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/ THE PREDIDENT

Reconciliation is the way

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/ PUBLIC AFFAIRS Our

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/ Developing a Monitoring and Evaluation Approach for Assessing Regional Development in Western Nigeria erspectives of Yorùbá in the Diaspora

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A Online Monthly Publication of Egbe Omo Yoruba

/ Role of Women

September 2012

The President`s office. THE FUTURE STARTS NOW… Welcome to our Convention. I want to use this opportunity to welcome all Yoruba sons, daughters, friends and well-wishers to the 20th Yoruba National Convention. It promises to be an exciting and interesting time that we will be spending together. The theme of the convention “Developmental Integration and Reconciliation of Yoruba in Nigeria and the diaspora” is very timely with the trend of current issues in the Yoruba land at this time. It’s time to take our future in our hands proactively in the present day Nigeria. It is obvious that times are challenging, especially as regard to our future as a race and progress of our people. The various governments of the Yoruba states have set in motion programs on integration and its high time that we “take the bull the by the horn” on this subject. Governmental Agencies, Private establishments, various Yoruba

Aare Monilola Tenabe,

Aare Gbogbogbo, Egbe Omo Yoruba (National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America.) groups and all stakeholders on our Egbe in the integration Agenda, this integration agenda have been even beyond our time. My vision of brought together to dialogue the Egbe in this challenging time and discuss how we can all work is to put together programs that together to make this program a will keep the Egbe up and moving reality, and not just a paper docu- beyond my time. This continue to ment. be the guiding principle within the Egbe`s executives. The goal of my administration, is to come-up with a working document E je ka ja fun `le baba wa, nitori wa, that will be a practical guideline in `tori omo wa , nitori ojo ola. the implementation of the program from Egbe`s stand point. It is meant O odua a gbe wa o. to be a guide on the involvement of Yeye Afin Monilola Tenabe

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Editorial Comment: A Time For A New Course….. This is the time. Egbe Omo Yoruba, National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America (The Egbe) has been in existence for more than twenty years. In the course of the 20 plus years, the Egbe has achieved many remarkable milestones that have affected the lives of our people in Yoruba land positively. In the present dispensation of Yoruba land, we are forced to ask ourselves these questions, “What is our relevance? How are we relevant to our people here in the diaspora as well as to those at home (Yoruba land)? How do we continue to be relevant to the development and future of the Yoruba? What is our identity as member of the Egbe?”

In moving forward, I propose that we get a clear understanding of the situation we have found ourselves in. How did we get “here”? We then need to identify our new purpose in the context of the documented problem statement and at the same time, defining our mission. A total support of the defined process, supported by all chapters and well-meaning Yoruba is highly essential in order to be totally representative.

To a serious minded person, every member of this Egbe should be able to answer these questions clearly and equivocally, even in their sleep. In my humble opinion, I don’t think that is the case at this time. I stand to be corrected. The good thing about this is, most of us, agree that there are problems which we can clearly identify.

The present administration, under the leadership of Yeye Afin Monilola Tenabe, is making great efforts to set things straight. Her effort in defining our political relevance and our participation in the integration program of the Governments in Yoruba land will allude to this. The theme of this year`s convention drives home the point that a reconciliation effort within us will drive our efforts in supporting the integration agenda at home. Ile lati n`k`eso r`ode. (Charity begins at home). We also know that a house divided against itself can never stand.

As a people, we have the tendency of talking about problems, but solutions to those problems as well as methods to implement those solutions seems to always be lacking. Our past and present Presidents and leaders have been trying in one way or another to address these issues. Unfortunately the answers have eluded us.

This edition of our newsletter is the “Convention Edition”. The editorial comment points out the need for us to have a defined identity, Honorable Akingbolahan Afolabi (ANSPA) points out the great contribution of our females and Honorable (Dr.) Sam Ogunbo shares a synopsis of the Egbe`s position on the theme of the convention. 2

Various chapter activities worthy of news were also shared in this edition. This is our time to paddle the ship of the Egbe towards a brighter and more relevant future. Igba o lo bi o`rere o. E je ka fi`mo s`okan fun igbega ile baba wa. Ti`yin ni tooto, Dr Ayodeji Famuyide (National Secretary of Public Affairs and Chairman, Editorial Board)

Contact Us: National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America. Office of the National Secretary of Public Affairs (NSPA) P.O. Box 204, White Marsh, MD. 21162-0204. Phone: (225)620-3975 E-mail: nspa@yorubanation.org Internet: www.yorubanation.org

Editorial Board Members.

