â€¢ Dickson: Nigeriaâ€™s only interest in Nâ€™Delta is its oil
Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Business activities were crippled for the whole of on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, following the celebration of Major Adaka Boro, regarded as an Ijaw hero by his kinsmen.
Many shops remained locked for the entire day while the few who managed to open for customers could only carry out skeletal services.
Boroâ€™s day is marked every year in commemoration of hisÂ â€˜exploitsâ€™ and attempts to â€˜liberateâ€™ Â the Ijaw people by first declaring the Niger Delta Republic and later his struggles to seek a better deal for his people from International oil companies.
The busy Yenagoa-Mbiama road was devoid of the usual traffic until later in the evening when an event which held at the Ijaw House, close to the Ijaw Heroes Memorial Park, where the remains of Boro were buried, ended.
Governor Seriake Dickson who laid a wreathe in honour of Boro, who died 49 years ago, in his speech, noted that nothing much had changed since the passing of the late soldier.
â€œWe are raising a new generation of Boros and leaders that would take up the struggles.Â Now we have got to focus on intellectual struggle.
â€œBecause we didnâ€™t invest in education, our country left us behind and forgot about the Niger Delta and our people. Up till today, their (Nigeriaâ€™s) only interest is the constant flow of oil and now gas, nothing more. As it was in Boroâ€™s time so it is till now,â€ the governor maintained.
Dickson urged the people of Bayelsa to stop seeking the downfall of their leaders, noting that only then would the state make uncurbed progress.
He added: â€œEvery Bayelsan must contribute his or her quota to the development of Ijawland, we must examine ourselves, and we must change the pull him down syndrome.
â€œThis yearâ€™s Boro day is a call to duty, call for patriotism and we should support and encourage one another.â€
He also thanked those who supported Boro during the struggle, stressing that their labour would not be in vain.
â€œI thank the youths of Ijaw nation for always keeping the Boro dream alive, I thank all of you for honouring and recognising Isaac Boro and the sacrifices and the contributions of all those who fought by his side,â€ the governor said.
In his remarks, the chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council and the Amayanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diette-Spiff, also saluted the courage of the late Boro.
He said Boro fought, sacrificed and died for what he believed in and urged the youths to emulate the example of the Ijaw icon.
To add colour to the event, there were cultural dances, traditional displays and solidarity tributes by leaders, children and family members of the deceased.