Acceptance Speech presented during the swearing-in of the 6th Royal Ambassadors Marshal, Coun. Bitebo Eregoba (Post Plen) at Hebron Centre, Ibadan on this 11the day of September 2021 on the occasion 7th National Jamboree/Centenary celebration of the Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria
We thank God for the privileged honour to be called upon to serve as leaders of this great organization for the next enabling years. We are indeed grateful that this opportunity is coming in such a time like this when we are marking the Centenary celebration of the work of the Royal Ambassadors in Nigeria. I see this as not only timely but God’s design to start a new page in the Royal Ambassador’s work in Nigeria.
We hereby as a team accept this call to serve and as the leader of the team, I want to assure us that the organization will continue on the well laid foundation already laid by our past leaders. By the grace of God, we are here to build on the gains established to make this Organization move to the next level. I want to charge my team members to brace up for this as anyone who does not might be left behind.
NATIONAL RA HEADQUATERS
We thank God for the past leadership in whose time this edifice was built and so we will continue with it by making the place efficient to meet up with what a standard headquarters ought to be and how do we do that? By ensuring our National RA headquarters becomes fully functional. This will of course need resources and so we have to device means to shore up our revenue base. We already have a “staff” in place and this might require an addition to meet up with the demands but will be done gradually until the headquarters becomes fully functional.
Our RA materials have to be seriously overhauled to meet up with the next phase. We have to as an organization gradually begin to produce our materials ourselves to an extent rather than using contractors all through particularly who are individuals. We will start with terminating all existing material production contracts and make it open for our own Conferences to begin to produce our different materials first before any individual is considered. By this, we aim to build stronger institutions and to make our conferences see themselves as stakeholders in our material production which will also aid in reducing the proliferation of fake RA material which has been an age-long problem. I want to encourage conferences to see this as an opportunity and leverage on it as this will also be a source of revenue for any conference who keys in.
Our Centenary project also cannot be forgotten and so we shall see to the completion of this project which will also be a source of revenue to the Organization. We are currently on the first phase and will ensure it is complete and after we see its viability, we immediately delve into the second phase. We thank God for the inspiration that led to this project. Let me appreciate the team led by my predecessor, who of have ensured this project reaches this stage.
We cannot effectively shore up our financial base without ensuring our financial reports are up to date and always available to the little RA back home to see, and so we are resolved in ensuring that our financial officers will always be up and doing in the task given to them as we intend to follow the steps of our Fathers and the Convention to provide pages in our Programme booklets for financial reports. I believe for there to be trust we have to be more open and accountable with what we have been given. Our finance report will be broken down to Chapters and Associations who contribute to the National for all to see. This will ensure honour rolls and awards are given to these Chapters and Associations for their contributions.
NETWORKING AND GIVING BACK
As an organization, we will also ensure we are not always taking from our members but see to it that the organization is giving back to its members too. We will work on our networking all-round the country and beyond. We have Baptist men and women, patrons, former members and members who have been called to serve our nation in one capacity or the other. We shall ensure these connections are used one way or the other to ensure employment and other opportunities are attracted for our members. So that while we are speaking up against anti-social vices through our anti-social vices club, our boys are empowered through one means or the other to practically take them out of these vices thoroughly. By this they will also be financial members, be more committed and have a great sense of belonging to this body. While we do this, we shall also look for our members who have special talents and gifts in areas such as ICT bringing them to use these talents to bare in the organization rather than employ those gifts to worldly activities as is rampant now in our society.
Our continuous work in missions cannot be over-emphasized. Just as the organizations have been involved in mission work since its inception, we shall continue to expand our activities in this regard. At the various levels, as is done now we will continue to encourage and go further by recognizing and rewarding chapters and associations who do exceptionally well in mission work.
This will mean our mission reports will have to be sent and adequately recorded as this will guide us to know who the honours will go to at the end of every year.
ANTI-SOCIAL VICES CLUB
This club has been in existence for some years now, which has also been registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as an organization. We will ensure they expand their operations as a body beyond just operations as a unit within the RA circle but to reach out extensively to the society as a corporate entity. Thank God, the coordinator is now a national officer and so the onus lies on his office to come up with the initiative on how we can make this club a global brand. This will mean operating almost independently as an NGO whose aim and objective is campaigning against social vices and various ills in our society.
We are to have members at all levels whose passion drives them against these societal ills and so therefore share ideas on how to follow this through various means and mediums.
POST PLENI CLUB
We thank God for the set-up of this club. This club which is a gathering of all RAs who have attained the prestigious rank of Ambassador Plenipotentiary is for these to rub minds and carry out mission activities rather than leaving the organization for want of what to do having attained the highest rank. This has indeed helped and we can boldly say the club is meeting up with its original aim but we have to go further and expand the scope to all levels of the organization. We will by the grace of God set-up a new leadership for the club and task them with the duty of bringing out new innovations and initiative that will further the work of the organization through the club. We want the club to be an envy to all and desirous for members to join and contribute from their wealth of experience. The Plenipotentiary club has come to stay and so it will.