Honorable (Dr.) Ayodeji Famuyide (Chairman) Honorable Bukola Oreofe Honorable Oluseyi Ogunyinka Honorable Olawale Oladuntoye Honorable Akingbolahan Afolabi Honorable Dapo Odunlami


Announcements, Chapter Events/Activities.

Oduduwa Heritage Organization, Oakland, CA On June 23, 2012 we had the annual picnic which attracted a lot of students from Sacramento, Fresno and the San Francisco Bay Area. We also have guests from the African American community.On July 15, 2012 we participated at the 26th AIDS Walk at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Through this, we have joined forces in helping to solve challenges facing AIDS patients and supply needed funds for its research. Beside the upcoming National Convention for the Egbe Omo Yoruba, Oduduwa Heritage Organization is planning for its annual Banquete dinner in December 8, 2012. We invite you to join us at the eventful dinner where our children will stage an African Village drama, Titi Oyinbo will speak Yoruba fluently to the chagrin of the thirsty San Francisco friends.

Egbe Omo Yoruba New York, New York Chapter had its election of new officers to lead the chapter to the next level for the next two years on July 7, 2012. The new President, Honorable Ademola Oyefeso and his cabinet promised to lift the New York, New York to a new and “vibrant” level. In his acceptance speech, he thanked the outgoing executives under the leadership of Agba Akin Sola Oladapo for a job well done in keeping the chapter together despite numerous challenges. EGBE OMO YORUBA DELAWARE VALLEY. Egbe Omo Yoruba Delaware Valley hosted successful National Executive Council meeting in June 8-10, 2012. We were very grateful for the presence of all NEC members present at the occasion. We also thank God for the safe arrival of all present at their respective destinations. Although, there are many events worthy of note such as birthdays, weddings, graduation, etc. We had launching of two family-friendly books, “med-rific safety and health Stories” and “When Love Hurts and Wins” on August 25, 4.00 pm, at Mount of Redemption Recreation Hall, 5200 Paschall Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143 3


Oduduwa Day Celebration

On July 14, 2012, Egbe Omo Yoruba, St. Louis (EOO-STL) held its annual Oduduwa Day, which is a celebration and showcasing of the Yoruba cultural heritage, while honoring leaders within the St. Louis community who have displayed attributes that are paramount to the cornerstone of the Yoruba convictions. The theme for the celebration for the year 2012 was “OMOLUABI: the Yoruba ethical concept.� The event was adorned with presentation from children, recognition of the scholarship recipients and recognition of several graduates at all levels. Gracing the evening were several people of prominence within the St. Louis area and the keynote speaker, Mr. Abbey Adewale with his wife Mrs. Nicole Adewale, both President and Co-President of ABNA Engineering. EOO-STL continues to meet every third Saturday of the month, and continues to increase avenues to make positive impact within the community in St. Louis.

Egbe Omo Yoruba Ti Baltimore.

Egbe Omo Yoruba Ti Baltimore, amongst many other activities had a family picnic with friends and other Yoruba cultural groups like Egba Descendants Association and Egbe Omo Ibadan in July, 2012. It was part of the Egbe`s effort in reaching out to other Yoruba cultural groups in our community.

Egbe Omo Yoruba, Houston, Texas

Egbe Omo Yoruba, Houston, is embarking on membership drive to increase our membership. We are actively extending our open invitation to all other Yoruba Cultural groups like Egbe Omo Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Abeokuta, Ofa, etc, to come under the umbrella of Egbe Omo Yoruba for collective developmental purpose. A town hall meeting is being planned by the Egbe Omo Yoruba, Houston to improve the awareness of the Yoruba community on the developments in Yoruba land. Egbe Omo Yoruba, Houston has requested to host the 1st quarter National Executive Council meeting in February, 2013.

