Bakossi Cultural and Development Association in the USA
Bakossi Cultural and Development Association in the United States of America
By Joe Dinga Pefok
An elite of the Bakossis in Kupe Muanenguba Division, Prof. Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, (Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency), has called on the Bakossi Cultural and Development Association in the United States of America, BACDA-USA, to work with foreign organisations to market the culture, touristic and development potentials of Bakossiland.
Ngolle Ngolle was addressing the 2005 National Convention of BACDA-USA, which recently took place in New Jersey on the theme, "The Role of All Bakosse at home and in the Diaspora, for the improvement and development of our beloved tribe and homeland."
Ngolle Ngolle stated that "there is a lot that our landscape offers to others, and we need to offer ourselves in various ways as the salespeople to attract others towards us."
He saluted the commitment of BACDA-USA towards the development of the Bakossi land, as indicated in the list of projects in the pipeline, which include the construction of mortuaries in Bangem and Tombel, the award of scholarships to deserving Bakossi students, as well as assistance for better health care.
BACDA-USA also intends to establish a network of contacts to lobby for development projects for the benefit of the Bakossi people, as well as a project for self-help assistance in times of trouble. "This is a noble and creative agenda which entails not only creative energy and leadership, but also includes participation," Ngolle Ngolle emphasised.
Announcing a personal financial contribution, Ngolle Ngolle said the donation was indicative of his continuous support to the noble agenda of BACDA-USA. Calling on all Bakossi people in the US to lend their support to the BACDA-USA agenda, Ngolle Ngolle urged them to remain focused and committed to the common cause of working for the development of Bakossi land.
"It is in this light that I subscribe to the idea that it would be extremely useful for BACDA-USA to think of organising a BACDA-USA convention back home sometime in future, in collaboration with the existing network of related associations all over our nation."
Ngolle Ngolle said occasions like the convention should also be exploited by Bakossi sons and daughters "to remind each other of who we are, where we come from, and where we think that we have to go as a people with a common identity ."
Heroes of Yesteryears
The Minister said the convention also gave him the opportunity to pay tribute to Bakossi heroes of yesteryears like the Ntokos, Makoges, Njumbes, Ebongs, Sumbeles, Metuks, Ewanes, Ekabes, Nzelles, Enangs, among others.
"These heroes of yesteryears shared the common attributes of all Ekoose: the belief in hard work, honesty of method and purpose. They were a great inspiration to many, and they remain heroes and models for many in our generation.
They remain the very epitome of Bakossi greatness, and their spirit should be the guiding credo in all Bakossi people wherever they are, or whenever they meet." He stated that culturally, Bakossi people are aliens to a culture of cheating, stealing and laziness.
"We are a people predisposed to virtue, and not vice or caprice." He also talked about the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century for the Bakossi people. He insisted that there is every reason for Bakossi people to remain optimistic with the evolution of things in the country.
"Our people are today privileged to have overcome some of the prejudices and deprivations of the past in both political and public policy making terms. In spite of the need for good roads and other infrastructure in our area, it is an honest recognition given that we know about our history, to remain optimistic about a more prosperous future for the Bakossi people as times unfold."
Ngolle Ngolle noted that he felt highly honoured to be the first Minister from Bakossi land to be invited to present a keynote address at a BACDA-USA convention.
In the invitation, the then National President of BACDA-USA, Samuel Ngalame, told Ngolle Ngolle that: "your good works and contributions to Ekoose continue to give us hope and encouragement about the future of our homeland."
One of the major items that featured at the three-day convention was the election of a new National President of the association. Laurence Ekaney is new National President of BACDA-USA.