All categories and cadre of members of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria gathered virtually to deliberate on the articles in the reviewed Constitution as well as
the draft the bylaw for the Association on Feb 10, 2022. The essence of this was to enable the Association have a blueprint, guiding principles and laws binding the affairs of members. This meeting was preceded by the constitution of a 26 member review committee with each state chapter of the Association ably represented. The committee attended ten meetings scheduled to review the where the constitution did not make provision. The committee was headed by Mrs Ifeyinwa Uzoka, representing Anambra state chapter, Miss Rebecca Okunola, the Communication officer who also doubled as the Secretary of the committee, she was saddled with the task of collation and editing the documents and decisions made. The exercise involved sessions of conflicting views and opinions, removal and addition of items and articles, pending of issues to allow the stance of old and experienced members, though a collective agreement was eventually made on the articles.
The amendment of the Association’s Constitution spanned over three years as the decision to amend was made at the 2018 AGM held in Akwa Ibom state, the revised edition of the constitution and by-law was finally presented at the 2021 AGM held in Abuja. It underwent three phases of review viz:
- Review by the Constitution Review Committee members.
- Review by the Executive Committee members.
- Review by members of the Association (the larger House).
The Pre-AGM was orchestrated by the submission of the reviewed constitution and by-law by the Chairperson of the committee to the then president of the Association, Prof Victor Idowu Olowe. The meeting was attended by members of the Association, the pioneer President of the Association; Prof. Gideon Adeoye was also in attendance.
The Pre-AGM, among others, discussed the following issues:
- The duties of the business committee and issues around the business policy.
- Affiliations: not limiting the Association’s affiliations to the regional bodies but to also identify with global bodies.
- Proposal for decentralization of PGS Certification and making it a separate document.
- The branding of the Association, improvements on the visibility of the Association, seamless mode of registration.
- Decision on the tenure of members of the Board of Trustee (BOT).
- Sustainability of the Association and the Secretariat.
- Clarion call on project coordinators on areas the Association can benefit from the project.
Having gone through the processes, the former President of the Association, Prof. V I. Olowe presented the constitution and by-law at the 2021 Annual General Meeting held in Abuja, explaining that though the constitution may not be as perfect as expected, it will serve as the policy documents for members. He advised that new members should have access to it.