It does not seem that it has been a quarter of a century since that sentinel date in 1994 when some of us at the instance and invitation of some California domiciled Nigerians doctors gathered in Anaheim , CA, to chat, brainstorm and have a conversation about the need to organize and form an association whose essential goal and mission was , as ultimately enshrined in our mission statement, “ To create a Healthier Nigeria in a Healthier World “. The ideals were lofty but I am proud to have been involved in this journey from the outset.
As we celebrate our Silver Jubilee , I’d like to take a moment to commend and salute those visionaries who were the servant catalysts for the product we have today. Men like Drs Acho Emeruwa, Olusegun Salako, Yinka Shoroye, and Austin Iluore , and of course the incomparable Mrs Meg Emeruwa who became our inaugural Executive Assistant for perhaps the first decade of our existence. In that role she served with distinction.
Overall it has been a journey of growth, development and achievement. We have had our travails and challenges, and although the winds have at times bent us , we have remained unbroken and become stronger in the process. I have found special joy and satisfaction in the growing presence and participation of a new cadre of members, of Nigerian extraction and born and raised in the U.S.A. I have recognized some of them as the “ANPA children” of the 1990s and beyond. They will bring new energy and vigor, and by every indication will challenge the conventional orthodoxy in ways we may not yet have imagined BUT will come to appreciate. Adaptation will be our clarion call for , as we learned in High School Biology class, Adaption is an essential property of living things ( and systems ).
My dream and hope is not for incessant change and turmoil, for such can only lead to undesirable entropy .I hope for change and adaptation anchored on some eternal principles. As the late Senator Ed Kennedy put it ,…..” we need to adapt to the changing times whilst holding onto unchanging principles “.
My dear friends, we have “ ten miles behind us , and ten thousand more to go “
LONG LIVE A.N.P.A. !!
Emmanuel C. Okafor, M.D., MPH ( Ononenyi ).
President & Chairman A.N.P.A. ( 2004 – 2006 )