Philip Ikomi's Rejoinder to Urhobo Case

Subject: Re: Ijaws, Itsekiris, & Urhobos at War in Delta State, Nigeria?????????
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 15:04:42 -0400
From: "Philip A. Ikomi" <pikomi@osf1.gmu.edu>
To: "Peter P. Ekeh" <ppekeh@acsu.buffalo.edu>

Dear Prof. Ekeh,

Please, accept my unalloyed thanks for your generous explanation of the reasons you think that I might get not-so-enthusiastic a response to a call to a Congress by some other Urhobos. I also want to thank you for your time writing in response to my call for a Congress in the first place.

They say, ignorance is bliss. Perhaps it is because of my childlike ignorance that I have made a call for a meeting of minds at this hectic and perhaps inopportune time. I say am ignorant because I could not tell you that I grew up in Delta state or the midwest. I could not give you first hand information about Warri. When I was 7 I left for the north and only returned annually when my father was on leave, until when the vicissitudes of Nigerian governance led to the pronouncement that non-indigenes should leave the east where I was a student at Fed. Govt. Col, Okposi; and I found myself in Warri attending Fed Govt. College for my lower sixth science. I remained there for approximately 9 months before I was uprooted and landed at King's college to finish my upper sixth when Biafrans created the still-born republic of Benin. Since then I have only visited the area intermittently. So when I heard that people are being armed and fighting was taking place, I thought of what to do and came up with the idea of getting on the internet to call people to a meeting so that something could be done to bring this to an end. I hope that regardless of the historical antecedents and the structure on the ground today, we would eventually find a common ground today that we could take to free our people from further blood shed.

As for the subject title, I have discussed the desirability of changing it once I read your first letter to Bolaji in which you said it was too strong. In fact, I have used another title in a private mail I sent to Bolaji and asked his opinion on the new title. Although he endorsed the change, he also suggested some other titles and said I might have to discuss the issue of the title with others. That led me to say that I would just continue with the current title until we meet, and during the meeting we could decide on what to make the title for what we were doing. I said that because I did not want the issue of a title to bug us down unnecessarily at this time and because I felt the present title conveyed an urgency which might be absent from a less dramatic title.

I would like to pursue the leads on the people you have mentioned. Thanks for the contacts. I have got a forwarded mail from Dr. Natufe. I shall contact him. Could you please supply me with the email addresses of the others?

I shall remain indebted to you for your invaluable advice and some background knowledge on this matter.