Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has again called for justice and equity in the affairs of Nigeria.
Governor Diri made the call on Saturday at the Heroes Park in Yenagoa during a brief event in remembrance of the foremost Ijaw freedom fighter, late Major Isaac Adaka Boro.
At the event to mark the 2020 Boro Day, the governor described the late Ijaw icon as a symbol of the struggle for the emancipation and development of Ijaw land and the Niger Delta region.
Senator Diri, who recalled the ideals and principles the late Boro stood for, said the issues and concerns he raised still faced the nation today, insisting that Nigeria must be a country of justice and equity.
“While we wish for a good and properly run country, we as Ijaw people want a Nigeria of justice and equity where we get what is due the people. Certainly not a country where our oil is expropriated to other places and we do not get the maximum benefits,” Diri stated.
He also called for unity among Ijaws whether in Nigeria or in the Diaspora, noting that the strength of a people represents the unity of the land.
“I call on all Ijaws to come together. Today reminds us of the need to be united. Our strength is in our unity.
“Agitation must move into the intellectual arena and that is the only way we can develop. Ijaw nation must move forward, progress and prosper.
“The only panacea is that we must be united. We must not hate ourselves.”
The governor also challenged Ijaw elders and leaders to work hard to resuscitate the once vibrant Ijaw umbrella bodies, namely the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), saying they represent the strong voice of the Ijaw nation.
“I call on the leaders of Ijaw nation to do all that is possible to resuscitate INC and also bring back IYC stronger. Those bodies are our voices. We will work with all of you on this to have a great Ijaw nation,” he said.
Earlier in an address presented by Elder Timi Kaiser Ogoriba, the central zone elders of the IYC paid glowing tributes to the late Ijaw hero who led the historic 12-day revolution to declare the Niger Delta area a republic because of perceived injustice and oppression.
“Never in the history of human conflict in Izon nation has any man so single-handedly committed himself as Isaac Boro, who dared all odds and died for our freedom and emancipation. We will continue to defend his effort and achieve what he attempted to achieve,” Ogoriba said.
The elders thanked the Bayelsa State government and the current administration of Governor Diri for always putting the issues of Ijaw nation at the front burner of national discourse.
The eldest daughter of the late foremost agitator, Esther Boro, said their father was a man of courage and conviction, who wanted a better and developed Ijaw land.
She said they were proud of what their father stood for and that his memories live on.
The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, joined others to lay wreaths at the tomb of Isaac Boro.