Second Annual National Convention Held in Newark, New Jersey and New York, New York on September 3, 1999, to September 5, 1999: Communiqué.
Ugbajo Itsekiri USA Incorporated successfully organized its second Annual National Convention at the Newark Airport Sheraton ITT Hotel, Newark, NJ, and the Wyndham Garden Hotel at LaGuardia Airport, New York, NY, from September 3, 1999, to September 5, 1999. The theme of the convention, attended by delegates from various parts of the United States as well as Itsekiris from Nigeria and the United Kingdom, was "Itsekiris in the 21st Century."
Following committee deliberations the convention adopted the following positions:
We remain greatly alarmed by the abysmal failure of successive governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Delta State to arrest lawlessness and to insure the safety of life and property in the three Warri Local Government Areas
We abhor and strongly condemn the insouciance of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Delta State Government towards Ijaw violation of Itsekiri human rights
We strongly condemn the action of Chief James Ibori, Governor of Delta State, to introduce a bill to the Delta State House of Assembly to relocate the headquarters of Warri Southwest Local Government Area to Ogbe-Ijoh from Ogidigben and equally condemn the Assembly’s "rubber-stamp" passage of the bill
We strongly deplore the mindless action of the Delta State Government to relocate the headquarters of Warri Southwest Local Government Area to Ogbe-Ijoh from Ogidigben to reward Ijaw violence and terrorism. We note that unlawful conduct is not the preserve of any ethnic nationality and we believe this government action sets an unfortunate precedence for "aggrieved" person/persons to seek redress through terror and mayhem
We join our Itsekiri leaders at home in Nigeria to unequivocally demand cessation of hostilities towards Itsekiris as well as vacation of Itsekiri towns, villages, settlements, fishing camps, flow stations, beaches, watersides, markets, houses, jetties and all other locations forcefully occupied by Ijaws
We 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 and resettle Itsekiris back to their homes and communities
We fault the Federal Government of Nigeria for the deleterious impact of oil and gas pollution on our ecosystems that has damaged our local economies and rendered our people penurious and we vow to seek restitution
We urge Itsekiris in all communities to foreswear divisiveness and to support and protect Itsekiri interests and cultural heritage
We propose the establishment or resuscitation and/or enhancement of a centralized structure to manage Itsekiri interests
We urge Itsekiri youths to avail themselves of educational opportunities particularly in Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Technology. We pledge to catalyze and engender support for this cause