In the latest round of email exchanges that has involved this group in the past day or so, this is the very first one that I have read because its clear title links directly to the July 24 Peace Conference at Howard. Maybe, if you had been a member of the Urhobo delegation at the conference, it would have had a different outcome, for you say below:
If you wish to call your King the Olu of Warri, that is fine. But then the Okere people cannot be denied the same right that you wish to exercise. They call their King the OVIE OF OKERE. They are a free people, hopefully as free as the Itsekiri.
I totally agree with you that the Okere people have EVERY RIGHT to start their kingship and call it anything they want, and Bawo Ayomike showed insensitivity by disparaging the Okere people. SO WHY WAS THE TITLE OF THE OLU OF WARRI SUCH A BIG DEAL THAT THE URHOBO DELEGATION AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY REFUSED TO HAVE IT SHELVED SO THAT WE COULD ALL MOVE ON? I believe that it was that lack of respect for their own title that also makes the Itsekiri now disparage the Okere's. I am not EXCUSING it, just explaining it.
Quite frankly, I believe that if people show MUTUAL RESPECT for each other, much of our problems will be solved. But to expect something for yourself and not for the other person is to invite intractable conflict. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is a deep cardinal rule in matters like this.
Finally, I continue to hope that eminent professors and other professional types living comfortably abroad will seek higher ground in the Warri crisis in particular and the Niger-Delta as a whole and not continue to repeat the rantings of home-based Chiefs and Ovies and Olus, including their communiques. Until that goal is set, a thousand peace conferences at Howard or American U. or York University will achieve no purpose.