Press Statement - October 7, 2005
UGBAJO ITSEKIRI USA INCORPORATED HOLDS
8TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CONVENTION
Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated, the umbrella organization of all regional Itsekiri associations in the United States, successfully organized its 8th Annual National Convention from Friday, September 2, 2005 to Sunday, September 4, 2005.
Held at the Doral Eaglewood Resort & Spa 1401 Nordic Road, Itasca, Illinois, the convention theme was "Itsekiri: Our Vision for Tomorrow." The convention also addressed the following sub-topics: 'Itsekiri Without Warri = ?'; 'Taking Control of Itsekiri Economy' and 'Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation'.
Attended by Itsekiri living in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada and Nigeria, convention participants and attendees notably included a representative of the Warri Council of Chiefs, Chief Yahaya Pessu, the Ojomo of Warri; Honorable Joseph S. Otumara, Honorable Commissioner for Special Duties on Foreign Affairs Matters; Delta State House of Assembly Representatives, Honorable Daniel Mayuku, Honorable (Mrs.) Omawumi Udoh; Honorable Solomon Arenyinka, Director of the Direct Labor Agency, Asaba, Delta State; Representing the Itsekiri Leaders Forum, Barrister Bolatsi Dudu and Engineer Omatsuli Tuoyo, from Nigeria; Mr. Tayo Adeola, Ms. Elizabeth Ereku, Mrs. Koma Sota and Mr. and Mrs. Victor Okoro, from the United Kingdom. Others included patrons of Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated, Deaconess Comfort Boyo-Pessu and Dr. and Mrs. Oritsegbemi Omatete.
The convention format included a cocktail party and mixer, held on Friday, September 2, 2005 and breakout sessions following the morning seminar, on Saturday, September 3, 2005.
While formally declaring the convention open Mr. Hector Ayu, national president Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated noted that the presence of Chief Yahya Pessu, continues the trend of leaders that have traveled from Nigeria to attend the conventions.
In his keynote address, "Itsekiri: Our Vision for Tomorrow," Chief Pessu, stated that it is the desire of the Itsekiri people to provide an environment where all Itsekiri people can acquire the necessary skills and enlightenment and drive to develop Iwere land in the 21st century. To acquire this he said certain qualities are needed.
1. pursuit of excellence
2. development of a resilient spirit
3. unity and mutual assistance between Itsekiri sons and daughters
4. regular contact between associations and societies
5. and comparison of experiences
Chief Pessu also addressed several issues that continue to befall the Itsekiri nation.
Other convention speakers included Mr. Sylvester Mode, President Itsekiri National Association (INA) Washington-Baltimore CSMA. Mrs. Rose Anne Amoruwa, President Southern California Itsekiri Cultural Association (SCICA), Dr. Fabian Iwere, President Oma Itsekiri Association, Colorado and Mrs. Olayinka Boyo-Bankole, vice president Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated.
In her presentation, Mrs. Boyo-Bankole shared the detailed background of the Ugbajo Itsekiri Scholarship fund and announced that Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated, has successfully awarded three scholarships to three deserving Itsekiri, for the 2005/2006 academic year.
Mr. Mode in his address, titled 'Itsekiri Without Warri =?,' provoked the audience by asking several questions. Questions like who are the Itsekiri? What is Warri? Why has Warri been boiling all these years? Could all these strife have been avoided? Is there a panacea for peace and peaceful coexistence in Warri, were deliberately addressed to the Itsekiri in attendance.
Speaking on the subject, 'Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reconciliation', Mrs. Roseanne Amoruwa, challenged the members of the government, professionals, politicians, leaders and policy makers to begin to address the problem of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation.
In a well deliberated address, titled 'Taking control of Itsekiri economy', Dr. Fabian Iwere analyzed types of resources required for economic development and highlighted the types of goods and services needed to enable the Itsekiri nation, take control of the Itsekiri economy.
Following the breakout sessions the convention resolved:
That Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated will continue to support and work with Itsekiri leaders and groups in Nigeria, for the Itsekiri people
That Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated will commence work on its proposed library project to be located in Warri
That Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated will award university scholarships to the following Itsekiri Students
- Uwannogho Godswill Maku
- Emiko Bukuaghagin
- Victor Udohorayon Buwa
That Ugbajo Itsekiri will hold it's ninth Annual national Convention, in Miami Florida, from Friday, September 1, 2006 to Sunday, September 3, 2006.
For additional information, please visit www.itsekiri.org.
Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Inc.