JULY 24, 1999,

Dr. Igho Natufe's First Set of Comments

Subject: RE: A Note From The Conveners of the Peace Congress in Washington, D.C. - And A Draft Report (fwd)
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 03:00:31 -0400
From: "Natufe, Igho" <inatufe@NRCan.gc.ca>
To: "'Mobolaji E. Aluko'" <maluko@scs.howard.edu>
CC: "'Philip A. Ikomi'" <pikomi@osf1.gmu.edu>, 'Andrew Edevbie' <kevtrics@juno.com>, 'Andrew Edevbie' <edevbie@dwsd.org>, 'Bawo Ayomike' Bawo_Ayomike@freddiemac.com>, "'Eyisan E. Omagbemi'" <eomagbemi@itsekiri.net>, 'Ambassador Elizabeth Ogbon' <POgbon@aol.com>, 'Aruegodore Oyiborhoro' <Oyibo@aol.com>, "'olaoye@monmouth.edu'" <olaoye@monmouth.edu>, "'Jebiware@mcla.mass.edu'" <Jebiware@mcla.mass.edu>, "'jebiware@nasc.mass.edu'"
<jebiware@nasc.mass.edu>, 'Francis Ebikefe Porbeni' <feporben@unity.ncsu.edu>, "'fabeson@netzero.com'" <fabeson@netzero.com>

Dear Bolaji:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your note dated August 1, 1999, in which you requested us to reply by Tuesday, August 3. We have reviewed the note and do have some comments. But before commenting on the note, I would like to advise that you (and Philip Ikomi) restrict your communication on this issue only to the three delegations FOR THE TIME BEING. It is in line with this thinking that I am copying the Urhobo reply to the three delegations only. This is particularly so when we do not have an agreed Report.

We are pleased that you and Philip have accepted our invitation to, once again, facilitate the peace process on October 16, 1999. We are hopeful that our Ezon and Itsekiri brethren will also accept our invitation to re-convene on October 16 at Howard University.

Regarding your note, it is our view that a detailed comment cannot be made in the absence of the appendixes you referred to. Furthermore, you did not make any references to the motion to adjourn which, in fact, constitutes a legal framework for the Report. We hope that you will
reproduce the motion to adjourn in the Report as it captures the essence of the issues discussed at the conference.

You claimed that the Report was not ours (the delegations) but yours (you and Philip Ikomi). I hope you were merely joking, for the Report belongs to the delegations that participated in the peace conference. The fact that we did not sign a final communique does not reduce the
delegations' ownership of the Report. Thus, we will demand that the Report be as factual as possible, indicating the positions of all the parties.

We draw your attention to some points in the note. Your reference to the communique question does not reflect the factual discussions at the conference. We suggest that you name the delegations and their respective positions vis-a-vis the issues at stake. Secondly, the Urhobo delegation NEVER requested "for more time...to respond" to the Itsekiri submission. You will recall we placed our folder containing our detailed responses on the table, and invited the Itsekiri to agree to a frank discussion of the issues. The leader of the Itsekiri delegation then requested that we give them copies of our responses which, he argued, they would need time to study BEFORE taking part in any discussions of the issues at another meeting. At this juncture, I pointed out that this was a tactical move by the Itsekiri to avoid discussing the issues as their request for time could lead to a recurring request for time when we respond to their responses to
our responses.

We want to reiterate our commitment to peace in Warri. We believe that genuine peace in Warri can only be achieved when the parties involved agree to a frank discussion of all the remote and immediate causes of the crisis. The discussion will be friendly and cordial, as was exemplified on
July 24.

Once again, on behalf of the Urhobo delegation, I thank you and Philip for agreeing to host a re-convened peace conference on October 16, 1999. We are looking forward to a very productive conference.


Igho Natufe

Igho Natufe
For and on behalf of the Urhobo Delegation