As part of our involvement in the Community events and activities, our Egbe Omo Yoruba, (Vancouver) British Columbia, was invited (on June 27) to the Canada Official Multiculturalism Day. We felt proud to participate; we seized the opportunity to share our cultures and traditions with other International Cultural Groups/Associations.

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The Egbe Omo Yoruba, Greater Baton Rouge sponsored an Essay Writing Contest under the auspices of the African American History Museum to commemorate the 2012 Annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration in Baton Rouge on Saturday June 16. The contest was open to all students in grades 6th - 12th in the Greater Baton Rouge area’s public, private, charter, parochial or home school. Two essays were selected from both Middle and High schools for two 1st place and two 2nd place winners. Egbe Omo Yoruba, Greater Baton Rouge awarded $150.00 each to the two 1st place winners and $100.00 each to the two 2nd place winners. Pictures show some Egbe members with 2 of the winners and some of the organizers of the event. We had our annual health fair in April, 2012. The theme was “making our hearts last our life time”. We had many health related vendors present to display their products. We also had a renowned cardiologist, Dr. Cordel Parris, who presented a talks and advice on the theme. Many other healthcare practitioners were also present which included Dr. Francis Adeboye (Internal medicine) and Dr. Ayodeji Famuyide (Physical Therapist). This event was well attended by our membership and the public and very informative. There was also a free health-screening service at the event. We had many other community oriented services which can be viewed in the collage. Presently, we are working on three main projects: 1. Setting up a credit union, with the aim of being financially viable for our projects and drive economic empowerment for our membership. 2. Building a Multi-purpose Centre in the heart of Baton Rouge with the aim of establishing a functional Egbe home and operational office, establish our presence in the community and to establish a base where we can propagate our educational programs (after school programs and teaching of our language/culture). 3. A monthly radio program where we will broadcast and sell our programs, especially educational, language and cultural agendas. It will also be a medium to connect with the community that we live.

Above is the picture taken at the award presentation at the African American Museum.

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Egbe Omo Oduduwa of Greater St. Louis (EOO-STL) set off the year 2012 with the plan to launch more programs focusing on collaboration with the community, in addition to continuing existing programs. Annual EOO-STL Scholarship Awards Program : With the goal of rewarding students who excel in their academic pursuit, while promoting the Yoruba culture/values, EOO-STL opened the longstanding Scholarship Award to graduating high school students, to apply. Following the requirements to meet the basic qualifications in the areas of Grade Point Average, good school citizenship and leadership, applicants were also required to write essays on topics showcasing their knowledge of Yoruba history and culture. Applicants were taken through an evaluation process, and EOO-STL is proud to announce that 5 students were awarded one-time scholarships towards their post-secondary education at a college/university, where they had been admitted. Participation in the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Race for the Cure. As part of our efforts to increase outreach, EOO-STL members on June 23, 2012 strapped on walking shoes, and took to the streets of Downtown St. Louis, along with over 51,000 participants, on a 3 mile walk in efforts to raise awareness and funds towards the research and cure for Breast Cancer. 7


Developing a Monitoring and Evaluation Approach for Assessing Regional Development in Western Nigeria Perspectives of Yorùbá in the Diaspora We applaud the many individuals and organizations such as Afénifére Renewal Group (ARG) and several of our political leaders, especially Western Nigeria State Governors who pooled their talents and whose dedicated efforts resulted in the development of the DAWN document —the Yorùbá’s landmark, longterm agenda. Therefore, there’s no better time for our leaders to create value for the government while empowering our people, than now. The agenda should be pursued to the extent this results in making Yorùbáland great again, so it becomes the best place to live, work and visit.

fer a framework for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the agenda. A role that our leaders envisioned Yorùbá in the Diaspora could play as a neutral arbiter in contributing to the development of Western Nigeria. Therefore, we begin this paper by first presenting our perspectives on the two biggest and immediate threats; food insecurity and youth joblessness. Then, we describe the range of likely paths of action and practical steps necessary as part of the implementation of the agenda.

