JULY 24, 1999,

Mobolaji Aluko's Comments on Documentation of
the Peace Congress and
Objects to Statements on the Draft Report
in the Documentation

Subject: Re: Documentation of the Washington, DC, Peace Summit on Warri Crisis (fwd)
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 17:18:58 -0500 (EST)
From: "Mobolaji E. Aluko" <maluko@scs.howard.edu>
To: Peter Ekeh <ppekeh@acsu.buffalo.edu>

Dr. Ekeh:

Following your write-up below:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 16:02:22 -0500
From: Peter Ekeh <ppekeh@acsu.buffalo.edu>
To: "Mobolaji E. Aluko" <maluko@scs.howard.edu>
Cc: inatufe@NRCan.gc.ca.kevtrics@juno.com (Andrew Edevbie)
Subject: Re: Documentation of the Washington, DC, Peace Summit on Warri Crisis


Thank you for your quick response and, indeed, your kindness. Rather than change the material in the "Editor's Introduction," I would prefer that you write a fuller correction than you have provided now. I will publish it along with the Editor's Introduction. I rather regard these matters as problems of record. I do understand the irritation. Hopefully, you will be able to offer an amendment in a way that will be profitable to all of us.

Cheers. I am in some hurry. I will be out of town until Wednesday evening.



November 8, 1999

Re: Editor's Introduction: Some Correction(s) Please!

Dear Prof. Ekeh:

I have just visited the site in which you documented the Washington DC Warri Peace Conference experience, and one cannot but be IMPRESSED at the amount of work that must have gone into putting the documents together and linking them, etc. It is really a remarkable piece of work for which I believe that all participants should thank you and those others who worked with you on it.

Just a slight editorial correction that I would like you to make. In the interesting "Editor's Introduction" that you wrote, you had the following passage:


Finally, we have introduced some background documents that will shed some light on the views held by the Itsekiri, Ijaw, and Urhobo on the Warri crisis. The Itsekiri document was offered during the Summit and was the subject of the dispute that led to the Summit's failure. The Urhobo document is the text of a press conference by Chief Benjamin Okumagba on behalf of indigenous Urhobo in Warri. It explains the Urhobo position on the attack on his community on June 4-7, 1999, by the Itsekiri. Finally, there is an Ijaw document which was essentially a reply to the Itsekiri position denying that the Ijaw have any part in the ownership of Warri.

These documents have not been selected at random. They were included in an initial report which Dr. Mobolaji Aluko, one of the Conveners of the  Summit, had proposed. The Itsekiri Delegation did object to the inclusion  of the Ijaw and Urhobo documents in the official report. Dr. Aluko  subsequently withdrew his proposal. "


First, each of the italicized sentences is INACCURATE.

(1) I never ACTUALLY included (as attachments) any documents in that initial report that you referenced. Rather, in the text of the draft initial report, I had MADE REFERENCE to certain documents which I had hoped would be included (as attachments or appendices) in the report at a later date, something which I never eventually did (see (3) below for reasons). I can understand the confusion, but that is the fact.

(2) The Itsekiri delegation NEVER objected to the inclusion of ANY DOCUMENT to our report. I have NO RECORD whatsoever of such an objection. If any sentence is to remain in this report, this is certainly one that SHOULD NOT because it is completely untrue.

(3) I can imagine that because the documents in question did not make it to the final Convener's report of the conference, you might have felt that it was because somebody objected. The fact of the matter is that when I considered the volume of the Itsekiri submission, and the fact that no other delegation had submitted a response (or clarification) document to the Itsekiri document AT or PRIOR to the conference, I decided against attaching ANY of the documents, including even the Itsekiri document, which would have been the only appropriate document to include since it came before the conference. I certainly had no pre- or at-conference Ijaw document to attach (the one on your site is dated August 1, 1999, after the conference), and the Chief Okumagba document (dated on your site July 14, 1999) was certainly not submitted by the Urhobo delegation at or before the conference, even though it predated the conference by ten days. [Chief Okumagba and the "Urhobo Indigenes of Warri" are in Nigeria, not in the US, and were not a party to our own conference, but if the Urhobo delegation had packaged that report as part of theirs BEFORE or AT the conference, that would have been fine.]

I am happy, though, that all the documents are now there on your fine site for the world to see, but please rest assured that while indeed it could be implied that I withdrew the proposal (more accurately: I went back on an implied intention) to include these additional documents, it was certainly not because the Itsekiri delegation asked me not to, and they must have been as surprised as yourselves that they were not included in the final Convener's report.

Again, I commend you for your effort, but I would hope that you would publish these my corrections to the underlined sentences, so that the world may know the correct situation.

Bolaji Aluko

Co-Convener, Washington Peace Conference