“Boro died fighting for the freedom of his people” – Eric Omare
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has called on the Federal Government to create Toru-Ibe and Oil Rivers states for the people of Ijaw ethnic group that will provide a political forum for the expression of their political and tribal aspirations freely without exhibition.
The IYC President, Eric Omare made this stated today Tuesday, May 15, 2018, during the opening ceremony of the golden anniversary celebration of the late Niger Delta hero at Kaiama, the hometown of Late Major Jasper Adaka in Kolokuma/Opukuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
According to the IYC leader, fifty years after Adaka Boro died while fighting for the freedom of his people, the political fortune of the Ijaw people have not changed drastically as they are still balkanized into six different states mainly as minorities and subjected to all sorts of politically suppression and oppression.
Omare also bemoaned the situation where Nigeria now has thirty-six states whereas the Ijaw people who are the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria and even the first to ask for state creation through their late leader, Harold Dappa-Biriye at the London constitutional conference still has only one homogeneous state, that is Bayelsa State.
This, IYC added, is oppressive and totally unacceptable to the Ijaw people especially considering the fact that majority of the resources being used to fund the thirty-six states of the federation and the federal and local governments of the country are from the Ijaw territory.
On the way forward and as a key demand of the Ijaw people on the quest for the restructuring of the country, the IYC President called for the creation of two homogenous Ijaw states: Toru-Ibe State for the Ijaw people of Ondo, Edo and Delta States on the western flank.
And Oil Rivers State for the Ijaw people of Akwa Ibom and Rivers State in order for them to freely express their political aspirations.
Omare stated that the Ijaw areas covered by the proposed Toru-Ibe and Oil Rivers State are geographically contiguous and linguistically homogenous.
The Group further argued that the only way restructuring can make sense to the Ijaw people is for these two states to be created and this was a key part of the struggle of the Late Isaac Adaka Boro while he was alive and it is sad that fifty years after the demise of the late Adaka Boro, his dream of political autonomy for the Ijaw people is yet to be fulfilled.
It would be recalled that the agitations of the late Adaka Boro led to the creation of the old Rivers State in 1976.
By Abai Francis
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