The need for an action plan that embraces the overarching The chances are very great vision of the agenda cannot be indeed that DAWN can lead over emphasized. Yorùbá in to enormous economic progress the Diaspora believes the plan in Yorùbáland. And action is should be able to influence the needed to support the effective salience of the eight pillars of the implementation of the agen- agenda according to the differda. As our governors strive to ent intervention approaches that develop a common set of inte- apply. This can be done in a stepgrated development strategies wise, evolutionary approach to aimed at creating an enabling planning, measurement, reportenvironment for empowerment ing and verification of systems. and prosperity, they must focus The plan should focus on a few on and pay particular attention strategic indicators as a starting to the essential elements need- point, embedded in a broad coned to improve the chances of ceptual framework. success. They must shun from awarding positions of academ- Therefore, our recommended ic and industrial leadership on path forward and the ensuing the basis of party affiliations action plan are composed of five and loyalty rather than business main elements: • Planning and standardized skills or analytic acumen. definitions - using common conceptual frameworks. The goal of this paper is to prof8

• Coordination and integration of implementation. • Indicator/metric development standards. • Monitoring and evaluation. • Establishment of a Center of Excellence for Regional Development (CEReD). The need to establish or put an infrastructure in place that can execute at a high level all collaborations, monitoring, evaluating, researching, and reporting cannot be overemphasized. To this extent, we would like to suggest the creation of a Centre of Excellence for Regional Development (CEReD) headquartered in Èkìtì or Ògùn state. The mission of CEReD will be to lead the Western Nigeria economic development agenda by promoting innovative, collaborative research and development, and preparing the region for growth and prosperity in Nigeria and worldwide economy. The center should be designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job (enterprise development and) growth and the support of durable regional economies through PaLSA. The emergence of CEReD is critical in the face of lack of data and adequate research to drive policy and implementation of the agenda. Just some few months back, we read about Governor Arégbésolá’s lament


on the dearth of data in Nigeria and how this is impeding decision making by the government. According to the Governor, «government being in the business of policy making and the provision of basic infrastructure cannot function effectively without adequate information because; inability to get correct information could make or mar the running of the government. All what we have at the moment is manual archiving which is very limited in terms of accuracy and genuineness in implementation of policies.» One can rarely find usable data at the city, local government, state and regional level in Yorùbáland. The National Statistical website proudly displays statewide and national statistical summaries that we doubt have been subjected to any rigorous quality assurance analysis. This makes us believe there is no serious desire to link information to policy decisions in Nigeria. Yet, in order to truly implement the agenda, Western Nigeria must have its own and separate portal to capture, store, protect, process, secure, transmit, and retrieve information within the region. Without this type of infrastructure in place, problems in financial and resource planning can arise in one of three ways – underuse, overuse and misuse. As the region’s center of excellence, CEReD will compile data and statistical information to guide actions and policies of regional governments on improving the lives of our

people. CEReD will be a unique public resource for DAWN information—a critical element for participants, partners and other stakeholders.

because; inability to get correct information could make or mar the running of the government. All what we have at the moment is manual archiving which is very limited in terms of accuThe need to establish or put an racy and genuineness in impleinfrastructure in place that can mentation of policies.» execute at a high level all collaborations, monitoring, evalu- One can rarely find usable ating, researching, and report- data at the city, local governing cannot be overemphasized. ment, state and regional level in Yorùbáland. The National To this extent, we would like to Statistical website proudly dissuggest the creation of a Centre plays statewide and national of Excellence for Regional statistical summaries that we Development (CEReD) head- doubt have been subjected to quartered in Èkìtì or Ògùn state. any rigorous quality assurance The mission of CEReD will be analysis. This makes us believe to lead the Western Nigeria eco- there is no serious desire to link nomic development agenda by information to policy decisions promoting innovative, collabor- in Nigeria. Yet, in order to truly ative research and development, implement the agenda, Western and preparing the region for Nigeria must have its own growth and prosperity in Nigeria and separate portal to capture, and worldwide economy. The store, protect, process, secure, center should be designed to transmit, and retrieve informaestablish a foundation for sus- tion within the region. Without tainable job (enterprise develop- this type of infrastructure in ment and) growth and the sup- place, problems in financial and port of durable regional econo- resource planning can arise in mies through PaLSA. one of three ways – underuse, overuse and misuse. The emergence of CEReD is critical in the face of lack of As the region’s center of exceldata and adequate research to lence, CEReD will compile drive policy and implementa- data and statistical information of the agenda. Just some tion to guide actions and polifew months back, we read about cies of regional governments Governor Arégbésolá’s lament on improving the lives of our on the dearth of data in Nigeria people. CEReD will be a unique and how this is impeding deci- public resource for DAWN sion making by the government. information—a critical element According to the Governor, for participants, partners and «government being in the busi- other stakeholders. ness of policy making and the provision of basic infrastruc- Dr. Sam Ogunbo ture cannot function effectively Member, Egbe Omo Yoruba Ti without adequate information Baltimore, MD. 9


