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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

World Igbo Congress: A Call to Serve – By Charles Uzoma Maduka



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Charles Uzoma Maduka
Charles Uzoma Maduka

My name is Charles Uzoma Maduka. I am Igbo and have lived in Texas, United States since 1980. I am a solo legal practitioner after working as the first Nigerian American immigrant prosecutor in the State of Texas, with a combined 25 years of experience. I belong to many parochial, social and professional organizations and, have been instrumental in the formation of some of these organizations. I am gainfully and happily married with 5 children, and to the glory of God they are all doing very wonderfully well.

The anchor of my desire to rescue and restore World Igbo Congress comes from Ezekiel 22:23-30. God’s search for a leader that should build a wall and stand in the breach before Him and the land, that He should not destroy it was a very painful search and took a long time. World Igbo Congress is at a cross road. We have good and credible people among us who have the wherewithal to build the wall and prevent the ship from sinking but there has not been a will and courage to do so. From the founding of WIC in 1994, we have been experimenting with leadership and don’t seem to know which direction we are heading. We are like shepherds that have refused to feed the flock while eating the fat and clothing ourselves with the skins of the sheep. World Igbo Congress need to get back to basics by tracing what the founding fathers had in mind, modelled after the World Jewish Congress. This WIC child has been crawling for a long time and does not seem to get up and walk.  We have been afflicted in many ways both in Diaspora and in at home and the mouthpiece that was created to pressure and mount a defense for the trodden has been missing in action. With all our education and prowess, why have we not fared well? Are we cursed?

When WIC was formed in 1994, I was new to Igbo community affairs in USA and took time to study the process under Sir George Egbuniwe, Mazi Mark Kanu (late), Sir Joe Okeke and Chief Richard Nwachukwu. In 1997, I took over the leadership of the Igbo Community Association of Dallas, F/W, Texas Inc., an individually based membership organization.   I was able to mobilize membership and changed the constitution to welcome women as members and had the first women elected in the organization as Treasurer and Financial Secretary at the same time. With the support of a few individuals, I was able to persuade over 50 parochial organizations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to come and join the umbrella. In 2000, under my leadership, we were able restructure the organization from individual membership to parochial based with bereavement benefits. This master stroke expanded the financial base of ICAN D/FW and has kept fire in the belly of that fish till this day. We have successfully transited five leaderships and the state of the union is very strong and stable, making it the most successfully organized Igbo organization anywhere in the world. Our net worth is close to $1,000,000.00. During my tenure as the President of ICAN D/FW, I instituted Igbo Banquet as a way to recognize our business leaders and contributors. I had a lot of successes during my tenure that did not come through but through hard work, sacrifices and mercy of God. It was not always rosy as mistakes were made along the way and some people felt aggrieved by either what I said or did in the course of my leadership or participation in organizations. To those who I offended or felt offended, I humbly apologize and I have equally forgiven those who wronged me.

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I joined the WIC Board of Directors in 1997 and participated in that year’s convention in New York. In 1998, in a sign of humility I yielded my Board slot to an elder and a former President of ICAN D/FW Sir George Egbuniwe to represent ICAN D/FW in London that year. At the first live meeting of the Board after the 1999 Chicago convention, I recommended and moved the motion to increase annual dues from $250.00 to $1,000.00. A compromise of $500.00 was reached that is what affiliates pay today in annual dues. In the aftermath of the 2000 Convention in Dallas, and as a way to prevent affiliates from claiming loses after conventions, I made the recommendation that any affiliate who wants to host the convention in the future should deposit the sum of $10,000.00 with WIC. We later compromised and settled for $5,000.00 which is what is paid today by host affiliates of conventions. Under the direction of the WIC founding Chairman, Dr. J. O. S. Okeke, I incorporated WIC Foundation as a nonprofit organization. In 2001 in New Orleans, I unsuccessfully placed second in the Chairmanship race. During the court battle in Houston between the Onwuchekwe and Eto groups, my affiliate decided to be neutral, after all efforts made to reconcile proved abortive. That decision was based on the genuine and good faith belief that a fair reconciler would be needed after the fight.

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What we did in ICAN D/FW is what is needed in WIC today, unite and rebuild with the right structure and a clear vision pursuant to what the original intents were. WIC needs servant leader that can sacrifice the time to get the job done while providing everybody the opportunity to participate. WIC needs a Chairman that is credible and transparent with the ability to raise money. WIC needs a leader that that can defend NdiIgbo anytime and anywhere. NdiIgbo need a leader that is fearless, vibrant in battle and can lead the charge when the need arises. WIC needs a leader that understands the history of the organization and has a pedigree of effective leadership. WIC needs someone that understands what our priorities are and that we don’t need corrupt politicians from Nigeria to invade our conventions and distract us from our set agenda. WIC needs a leader that understands the urgent need for a pressure group for Ndigbo. WIC needs not just an effective Chairman but effective supporting casts that are ready to hit the ground running to fulfill the long and overdue expectations of the constituency. God wants a leaders who can build and direct a WIC ship that can set sail for NdiIgbo and not sink. If you believe that time to take WIC to the next level is now, you have a partner in me. I want to be that servant leader and partner, and I will need your support.  I want you to join the movement to elect me as your next WIC Chairman. Plan your trip to Houston, August 29-September 1, 2014. Join hands in making WIC what it should be.

Charles U. Maduka

469 335 4071


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