Press Statement - September 24, 2004

UGBAJO ITSEKIRI USA INCORPORATED HOLDS 7 TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CONVENTION

Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated, the umbrella organization of all regional Itsekiri associations, in the United States, held its 7th Annual National Convention at the Westin Atlanta Airport, in Atlanta Georgia on Friday September 3 rd 2004 to Monday September 6 th 2oo4.
Themed “ Ugbajo: Preserving Itsekiri Heritage ,” the convention addressed, the political survival and the economic development of the Itsekiri people including rehabilitation following the Warri crisis.

Attended by Itsekiri living in the United States of America, England and Nigeria, convention participants and attendees notably included a representative of the Warri Council of Chiefs, Chief B. O. Mene, the Ogwa-Olusan of Warri; Honorable Temiyemi Harriman, Member, Nigerian House of Representatives and Dr. Joseph .S. Otumara, Honorable Commissioner for Special Duties on Foreign Affairs Matters, who were guest speakers. Also in attendance, was Dr. Alkali Igbene, who delivered the keynote address.

The speakers tackled broad subjects that are relevant to Itsekiri. Specifically, lessons learnt from the Warri Crisis, current economic, political and social challenges, etc. and concluded with myriad recommendations. They urged members of Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Inc to be fervent in their effort to build coalition with Itsekiri in Nigeria, to support Itsekiri interests and causes and to teach Itsekiri youths living in the United States of America the need to cherish their homeland, which may kindle an interest to participate in its political and economic development affairs in the future.

Following the deliberations on Saturday, the association held the election of national executive officers. Mr. Hector Tagbiretse Ayu was elected president for the next two years. Also elected were Mrs. Olayinka Boyo–Bankole - Vice-President; Miss Patience Oritsetimeyin Edremoda – Secretary; Mr. Mogbeyiteren Omatete - Assistant Secretary; Mr. Tunde Johnson – Treasurer; Ms. Josephine Anirejuoritse Erewa – Financial Secretary; Mr. Kingsley Oritsesholuro Onuwaje – Publicity Secretary.

The convention agreed to host its 8 th Annual National Convention in Chicago, IL from Friday, September 2 nd, 2005 to Monday, September 5 th, 2005.

Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Inc.