In Honour Of Adaka Boro
A prophet it is often said is not recognised by his people. But for Isaac Adaka Boro, who fought for the emancipation of people of Ijaw extraction from oppression and neglect by the federal government, the story is different. Boro who led the first Ijaw revolution in 1966 is being honoured annually many years after his death.
At this year’s Isaac Adaka Boro Day held in Kaiama, Bayelsa State, the state governor, Henry Seriake Dickson promised to turn the late Ijaw nationalist’s country home to a tourist centre. The governor stated that his government will build a centre for Ijaw cultural and history, which will attract local and foreign tourists and visitors. Kaiama community where Boro came from, Governor Dickson added will be provided with a modern hospital, a permanent orientation camp for the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, as well as a model college with boarding facilities. He declared that the celebration will no longer take place outside the country but in Kaiama, Boro’s community. This is in contrast to what was the case in the past where money that could be used for infrastructural development was used to sponsor government functionaries to the United States of America, USA, or the United Kingdom for celebration.
Governor Dickson also promised to cater for the family of the late Boro who lamented that it no longer enjoyed the state government’s financial assistance since the end of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure as governor of the state. He pledged to complete the Boro Town, which was abandoned by the old Rivers State government.
Chairman of the Isaac Boro Remembrance Day committee, Brigadier General Maxwell Appah said the late Ijaw nationalist is being celebrated because like Mahatma Ghandi he fought for the rights of his people. We adore him, because like Nelson Mandela, he fought for the masses; we hail him sitting atop the Izon Pantheon. Isaac Boro shall continue to inspire the Izon nation forever and forever,” he declared. Brigadier General Appah said were Boro to be alive, he would have been celebrating his 76th birthday. He said Adaka Boro died so that the Ijaws can be free. He called for documentation of the life and time of Adaka Boro, noting that except for “The Twelve Day Revolution,” Boro, like Jesus Christ, wrote little about himself. “Today the much we know about him is from family members, friends, age mates, class and school mates, antagonistic historians/writers and all manners of men and women…. We don’t want zealots to turn him into a dangerous god or legendary figure without roots. We want the world to know that Adaka was an icon born by parents into a family, into a community from where he rose to champion the unchaining of his long suffering people,” he advocated.
He commended Governor Dickson for the establishment of a full fledged ministry of culture and Ijaw national affairs with the first president of the Ijaw Youth Council, Dr. Felix Tuodolo as its commissioner.
The traditional ruler of Kolokuma Kingdom, King Mozi Agara appealed to appropriate authorities to come to the aid of Kaiama community in the provision of social amenities. King Agara noted that since the community has become a tourist attraction in view of the volume of people who visit Kaima because of Boro, there is the need to improve infrastructure facilities in the community. He challenged governors of the south-south region on the provision of employment and infrastructure development so as to stem the recurring incidents of kidnapping, and militancy in the region.
This year is the 44th anniversary of Isaac Boro’s death. The son of the late nationalist, Felix Boro who was three and half years when his father died said the holes left in the family house when the soldiers attacked the building in 1966 are still there and make it uninhabitable. Boro was killed at Okirika in Rivers State during the Nigerian/Biafran civil war.