By Our Correspondent
Abuja stood still for hours, as Ijaw nation gathered for the 53rd annual celebration of late Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro on Saturday 15th of May, 2021, GbaramatuVoice reports.
The well attended event that was put together by Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide (IYC) Abuja Chapter, in remembrance of Major Boro was tagged Niger Deltans together without prejudice and took place at the old Chelsea Hotel, in Abuja.
Speaking at the event was the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) chairman, Chief Diplomat Adam Ogomugo Marbo. He gave a brief history of Major Boro, and said they were celebrating an icon, a man who stood for his people. Noting that Boro is not only for Ijaw people but for Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.
“He is a great Ijaw son who has contributed to the region and the country. This man should be honoured by Nigeria government.” He added.
The high profile personalities that graced the occasion includes a Senator representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, distinguished Senator Cleopas Moses Z, Publisher/CEO GbaramatuVoice, Jacob Abai; Prince David Eva and many others.
The Senator Cleopas who was also the chairman of the occasion said if God has blessed us with so much resources then the environment in which such resources are found should be taken care of.
While he implored the youths to keep on with the same spirit and care for one another.
Barr. Dickson who represented, Nigerian nationalist, Ijaw leader and politician, Chief E.K. Clark in his remarks advised the youths to be operating on the same spirit, he said the spirit should not die.
He said Boro sacrificed all including his education for Ijaw nation.
The former acting National President of IYC, Wisdom Ikuli explained that Ijaw has be been tagged as stereotype people. He said but thank God, Ijaw Nation has produced one of the best President in Nigeria’s history, that is being celebrated all over the world today, the person of former President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan.
He said Boro’s day has become one of the prominent annually event in Niger Delta, while he condemned some groups committing different crimes in the name of celebrating Boros day.
He said Boro was an icon and his name should not be associated with criminality.
Wisdom highlighted that when Nigeria was at the edge of breaking up, it was Ijaw that stood as a connecting rod.
The peak of the event was when Senator Cleopas Moses led the members of the high table in a dance galore.
Major Isaac Boro was a university students’ leader, a teacher, policeman and Nigerian army officer. An undergraduate student of chemistry and student union president at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he left school to lead an armed protest against the exploitation of oil and gas resources in the Niger Delta areas. Which benefited mainly the federal government of Nigeria and Eastern region with capital in Enugu and nothing was given to the Niger Delta people.
He believed that the people of the area deserved a larger share of proceeds of the oil wealth. He formed the Niger Delta Volunteer Force, an armed militia with members consisting mainly of his fellow Ijaw ethnic group. They declared the Niger Delta Republic on February 23, 1966 and fought with federal forces for twelve days before being defeated.
Boro and his comrades were jailed for treason. However, the federal regime of General Yakubu Gowon granted him amnesty on the eve of the Nigerian civil war in May 1967. He then enlisted and was commissioned as a major in the Nigerian army. He fought on the side of the Federal Government but was killed under mysterious circumstances in active service in 1968 at Ogu (near Okrika) in Rivers State.
Boro’s revolt signified the first armed rebellion against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Boro has been widely cited as an inspiration for both violent and non-violent Niger Delta activists. The likes of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and many others often referred to him as a major inspiration.