Official Logo of Urhobo Historical Society

September 18, 2004



Dear ……………………..


Invitation to Fifth Annual Conference of Urhobo Historical Society

Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun
& Ibru Centre and Bruce Onobrakpeya’s
Niger Delta Cultural Centre, Agbarha-Otor

October 29-31, 2004


Urhobo Historical Society (UHS) will be holding its Fifth Annual Conference as indicated above. Its earlier Annual Conferences were held in North America (2000 and 2001) and in London, England (2002 and 2003). This will thus be the Society’s first Annual Conference in Urhoboland. It is therefore with great pleasure that we, on behalf of the membership of the Society, invite you to all the events of the Fifth Conference.


The Opening Ceremonies of the Conference (9:00 a.m. -12:00 noon, October 29, 2004, at Effurun) will be chaired by Justice V. E. Ovie-Whiskey (Rtd.) and will be addressed by Governor James Ibori and UHS’s Chairman, Professor Peter Ekeh. Olorogun Moses Taiga will be the Special Guest of Honour of the Conference, while Senator David Dafinone will be its Chief Patron. The Conference’s Closing Ceremonies (5:00 – 7:00 p.m., October 31, 2004, at Agbarha-Otor) will be chaired by Maj.-General Chief David Ejoor (Rtd.) and will feature awards named after Chiefs Mukoro Mowoe, Omohwovo Okoro, Agbontaren Udih, M.G. Ejaife, and Adogbeji Salubi.


Between the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be several major events of the Conference. There will be two book launchings. First is a UHS book titled Warri City & British Colonial Rule in Western Niger Delta, edited by Peter Ekeh (October 29, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.). Chief E. K. Clark will chair the ceremony; Olorogun Professor F.M.A. Ukoli will review the book; and Olorogun Moses Taiga will be the Chief Launcher. The second book will be launched at Agbarha-Otor (31/10/2004, 2:45 – 4:45 p.m.). Chief Johnson Ukueku will preside over the ceremony and Mr. Goodie Ibru will be the Chief Launcher. This book, titled  Where Gods and Mortals Meet: Continuity and Renewal in Urhobo Art, is edited by Chief Perkins Foss, with contributions by Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya and several other Urhobo scholars. It is the most comprehensive book to date on Urhobo art culture.  The book’s launching will be accompanied with a poster version of an Urhobo art exhibition, which is currently on display at the Museum for African Art in New York City.


There will be three roundtable sessions at the Conference. The first two of these will focus on the central theme of the Conference, namely, “Urhobo’s Future and the Challenges of an Emerging Global Order in the 21st Century.” Chaired by Senator David Dafinone, and moderated by Professor David Okpako of the University of Ibadan, the first roundtable probes the status of education in Urhoboland and weighs the prospects and problems of a “private” Urhobo University. Participants will include leading scholars and businessmen. The second roundtable is titled “Youth Crisis and Urhobo’s Future.” It will be chaired by Professor Vremudia Diejomaoh, former Director-General of Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) and former Deputy Director of International Labour Organization (ILO). Some youth leaders and activists will participate along with seasoned academics. The third roundtable is a women’s forum on “Women and Cultivation of Urhobo Culture and Language.”  Its chairwoman will be announced later. Leading Urhobo women will participate.


The highlight of any of UHS’s Conferences is built around its Keynote Address. This year, Professor Omafume Onoge, University of Jos, will speak on “Urhobo Youth and the Urhobo Future.” Olorogun Moses Taiga will preside.


We believe that another highlight of the three day conference will be an ecumenical Thanksgiving Church Service on Sunday, October 31, 2004, at Agbarha-Otor, starting at 9:00 a.m. This open-air Church Service will be co-celebrated by Monsignor Anthony O. Erhueh, of the Catholic Diocese of Warri, and the Very Rev. Professor Samuel Erivwo, Provost of the Anglican (Communion) Diocese of Warri.


We hope and pray that this unique Conference will lead to the building of a greater future for the Urhobo people and for Urhoboland. We trust that your participation and contribution to its events, and to any developments that will flow from them, will be acts in which you will take great pride. We therefore strongly urge you to attend all events of the Fifth Annual Conference of Urhobo Historical Society.


Yours in the Service of Urhoboland,



Dr. Isaac James Mowoe

Conference Chairman

Chief Johnson Barovbe

Conference Coordinator

Onoawarie Edevbie