BORO, A NATIONAL HERO â€“ JONATHAN
President Goodluck Jonathan, on Saturday night, eulogized the late Major Isaac Adaka Boro, describing him as one of Nigeria's heroes who fought to keep the country united and indivisible.
He spoke at the Dinner/Cultural Night of the 2010 Boro Day/13th Service and Devotion Award Ceremonies organized by the Ijaw National Alliance of the Americas (INAA) in Newark, New Jersey in the United States of America.
Jonathan, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Parastatals and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Hon. Braeyi Ekiye, said the late Ijaw revolutionary, whose death during the Nigerian civil war remained controversial, shared beliefs with majority of Nigerians on the need to keep the country one.
'I call Major Boro a national hero for those very beliefs he shared with majority of Nigerians on the need to keep Nigeria one, united and indivisible. I'm particularly delighted to note that INAA has, since 1995, set aside a special day to remember this man of courage and selflessness, who died fighting to keep Nigeria together. His passion and emotion for the Niger Delta region is well known and I thank INAA for helping to project his hope and dreams of a better Nigeria to the world,' Jonathan said.
He promised to build on the foundation laid for developing the Niger Delta by his predecessor, late President Umaru Yar'Adua, and to effectively tackle the cause of frustration and anger that gave rise to militancy and agitation by youths of the region.
'Today, the amnesty programme is the bride in conflict transformation and we are happy to say the gains will be saved and the lessons learnt will be treasured. But we must not forget that something brought about the situation that led to the amnesty.
'Following the foundation laid, I will pay special attention to removing the root cause of friction and fret that led us to a situation where the youths of our country from that region had to take up arms in protest. It is in our country's interest that a permanent solution is secured that will return the Niger Delta to the path of peace and happiness. The task of achieving this is collective,' he said while soliciting the support of Nigerians across the world towards building a country they would be proud of.
In his keynote address, the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Owoeye Azazi, equally eulogized Boro, describing him as the most respected iconic figure in the Niger Delta, a visionary and an unrivalled revolutionary.
The two-day summit attracted Ijaws from across America and Europe as well as some prominent leaders from the ethnic group, including Nigeria's Ambassador to Venezuela, Felix Oboro, former Ijaw National Congress leader, Chief Joshua Fumudoh, traditional rulers such as the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, Dr Alfred Diete-Spiff, Amanyanabo of Opobo, King Dandeson Jaja, Pere of Seimbiri Kingdom, HRM Charles Ayemi-Botu, and a former member of the Presidential Committee on Amnesty, Dr Timiebi Koripamo-Agary, among others.