The Changing Face And Pivotal Status Of The Role Of Women In Todays Polity For years, even decades, the role of women in the society was basically maternal: to bear children and work at home. It was a globally conventional belief that women had no business in any other thing except childbearing and feeding the family.

In tandem with this ‘established’ belief, a plethora of excuses were postulated by different schools of thought for this stereotyped view. Aristotle, for example, deduced by some form of argument that women are inferior to men. His argument, which centered on women being more Medieval days in England for prone to passion and emotion, example, featured the society as reduced women to always ‘keep completely dominated by men. quiet’ because ‘to a woman The laws, made by men, rel- silence brings ornament. egated them to the background in all aspects of human life. They Plato, on his own part, was more were not allowed to marry with- careful in his theory. He opined out their parents consent; could that women lacked the physical not own property of any kind strength that men had but he unless they were widows and was quick to point out that they could not inherit land if they stand a better position for cerhad surviving male siblings. tain responsibilities in life. He Women must know and stick to posits that women can have jobs ‘their place’ in the society. but cannot have the same jobs as men because they do not possess This was the same position in the same strength and abilities China and indeed most of Asia as men. Although his views on in the days of Confucius. Except women were viewed as ambivafor women like Empress Lu of lent, he is seen to have placed the Han Dynasty, who went the man above the woman. We against the social belief, the sole can, at least give Plato some role of women was to be a ser- credit for being one of the very vant to their husbands and to few men who gave women a produce sons in order to carry place in the society. In his days, on family name and legacy. it was a taboo to view women as more than baby makers and It was not different before 1937 property of their spouses. in the Nazi society where the official role of the woman was Socrates appeared to have a basically limited to the bedroom higher opinion of women. To and kitchen. Later, they were him, division of labor in any used for industrial purpose to society must necessarily be promote armaments. made by skill, ability and aptitude, not by sex. In his per10

ception, basic qualities of the human mind and body such as strength, virtue, justice wisdom and courage among others exist in both sexes. Everything that includes the above is the very reason for our attempts to live well and strive for excellence, not gender identity. On the religious front, this presentation will only be limited to Christianity and Islam. Christianity was born and developed in the context of social structures that were basically patriarchal. It placed men in positions of authority in almost every sphere of human life. Over the millennium, there has been increasing discussions on the role of women in different churches but suffice it to say, for the purpose of this write up, that our Lord Jesus always showed high esteem and respect for women. Pope John Paul 11, while addressing Italian women in April 1979 said that ‘Christ’s way of acting, the Gospel of his words and deeds, is a consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women’. During the period of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), women had few rights. It is on record that it was part of his legacy to uplift women and institute their rights. His first wife, Khadijah was known to have played a prominent role in his religious career. The holy


Quran (Surah an-Nisa 4:1) also says that men and women are created from a single soul. One person does not come before the other, one is not superior to the other and one is not derivative of the other. Men and women are created for the benefit of each other. Despite the fact that there are still gaps in the view of the roles women play in Christian and Moslem around circle around the world today, it is obvious that there is a consistent shift to place women on a higher scale and pedestal of respect than before. The belief in the relegation of the role of women started to become moribund as time went on, in every aspect of the society as their efforts could be seen to contribute positively to the society. Although observers believe that there is still sexual discrimination against women and that sexual equality has not been achieved, women have come a long way. They continue to play important roles in the development of the society. Education has not only given women enlightenment and vision, it has alleviated them to a level outside the traditional domestic and maternal chores. Given the roles played by such amazons in history as Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir to Moremi Ajasoro, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Miriam Makeba,to mention a few, women have soared high in every field of human endeavor

