Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
NameProfessor “Billy” William Joseph Oritsesaninomi DUDLEY , 653
Birth10th November 1931, Warri
Death23 Dec 1980
EducationIlesha Grammar School and Leicester University
MotherDiana Alice Oritseweyinmi CHUTE , 1179 (1912-2006)
Birth14 Dec 1937
EducationUniversity College of Leicester
FatherThomas Harold EDMUNDS , 1555 (1893-)
MotherIrene Clara May ADAMS , 1556 (1903-1995)
Marriage29th August 1959
 Lisa Penelope Etie , 1485 (1970-)
Notes for Professor “Billy” William Joseph Oritsesaninomi DUDLEY
Professor of Politics and Government at Ibadan University (in those days part of Atlantic College in Wales). Director of the London office of the National Universities Commission of Nigeria 1978-1980. Author of books on Nigerian Politics, including, Parties and Politics in Northern Nigeria (London, 1968), and Instability and Political Order: Politics and Crisis in Nigeria (Ibadan, 1973). Member of the Constitutional Drafting Committee preparing the Nigerian constitution for the return to civilian rule in 1975/6.

Billy Dudley described himself as Itsekiri, not normally referring to his Urhobo ancestry.  He spoke Itsekiri, but not Urhobo.  Strongly in favour of Nigerian unity, however, (within a federal structure) in the 1970s he argued in favour of a working bond based on mutual respect between Itsekiri and Urhobo Nigerians. It was probably around this time that he began to make it clear that his maternal great-grandmother had been Urhobo.

The Itsekiri are a very small ethnic group.  Despite intermarriage with the very different Urhobos, and some others, they have retained a strong sense of their Itsekiri identity for many years.  The story of their possible origin, their social structure, and their early contact with the Portuguese and other Europeans, makes interesting reading.55  The history of the Urhobos, and their uneven relationship with the Itsekiri, is equally interesting. 

In the 1930s, Itsekiri-Urhobo relationships became worse.  The Urhobo objected strongly to Itsekiri claims, following the installation of the Olu Ginuwa II, that the Olu of the Itsekiri should be called the Olu of Warri.  Effective political power was by then elsewhere, but for many years tension has continued along ethnic lines. 

His father, William Stanley Dudley left Nigeria as a result of the economic impact of the Depression and his much beloved grandmother, Madam Dorcas Ajamubaghan Etie, of Ifie, near Warri, was entrusted with his upbringing. She looked after him until her death in 1944.

Before leaving Nigeria (before Billy was born), his father left money towards his upkeep, and his maternal grandmother put this towards the construction of the house in which they lived during the time in Warri that he could remember.  This house, 15 Dore Street, Warri, was burnt down in ethnic disturbances in the 1990s.  Mrs Diana McIntosh had been living in it for many years after the death of her second husband; she escaped the fire unhurt and was taken to her daughters in Lagos.  Dore Street was probably given this name in honour of Chief Dore (or Dogho) Numa, Paramount Chief of the Itsekiri (an office that resulted from the British administration of the nineteenth century).  Chief Dore Numa died in 1932.

P.C. Lloyd, writing in 1969 in the introduction to the second edition of William Moore’s History of Itsekiri, says: “Whatever hostilities Dore Numa aroused among the Itsekiri during his lifetime were quickly forgotten after his death…”

Warri, of course, was far from being exclusively populated by the Itsekiri, whose original capital was Ode-Itsekiri (also called Iwere).

A Requiem Mass was held for Billy Dudley by Father Louis Munoz on 24 December 1980 in Ibadan, Nigeria, and on 21 February 1981 a memorial service, a Solemn Requiem Mass, was held for him at the Chapel of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, Ibadan.
Last Modified 15 Aug 2007Created 11 Feb 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh