Date Issued: June 14, 2007
Ugwa Kalu Ogbureke
Chairman, Caretaker Committee, IPAI Inc.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
RE: “CONVENTION UPDATE” – Urgent Alert
My attention has been drawn to a mass email sent yesterday by Mr. Emmanuel Ollawa, President of
the California Chapter of the IPAI, with the Subject Heading: CONVENTION UPDATE. As the
Chairman of the IPAI Caretaker Committee, I am constrained to issue this alert, and urge us all to
disregard the mail and not act based on any aspect of its content. This is because the issues,
positions, and impressions conveyed in the mass mail do not represent any aspect of the IPAI
Caretaker committee’s deliberations or final decisions regarding the planning, final agenda, or
Order of Business for the convention.
We all are able to recall that the IPAI Caretaker Committee was formed during the first international
convention of Igbere sons and daughters in Diaspora held in Houston in September 2005. The
committee was charged with the responsibility of assembling a framework that will produce our
first constitution, convey recognition, and command respectability and prestige for the association,
and to all IPAI members as individuals. Other than the production of a draft constitution, implicit in
the committee’s Houston mandate is to exercise and address interim responsibilities of the
association as may challenge the association before the inauguration of its first elected officials.
This clearly includes a mandate to exercise the required oversight responsibilities towards all
aspects of the second IPAI
convention planning. Notable among these responsibilities include the selection of the host
chapter for the Second IPA convention, fashioning out a structure and procedure for the election of
the foundation IPAI executive committee, and articulating and producing the final program/Order of
Business announcement to be sent to all delegates and our invited guests.
From its inception, the committee has kept on focus the challenge and goal of providing a draft
constitution, and ensuring an “atmospheric” foundation that is acutely necessary to assembling a
leadership core dedicated to working towards our cohesiveness and unity: essential ingredients
that appeared to have eluded us so far.
The Caretaker committee approached this responsibility and task with utmost seriousness, and
has worked tirelessly this past one and half years to actualize the stated mandates and its far-
reaching and desired goals. For example, we unanimously selected the California Chapter to host
the second IPAI convention during our second meeting. There is now a draft constitution, which I
am sure, has been circulated and ready for debate, adoption and subsequent ratification at the next
convention. The committee is finalizing modalities for the assembling of a credible electoral
subcommittee to conduct our elections at the convention, and we are in the process of putting
together the final agenda and Order of Business for the convention.
But we have also faced a number of distractions which, other than being naturally annoying,
occasionally have been disruptive. I have personally pondered on the intent and motives of a
handful of our members who have chosen to float these disruptive acts from time to time. These
acts explain some of the conflicting, confusing, and inaccurate information mostly conveyed via
emails to some of you over the past one year and half years from sources other than the Caretaker
committee. This “strategy”, is amply demonstrated in the most recent email from Mr. Ollawa without
consultation with the IPAI. In the past, the committee has either ignored or attempted “internal”
damage controls maneuvers to rectify these faux pas in the hope that the individual will embrace
common sense and cease on their own volition. But we think that this latest attempt warrants a
prompt response from the committee, given the enormity and historic importance of what is at
stake (the convention), and the committee’s dedication and commitment to the tenets of this
I have personally approached Mr. Ollawa, the president the California Chapter of IPA, and
encouraged him to work with the caretaker committee toward the common goal of a successful
convention in California. I have politely stressed to him that the IPAI Caretaker committee, by its very
nature and circumstances, assumes the ultimate oversight activities until an elected executive
committee is inaugurated. I have also made it clear that I do not have the remotest leadership
ambition or intent beyond the life of the committee. In this regard, my singular focus remains to
work with this legitimate committee to midwife the delivery of a viable IPAI leadership with the
aptitude and dedication to nurture us as an organization to that unity of purpose we all crave and
desperately need. So far, Mr. Ollawa has not demonstrated a genuine and good faith willingness or
effort to work with this committee. You will find attached two recent correspondences I sent
personally to Mr. Ollawa that helps to put our current frustration and apparent misgivings in
perspective. Perhaps his latest mass email that excluded me in the mailing list was his best effort
on how to respond. If, so, it is probably not much of a challenge for most of us to deduce that this
effort might be weightless in any scale of common decency.
The Caretaker committee plans a crucial emergency session on Sunday, June 17, 2007 to assess
the readiness of the California chapter for this pending historic occasion. My impression so far is
that the California “house” is not in harmony, is in factions, and therefore not in a position to
corporate with the committee. If I am correct, this setting is hardly an ideal one to look forward to as
our host for this historic occasion and all we intend to achieve with that opportunity cost. Again, this
committee owes the Igbere sons and daughter a moral responsibility to inform all, dispassionately
and accurately, on the exact state of the convention arrangements. We will conclude this
assessment this weekend and advice you accordingly soon after. We certainly hope that our
conclusions will be such as to allay our current worst fear.
We probably have a sense regarding the identity of a couple of our members at the forefront of this
annoying scheme. On a personal note, it is my candid opinion that it may be time to respectfully
request that our elder, particularly those in the United States, counsel these individuals to desist
forthwith from this mischief, or risk alienating Igbere people of goodwill and, in the process,
unwittingly rendering themselves irrelevant to the goals and aspirations of IPAI. I paraphrase a
favorite line in one of Chinua Achebe’s numerous classics; in the presence of an elder, the she-
goat should not suffer the pains of parturition on its tether. I am confident that the wise counsel of
our respected elders in Diasporas, delivered in a timely fashion, will be instrumental to restoring
order in the house.
Again, I would encourage us all to verify with me or Mr. Peter Imaa (secretary of the IPAI Caretaker
committee) the appropriateness, authenticity, and accuracy of any information by email, mail, or
other means that you might receive before acting or making costly commitment based on such
Thank you all again, and God bless.
Ugwa Kalu ogbureke
Chairman, IPAI Caretaker Committee
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