Ijaw Youths in Abuja has marked the golden jubilee anniversary of the death of former Niger Delta environmental campaigner and civil war hero, late Major Isaac Adaka Boro.
Isaac Adaka Boro was one of the pioneers of minority rights activism in Nigeria. He was one of the early people who began the struggle for the emancipation of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
He challenged the exploitation and deprivation of the region as the resources were being channeled to develop other regions of the country and later declared the Niger Delta republic in 1966 but was jailed for treason by Aguiyi Ironsi’s military government.
He was later released by the government of Yakubu Gowon, and went on to fight during the Biafran War on the side of the federal government but was killed in an unknown circumstance in active service on May 9, 1968.
Speaking at the event yesterday in Abuja, Chiarman, Ijaw Youth Council, Abuja Chapter, Chief Ebizimor Preye, said the commemoration was to mark 50th celebration of the fallen hero, a man he said ”believed in the Ijaw struggle and gave the Ijaw man a position in the society and the entire Nigeria.”
He said that the questions that agitates their minds even 50 years his death after is whether the ideals and struggles for which Boro died have come to fruition.
“Today we use this as a point of contact to reach out and still remember what Major Adaka Boro fought for and place ourselves strategically because the era of armed struggle is beginning to fade off and the society is changing.”
“The entire world is changing and it is a global village now. The Ijaw will place himself strategically enough to see how all these struggles will be achieved,” he said.
According to Preye, the Abuja chapter of Ijaw youths have developed a developmental arm- the Ijaw Youth Consultative Forum- to see how they can address the issues that bother on the development of the Ijaw nation and come up with a working document to see how they can engage the government.
Also, the chairman of the Ijaw Community in Abuja, Chief Onimim Batubo said the day is a celebration of the life of the founding father of the Ijaw nation.
According to him, “Today is a day of mourning and celebration because Major Boro has given the average Ijaw man hope to have a voice today in the Nigerian context. That is why we are all here to make today a great day.”
He lamented that just about 10 per cent of the ideals Major Boro lived and died for have been realized but however noted that it was because of Boro’s struggles made the Ijaw man to have a voice in the Nigeria polity and the subsequent election of Goodluck Jonathan as President.
He added that “The federal government should look more into the Niger Delta region because we are a rich people that have produced everything that Nigeria has. We should be able to benefit from what is coming out from our soil. The Ijaw man has been abandoned despite all his contribution to this country right from 1958 when oil was first discovered in Oloibiri.”
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