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Getting to Know IPAI
By Ukaegbu Ukaegbu

Historical Perspective
Igbere Progressive Association International Inc. (IPAI) is an organization of Igbere citizens in
Diaspora by Igbere people and for Igbere Community. This organization was formed when Igbere
citizens’ residents abroad (outside Nigeria) held a general meeting at Houston, Texas, USA; on
September 3, 2005. Delegates at the general meeting were from different regions of United States
of America and United Kingdom including State of California, Georgia, Nebraska, New York,
Maryland, Washington DC, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina,
Texas and London (UK).

After the decision to form an international organization was made, the delegates proceeded with
discussions on the official name of the new non-profit entity. Various names were suggested
including: “National Igbere Progressive Association”, “World Igbere Progressive Association”, and
Igbere Progressive Association International, Inc. However, delegates overwhelmingly voted for the
name “Igbere Progressive Association International, Inc.” as the official name of the new entity.

More so, delegates at the meeting created a caretaker (temporary) government called “Caretaker
Committee” (CC) that was charged with the responsibilities of running the new organization until its
first executive council is elected. The CC responsibilities include but not limited to drafting the
organization’s constitution and by-laws, officially registering the association and defining the mission
and vision of IPAI. A 13-member Caretaker Committee were nominated by delegates present at the
meeting and accepted by the house.

Also, at the general meeting, delegates voted unanimously for the IPAI Conventions to be held
every two (2) years. Thereafter the Caretaker Committee was charged with the task of deciding
which IPAI Chapter (Branch) that would host and the location (the City) where the next convention
will take place. Dr. Ugwa Kalu Ogbureke and Engr. Peter Anyaogu Imaa served as the Chairman
and Secretary of the Caretaker Committee respectively.

In accordance with their assigned responsibilities, the Caretaker Committee drafted the IPAI
Constitution and organized the subsequent convention which took place at Atlanta, Georgia, USA
and was hosted by Southeast Chapter of IPAI on September 1 and 2, 2007.

Election of First Officials
During the Townhall Meeting segment of the convention, the draft constitution was extensively
debated, amended and then adopted and rectified by the delegates at the Atlanta 2007 convention.
Consequently, the first executive council was elected as follows: Michael Awa (Executive President),
Saul Onyeuku (Vice President), Ukaegbu Ukaegbu (General Secretary), Leonard Ibeka (Publicity
Secretary), Emeka Ejieke (Financial Secretary) Ezinne Ogbureke (Treasurer) and Okorie Uzor

IPAI Convention 2007
The Atlanta 2007 convention was a phenomenon in all respects. Igbere people demonstrated
resilience, showed extraordinary commitment and dedication, made unimaginable sacrifices and
exhibited great patriotism to Igbere. To those who understand the logistics involved in organizing
such an event, it was unthinkable that the convention of such magnitude and success could be
organized within two months.

This well attended Ezumezu featured Igbere citizens from across United States, Canada, United
Kingdom and Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The former Governor of Imo State, Commodore Amadi
Ikwechegh was the Special Guest of Honor. Also, the former Governor of Abia State Dr. Orji Kalu
delegated Chief Smart Ukoha to representative him at the occasion.

Highlights of the occasion during the banquet party include speeches from special guests, swearing-
in ceremony of newly elected officers, traditional dances like Ohuwa dance by Igbere women,
Ikperikpe dance by Igbere men, buffet dinner and fund raising.

Purpose of IPAI
The primary purpose of IPAI is to promote charitable, educational and scientific activities, and to
develop and operate community based services for Igbere people. This is aimed at securing for
Igbere citizens the same basic rights as all citizens of the world.

The fundamental statement of philosophy among others which IPAI uses to pursue the stated
purpose is: “To work towards better quality of life in Igbere and the community or residence by
providing such amenities like health care, portable water, electricity, roads, scholarship, sports,
etc.”; “To encourage and support development and progress of the community”.

IPAI Website:
The IPAI’s website was launched on July 9th, 2007, by the IPAI Caretaker Committee. The website
was designed, developed and managed by
Ukaegbu Ukaegbu.

Basically, the objectives of establishing IPAI website are enumerated below:
  1. To promote unity and solidarity among Igbere citizens across the world.
  2. To provide a forum for interaction of members by promoting mutual cooperation, respect and
    unity amongst members of the association.
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