kwaghken, Melvin Ijih and Princess Agbo (Jnr).
I want to appreciate the women [my mothers] who fed me whenever I visited their homes and all those who have supported me on this journey offering their services, prayers and wishes.
To the members, without whom this organisation would not be in existence, I want to thank you. Your dues and other financial obligations, as well as your active roles, are the reason we can make a positive impact on our community and the Tiv Nation at large. May God bless you, abundantly.
I would like to especially thank the President General of Mzough U Tiv Worldwide, Engr Edward Ujege, for his immeasurable contributions to MUTUK. He has continued to make personal sacrifices, including his money and time to ensure the sustainability of this organisation. We cannot forget his timely intervention at a time when MUTUK experienced some difficulties. The history of Mzough U Tiv UK will not be complete without the mention of the significant role he played in rebuilding this noble organisation.
I would like to thank His Royal Majesty, Professor James Ortese Ayatse and our mother, Her Royal Majesty, Dr Felicia Ayatse for the laudable project Ayatutu Ka Se Foundation which is expected, a solution to the many problems the Tiv Nation is facing.
I would like to appreciate the Executive Governor of Benue State, H.E. Dr Samuel Ortom and his wife, the First Lady, Dr Mrs Eunice Ortom for the support we have always received and we look forward to partnering with the State Government in critical areas that will benefit the Tiv Nation.
Finally, the only way we can achieve our full potential is if we come together as one, contributing our ideas, skills, resources, time for the common good of our Tiv Nation and thus, by default, our country.
Dr Kohol S. Iornem