A brief report
Interested Nigerians converged on Sunday May 10 at The Cultural Center, Matyars tér 15 in downtown district 8 to discuss further about the Union. The meeting which is the second was slated for 15:00 hrs but did not start until 15:40 hrs (40 minutes behind schedule).
The main theme of the meeting is basically to discuss the latest about the AMENDING CONSTITUTION, which was eventually amended. Motions were raised, voted for and against.
The issue of who can contest for the executive positions (president, vice president and the General Secretary), number of years; whether they should live in Budapest only or other cities as well called for votes.
-Participants voted that embassy staff should not be among the Union executives due to conflict of interest that might arise.
-5 years was voted for the minimum residential requirement for the key executive posts
-Budapest is the residential city of choice for the key executive posts
The Constitutional Committee promised to send the final draft to participants.
Things were done in an orderly manner with occasional interruptions until the end of the meeting when a misunderstanding between the two presidential aspirants almost mar the essence of the gathering. About 30 Nigerians attended the meeting.
Let's disagree to Agree: An observation during our meeting on May 10
There is no way one can talk about the Union without giving due respect to those who have volunteered their time. So I salute the Constitutional Review Committee who despite its lapses has set the ball rolling. We cannot blame the Committee that much for it is an unpaid assignment. As they are nearing the end of their assignment, I urge them to remain focus, and just do the job without favour and without fear. Similarly, I salute our two sisters from Debrecen. It is not a kid's play to come all the way from Debrecen to Budapest. This to me shows seriousness - of purpose. They should not relent on their efforts.
Regarding the Constitutional Review Committee, some of us noticed that the committee is not in full control of the situation which is not suppose to be. I feel for them though because, we Nigerians are simply difficult to manage. Instead of encouraging them, we tend to discourage them by our unnecessary interruptions. For instance, some of us barely know how to purport ourselves in a meeting of such magnitude. It seems to me that some of us attended the meeting only to distract the purpose, or even foment trouble.
I had hoped we would all take turn to speak and avoid unnecessary interruptions, but alas I was disappointed. It is inappropriate to ridicule a motion or suggestion irrespective of how ridiculous we might view such contribution. Simply because someone disagrees with our motion does not make such motion wrong. In a meeting of this nature, we are bound to disagree. But we must endeavour to do it with respect and dignity. We need to improve in this aspect.
Misunderstanding between the two presidential candidates
It is understandable that two people contesting for the same position are most likely take on each other. It is the nature of rivalry. However no election should worth a do or die affairs. Nigerian Union Hungary's candidates should shun Chief Olusegun Obasanjo's style of election. For those who do not know Obasanjo, he was the former president of Nigeria who declared that election is a do or die affair. I vehemently disagree with this school of thought.
It happened on that Sunday May 10 as the meeting was nearing the end. It seems to me that Mr. Frank Ekiudoko was pissed off by what Mr. Fred Odorige had said about the renting of the hall. And he was not going to let it pass as he considered it an affront on his personality. He wanted to express himself without fear. He may be frank in his approach but I think he overreacted. He shouldn't have done it to the point that people would be calming him down. The way of approach to issues matters most.
So when Mr. Odorige could not take it anymore, he left - obviously in disappointment. I had expected him to stay behind though - to iron things out. I really don't know if leaving is better in this case, but that was his choice and he has every right to that. However, he could have won my heart straight away, for I would have had the opportunity to know his capacity for conflict resolution. Intervention aimed at alleviating or eliminating discord through conciliation is hallmark of a leader.
Afterward I overheard some people saying something like how could Frank who is contesting to lead the Union allows himself to be easily provoked in such manner. Well, I want to believe it is the lack of trust that normally exists between contestants; otherwise it is absolutely uncalled for.
I myself was not impressed. Under no circumstance should anyone contesting to be part of the Union executive quick or rush to anger - no matter the provocation or disagreement - and especially during the meeting of this significance. Mr Ekiudoko may have his reasons for reacting in such manner, but he should know that contesting for executive post requires more understanding and calmness to resolve any misunderstanding or conflict.
If he eventually becomes the Union president, I assure him he would encounter more situations that will prompt him to anger but he must always tarry a little in such occasions. The ability to take an insult, me think, is an asset for leadership. No doubt mistakes will be made but we should try and learn from our mistakes and that is why I am willing to give a second chance. How nice will it be if Mr. Ekiudoko could just summon the courage to apologise to us.
Funding the Union
Meanwhile I learned that the two presidential candidates are the ones mainly sponsoring the Union in terms of venue and other things - the bone of contention. If I were in the first meeting, I would have opposed such arrangement, simply because he who pays the piper dictates the tune. Nigerians in this country are blessed. There are some of us who could provide a venue and other necessary things - free of charge - until the Union finally stands on its feet.
All in all
In my view, apart from lateness, the meeting started well with opening prayer but the same thing cannot be said of the way the meeting ended. Perhaps we were all tired. If every meeting is ended with quarrel, I predict fewer and fewer people will be motivated to attend subsequent meetings. Whatever let there be discipline in our next meeting so we don't breach the Union's rules of decorum.
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