The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has renewed the call for justice and equity in the affairs of the country.
Governor Diri made the call on Saturday at the Heroes Park, Yenagoa in remembrance of late foremost Ijaw freedom fighter, Major Isaac Adaka Boro.
At the brief event to mark the 2020 Annual Isaac Boro Day, the Governor described the late Ijaw icon as a symbol of the struggle and emancipation for the development of Ijawland and Niger Delta region.
Diri, who recalled the ideals and principles the late Boro stood for, said those issues and concerns still face the nation today as a federation, insisting that Nigeria must be a country of justice and equity.
He said: “While we are not wishing the country bad as a federation, 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.”
He also called for the unity of Ijaws all over the globe and that the strength of the people represents the unity of the land.
Diri said: “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 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: Ijaw National Congress and Ijaw Youths Council, saying they represent the strong voice of the Ijaw nation.
Diri said: “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.”
Earlier in an address presented by Elder Timi Kaiser Ogoriba, the central zone elders of the Ijaw Youths Council 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.
The elders said: “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 defend his effort and achieve what he attempted to achieve.”
They thanked the current administration in Bayelsa State under Governor Diri, who is from the same Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area as late Boro, for always putting the issues of Ijaw nation at the front-burner for national discourse.
The eldest daughter of the late foremost agitator, Esther Boro, said their late father was a man of courage and conviction for a batter Ijawland and that they are all proud of what their father stood for while alive.
She said his memories live on.
The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, who was in attendance, joined others to lay wreaths at the tomb of late Isaac Adaka Boro.