Two documents were circulated among those attending this inaugural meeting. First, an agenda listing items to be discussed was circulated. Second, a document titled RATIONALE AND PROPOSALS FOR INAUGURATION, which was prepared by Professor Peter Ekeh, Convener of this inaugural meeting, was circulated.
Dr. Joseph Inikori, Professor of History at the University of Rochester, New York, served as the Chairman of the meeting, at the invitation of its Convener. He called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.
The following persons, alphabetically listed, attended this Inaugural Meeting of the URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY:
NEW BOOK ON MUKORO MOWOE
The Chairman, Professor Joseph Inikori, called upon Professor Isaac Mowoe, to say some words on the newly published lectures marking the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Chief Mukoro Mowoe on August 10, 1948. Speaking on behalf of the grandchildren of Mukoro Mowoe, Isaac Mowoe outlined the circumstances of the publication of four lectures and one poem celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Mukoro Mowoe's death. From Nigeria are lectures by Professor Frank Ukoli, Professor Onigu Otite, and Professor Obaro Ikime, all of the University of Ibadan. The book also contains the First Mukoro Mowoe Memorial Lecture by Peter Ekeh of the State University of New York at Buffalo and a poem by Tanure Ojaide of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, both of which were delivered under the auspices of the Urhobo National Forum in 1998. Isaac Mowoe thanked all those who have contributed, including the Urhobo National Forum, in the celebration of his grandfather's memory.
CHAIRMAN'S REMARKS ON THE ORIGINS OF URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY
In short remarks regarding the origins and conception of URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY, the chairman thanked Peter Ekeh for bringing forth its idea, following consultation with him and others. Joseph Inikori praised the work done by a group headed by Peter Ekeh in the last several months in discussions of the Delta and Warri crises. He noted that the group never attacked the Itsekiri as an ethnic group and that its criticisms were aptly directed at the Itsekiri establishment and aristocracy. Inikori particularly called attention to the work of the Urhobo Delegation to the Washington, DC, Peace Summit on July 24, 1999, headed by Dr. Igho Natufe (who was unable to attend this meeting), for its maturity and diplomacy.
GENERAL DISCUSSIONS ON THE CONCEPTION OF URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Several members of the attending audience spoke strongly in favor of the establishment of URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY and in favor of the proposals in Peter Ekeh's document "Rationale and Proposals for Inauguration." In addition, many members urged that the Society's work should not be restricted to current affairs, but should seek to outline important figures and movements in Urhobo history. Many also urged that it should be inclusive, extending to different levels of Urhobo society. Dr. Jackson Omene urged that educational matters, which topped Mukoro Mowoe's concerns, should be given priority. Andrew Edevbie urged those who have documents that may have historical significance to consider submitting them for publication in the proposed web site of the URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY. In a brief reply, Peter Ekeh assured the inaugurating members that the intention behind the formation of URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY is to capture all levels and to record the achievements of personages at different grades of Urhobo history, reaching to towns and villages.
MEMBERSHIP OF URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY
In answer to questions regarding the difference between (a) Charters Membership and (b) General Membership, the Chairman and Convener explained as follows: Start-up expenses, especially with regard to the construction of a web site, will be substantial. An initial outlay by members who can afford these charter expenses, will be required. They will in subsequent years pay the general annual fees. General members will only need to pay the annual dues.
The Chairman suggested and the meeting accepted that the annual fee for membership be set at US$50. Charter members will pay a start up fee of US$200 and above.
EDITORIAL AND MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
The meeting noted the outlined agenda item #7 on the composition of the Editorial consisting of seven protem members and suggesting additional members representing regions of North America. A Committee of 15 members was suggested and accepted. They will choose their own officers.
MOTION OF INAUGURATION
Professor Isaac Mowoe moved the following motion for the purpose of inaugurating the North American Chapter of URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY:
"In appreciation for Professor Peter Ekeh's initiative, and accepting the proposals which he outlines and noting the responsibilities of the Editorial and Management Committee, I move that the North American Chapter of URHOBO HISTORICAL SOCIETY be inaugurated."
The motion was seconded by Professor Ajovi-Scott-Emuakpor, M.D., and Dr. Jackson Omene, M.D. and was unanimously carried.
The meeting closed at 5:00 p.m. with prayers offered by Joseph Ojevwe of New York City.