ETHICS AND ETIQUETTE
We shall also as your new leaders be looking into the ethics and etiquette of our Organization. This is one area we have been found wanting as a body and so I shall set up in the coming days a National Ethics and Etiquette committee. Whose duties are to bring us up to date with our general ethics and etiquette as an organization. By this, if you see a Royal Ambassador in Yobe state, he behaves exactly like the one seen in Bayelsa state. The committee shall ensure in our entire National programmes, these ethics and etiquette are adequately taught and practicalized. This, we believe it will trickle down to the Chapter levels over time.
As an organization over the years, we have produced and used so many literatures to look into various spiritual and physical needs. These will be collated generally and we will set up a small library in our National RA headquarters where these literatures can be accessed even in years to come. I think as a body even as we have come this far, we have to acquire these to let those who come after us know where we came from. By this, the literature committee after being set-up will not only be saddled with the responsibility of inspiring new literatures but also going back to our various archives to get the publications and literatures, we have used in time past to stock up our library. Let me also use this opportunity to appeal to anyone with such old literatures to do well to bring them up for our “Historic Centenary library” as it will be called. I appeal to every past and present leader to do well to make sure you contribute to this library.
Our National RA band will be expanded to be more robust and fit in with international standards. We thank God for Kaduna Baptist Conference who has led the way in recent times in this regard. We will expand on what they have done and make the band an enviable one with registered members all over the Nation. This will mean we getting more hardware for the band and means of mobility to events by the grace of God. The band will have a national band leader and deputy who will be appointed to lead for the administration and these band leaders will work closely with the National RA Commandant but report directly to the office of the Marshal.
AABF RA Work
Our contribution to the All-African Baptist work will be continuous. We thank God for our own, Coun. Ayo Adekunle (Post Plen), who is leading the RA work there and pledge our continuous support to the growth of the RA work all over Africa. We shall also go further to equip the office space given to the RA of Africa in our National RA headquarters to enable them effectively carry out their duties from there. Any other support by way of contributions, participation and prayers will be treated with utmost zest.
MMU AND NBC
Our work with our fathers shall continue to be cordial and supportive. The Men’s Missionary Union of Nigerian Baptist Convention is seen to us all these years and we shall continue to strive not to disappoint them. Whenever they call, we shall be up and doing and follow as they lead. Let me assure them that as leaders will try our best to give purposeful leadership to this organization. This is because we are gradually taking over the helm of affairs at all levels of the Nigerian Baptist Convention and for the Convention to move as God desires, we have to get it right from this level where our vision remains “Touching the lives of boys…impacting the eternity of men”. We remain resolute in our philosophy of moulding godly boys to become Christian men for the church of God and the society at large.
For our work with the Convention, we thank God for one of our own, the brand-new President, Rev. Dr. Israel Akanji who took over the helm of affairs of our beloved convention earlier this year. We want to give him the deepest assurances of our continuous love and support to the Convention through the MMU. We are here as your boys to ensure that the Convention is moving forward as God desires and the kingdom work expands to the nooks and crannies of this nation.
NAVUYO AND NYCN
We will also continue to see that we have cordial working relationship with our entire sister voluntary youth organizations across the Nation. As it stands now, that has been maintained and we cannot but make sure we follow suit. We thank God for the seeming unity at the national level of the National Association of Uniform Voluntarily Organizations (NAUVO) NIGERIA led by the Senior Comrade (Amb.) Abraham Kwanghfan. Who has steered the body to an enviable height for the past few years. We hope that this will continue and we will continue to give our full support and prayers for it to be maintained.
We know the National Youth Council of Nigeria has over the years been plagued with selfish interests leading to different factions being in existence. We have continued to maintain our stand as a Christian, missionary minded voluntary paramilitary organization that we stand for Christ and so will have to see to it that we offer peaceful and Christlike means of resolving any issue plaguing the NYCN, God willing. As youths of the nation who have always complained of failed leadership of our country, we cannot but do things differently as leaders of tomorrow. If we say we want a better nation called Nigeria, we must begin to show and give quality leadership through these various platforms God has given us.
Finally, let me once again appreciate the Men’s Missionary Union led by the new President, Dr. Soye Asawo, who has continued to guide us since 1954. We will continue to appreciate your role and support to us as a body. Let me also appreciate the President of the Men’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance, Dr. Dawari George who has always been my mentor and has picked me into the RA since I was a little boy. Appreciation goes to the Men’s Missionary Union Director, Rev. FAS Akinola who has also been there for me through wise counsel and has believed in me and my predecessor and direct boss, Coun. Ayo Adekunle (Post Plen) who picked me from the multitude to take over. I cannot but also appreciate all our past Marshals, patrons, council members and fellow RAs who have seen to the success of this event. You are all loved beyond words.
Let me conclude by appreciating God and all Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria for this opportunity to serve this body for the next few years with this team assembled behind me. Let me encourage all members of my team to get ready, buckle up and be fully committed as laxity and docility will not be tolerated. If you are not ready to work then you will find yourself out of this team. The RA organization is our mini-Nigeria, lets show the world how to run an organization and by extension a Nation.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Yours in Service,
Coun. Bitebo Eregoba (Post Plen.)