Tuesday, July 23, 2019 11:07 pm
It was a confluence of colours, inspirational speeches and conviviality weekend, as members of Toastmasters International from Across Nigeria and West Africa gathered in Abuja, the Nation’s Capital to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Division E of the leadership and communications club in the Northern part of the country.
Though the first Toastmasters Club in the Northern Region of the Country was Charted in 2010 with just 20 members, membership of the organisation grew to about 12 Clubs with over 200 members in 2014, forming Division E of the West and Central African District 94.
While welcoming the teeming audience that graced the event, the Division Director Mr. Winston P. Ekpotu disclosed the important roles Toastmasters can play in nation building, especially at a period that Nigerians are yearning for a kind of leadership that could positively redefine the fortunes of the nation.
Mr. Ekpotu said: “Every time we come together to identify Nigeria’s problem, we often blame the leadership. But what we fail to understand is that every single individual is a leader in his/her own right.
The core objective of Toastmasters International is to help you identify and develop your leadership skills, understand that leadership is beyond an office or a title, learn moral authority where you inspire people through service as opposed to formal authority where you simply instruct your subordinates”.
He disclosed that with a current total of 14 Clubs through her unique, flexible learning stills, Toastmasters International has empowered over 1000 individuals in the region to overcome the fear of public speaking.
Division E which currently covers clubs in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina, has also produced 3 West and Central African Champions of Public Speaking, some of whom have gone on to represent West Africa at the World Championship of Public Speaking in Vancouver Canada, and Chicago USA, respectively.
These include, Inyang Ate Inyang (2017), Omei Bongos-Ikwue (2018) and Benjamin Wayo (2019).
The event which had a lot of entertainment and dance also featured conferment of awards on Individuals whose contributions to the growth of Toastmasters in Northern Nigeria have been remarkable.
Some of the Awardees include; Dr. Mike Omotosho, Serial Entrepreneur and Politician who served as the Pioneer President of the first Club in the Region and Pioneer Governor of the West African District, Mrs. Sonye Allanah, Deputy General Manager, Government Relations for Total E&P Ltd who served as the Pioneer President for Toastmasters in Total and Past Division Director, Mr. Inam Wilson a Partner at Templars Law firm who served as Director for District 94 and Mrs. Titi Ojo a Development Practitioner working on PDFII Project (UK DFID Funded) who served as the first female Club President and Past Division Director.
Also in attendance at the event were Mrs. Rokiatou N’Diaye from Bamako Mali who currently serves as the Director for District 94 covering West and Central Africa, Mr. Patrick Oluyide the Club Growth Director for the West and Central African District.
Toastmasters International founded in 1924, with headquarters in the US, is a non-profit educational organization that operates more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries for the purpose of promoting communication and public speaking skills. As a global leader in communication and leadership development, the organisation has empowered over 5 million individuals from diverse backgrounds to become more effective communicators and leaders.