– Politics, Engineering, Science, Chairman of the Association Space among others. in Baltimore and presently its Patron. And so, when the 1000 strong members of Egbe Omo Yoruba Professor Tenabe is widely North America decided in known on the national level as’ September 2011 to elect Yeye Agba Akin’, a title bestowed Afin Monilola Tenabe as the on deserving elders of the first female President of the Association. He is a think tank Association, it did not come as and has been in the forefront of a surprise. It was out of the real- several efforts to untie difficult ization of the pivotal role she knots and issues abating proghas been playing in her domes- ress of the Association. tic and working life which has made her first among equals. As expected, Yeye Afin Tenabe held the gauntlet and started Prior to her ascension to the work the next day she was presidency of the Association, almost unanimously declared Yeye Afin Tenabe had proved the President. She congratulated her mettle in various capaci- her co winner who ran against ties – First as the Treasurer of her and set up reconciliatory her chapter in Baltimore, it is on steps to rally all members and record that she not only made get all hands on deck to bring Baltimore one of the financially the Associations glory back.To vibrant chapters in the nation, her, there was no victor, no vanshe headed a convention com- quished but a common goal. mittee that raked in money for the national body that has Inter alia, she immediately never been witnessed in the formed a committee of elders; Associations history. made several chapter visits despite her demanding job in As the national treasurer, her Morgan and Home; restored organizational skill in financial relations with other ethnic management was outstanding. Associations like Zumunta, The national body was proud of NIDO and Igbo Congress her astuteness in managing the believing that the progress of treasury. This is not surprising. the Yoruba people and nation Yeye Afin Tenabe manages mil- is the progress of other ethnic lions as the Bursar of one of the groups and concomitantly the biggest and well run University development of Nigeria. She System in America, Morgan also attends youth conventions State University in Baltimore, around the country to galvanize a position she combines suc- support and involve the youth cessfully with her domes- in efforts to achieve the goals of tic duties as the spouse to the the Association. Head of Museums of the same University, Professor Gabriel This piece cannot be complete Tenabe, an egghead and former without the active role other 11


women in the Association like Mrs Eunice Adeyanju, the National Secretary for Women Affairs whose efforts at uplifting the importance of Yoruba women is salient. Kudos to other women of valor in the Association – Iya Afin (Alhaja) Sherri RazaqThiers from Delaware Valley (Philadelphia),Mrs Akingbade of Washington DC, Iya Afin Abiola Popoola and Ms Shade Popoola in Chicago, Iya Afin Olusola Adeyiga, Iya Afin Ajetunmobi, Iya Afin Ogunbo and Pastor Afolabi all from Baltimore, Iya Afin Shakirat Olanrewaju, Iya Afin Morenike Famuyide and Iya Afin Eunice Adeyanju in Baton Rouge, Iya Afin Adepegba-Lawson and Iya Afin Buki Otegbade in Greater New York, Iya Afin Ayo Idowu-Samson,Iya Afin

Folashade Ayinmodu and Iya Afin Bosede Okunade in Greater St Louis, Yeye Afin Elizabeth Kunnu in Tennessee, Iya Afin Abiola Lawal in Vancouver BC, Iya Afin Akintola-Thomas and Iya Afin Funke Odusanya in Oakland, Iya Afin Funke Owa and Iya Afin Olaide Odusanya in Tampa Bay and other women nationwide, too many to men-

tion. The list is inexhaustive. Given the degree of achievement so far from Yeye Afin Tenabe, her team and the relentless strides other women in the Association are taking with great assiduity, indeed the goals of Egbe Omo Yoruba North America and Canada to bring back the glory of the Yoruba people and nation is within grasp in the near future. Women, I salute you. Akingbolahan Afolabi, Assistant National Secretary for Public Affairs Member, Baltimore Chapter Member, Editorial Board

Egbe Omo Yoruba

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Newsletter September 2012