Communiqué

 

Ugbajo Itseiri USA Incorporated successfully organized its third Annual National Convention at the Hilton Burbank Airport & Conference Center, Burbank, CA, from September 1, 2000 to September 3, 2000. The convention, themed “Itsekiri: Which Way Forward”, focused on strategies to implement solutions to key challenges that confront Itsekiris in national affairs, education and economic development.

 

In separate speeches Dr. Christian Alele and Chief Victor Daibo lamented the near-complete disregard for Itsekiris in national affairs and Dr. Oritsegbemi Omatete pinpointed the decline in educational achievement and associated lack of opportunities for Itsekiri youths. Dr. Anthony Okorodudu presented an analysis of the composition of crude oil to highlight its numerous harmful compounds. Other speakers and presenters included Dr. Felix Abeson, Mrs. Gladus Ogor-Edem and Messrs. Gabriel Akuya, Martin Eda.

 

Following deliberations, the convention adopted these resolutions:

 

  • We renew our demand that illegal occupants vacate Itsekiri towns, villages, settlements, fishing camps, beaches, watersides, markets, houses, jetties and all other locations
  • We renew our demand that the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Delta State Government rebuild all Itsekiri towns, villages, camps, settlements and houses damaged, destroyed and/or burnt during the crisis in Warri and its environs and resettle Itsekiris back to their homes and communities.
  • We exhort Itsekiris in all communities to foreswear divisiveness and strive towards the common purpose of supporting and protecting Itsekiri interests. Absent this stance, the deplorable and disquieting dearth of Itsekiris in leadership positions in the country, which gravely impacts the development of Itsekiris and their homeland, will not cease.
  • Furthermore, we again propose the establishment or resuscitation and/or enhancement of a centralized structure to manage Itsekiri affairs and policies.
  • We note the transformation of the global marketplace engendered by technological development and again urge Itsekiri youths to avail themselves of educational opportunities particularly in the fields of Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Technology, Law and Medicine.
  • Beginning with the 2001/2002 academic year, we will award scholarships in the amount of fifty thousand Naira to top-performing and needy students enrolled in selected undergraduate programs in Nigerian universities, annually. Details will be advertised in the Vanguard in the near future.

 

The convention elected a new Executive Committee for the 2000-2002 term. The new committee members are:

 

  • Mr. Macaulay E-Nunu, Itsekiri Cultural Association of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, President
  • Mr. Pius Efejuku, Itsekiri National Association, Houston, TX, Vice-President
  • Mr. Bawo Ayomike, Itsekiri National Association of the Washington, DC-Baltimore CMSA Incorporated, Washington, DC, Secretary
  • Miss Patience Edremoda, Uranran Iwere Georgia, Atlanta, GA, Assistant Secretary
  • Mr. Oritsebemigho L. Edegbele, Agura Iwere Itsekiri Organization, Dallas, TX, Treasurer
  • Dr. G. Oty Agbajoh-Laoye, Oma-Iwere Itsekiri Organization Inc., NY-NJ-MA-CT, Financial Secretary
  • Mr. Goddey Ejuwa, Oma-Itsekiri Colorado, Denver, CO, Publicity Secretary

 

In absentia, the convention honored Justice F.O.M. Atake (rtd.) with a commemorative plaque for his exemplary commitment to Itsekiri interests, at great personal sacrifice, during the Warri Crisis.

 

The fourth Annual National Convention will be held in the Washington, DC-Baltimore CMSA from August 31, 2001 to September 2, 2001.