Ijaw leaders including Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri and the President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Professor Benjamin Okaba, say the creation of Rivers and Bayelsa States remains a direct product of the martyrdom of Late Isaac Jasper Boro.
Speaking at separate wreath laying ceremonies in Kaiama and Yenagoa as part of activities for this year’s Boro Day celebrations, Governor Diri paid glowing tributes to the departed freedom fighter for laying his life down to liberate the Niger Delta region.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo at both events, the Governor insisted that the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta region would have been far more backward than it is today without the heroic feats of late Isaac Boro.
Governor Diri used the opportunity to commend his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson, for bringing the remains of late Boro from Lagos to his native Bayelsa for proper interment in line with the traditional beliefs of the Ijaw people.
While thanking the youths for always coming out en masse to venerate the Ijaw freedom fighter, the Governor, however, cautioned against criminalizing the Boro Day celebrations and the Ijaw struggle.
In a remark, Member representing Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency One, Dr. Tonye Isenah, called on the people of the Niger Delta to prevail on the Federal Government to inaugurate the statutory Management Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission without further delay.
In their separate goodwill messages President of INC, Professor Benjamin Okaba and Spokesman of Ijaw Youth Council, Worldwide, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, urged Ijaw people to be security conscious and do everything within their reach to protect themselves and communities.
They said the Ijaw struggle for self-determination must continue, stressing that the INC and IYC would not support criminality but always strive to protect the Ijaw interest
Also speaking, the Chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, King Bubaraye Dakolo and President of Ijaw Peoples Association of Great Britain and Ireland, Rev. F. Akpanari, emphasised the need for Ijaw people not to betray the ideals Late Isaac Adaka Boro stood and fought for.
In a welcome address, Commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Elder Patrick Erasmus, commended Governor Douye Diri for sparing no effort to ensure the success of this year’s Boro Day Celebration and appealed to Ijaw youths to remain focused, law-abiding, and not to perpetrate crime under the guise of the Ijaw struggle.