Businesses Shut down in Bayelsa, as Ijaws Celebrate Isaac Boro Day
Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa
Business activities in Kaima, headquarters of the Ijaw struggle and Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, were yesterday shut down for the 54th Remembrance Day of an Ijaw Hero, Late Jasper Isaac Adaka Boro.
Hundreds of Ijaw youths, under the aegis of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), the Amagbein Peace Movement (APM) in the hours of the morning also ensured that businesses were shut down in honour of the Ijaw hero.
Most significant of yesterday’s annual event was the formal handing over of the palatial building to the Boro family, rebuilt by a former militant leader, ‘General’ Endurance Amagbein, at the family compound in Kaima.
The former militant leader rebuilt Boro’s father’s house built in the 1950s after he reportedly brought down the old dilapidated Boro’s house. which he saw as an eyesore and built a magnificent 21st century house there.
Excited, Mr. David Jasper Boro, the younger brother of Isaac Boro, and the oldest member of Boro’s family, said: “Amagbein came and said it was a shame that the house was standing like that and people were celebrating Boro, heaping praises on him, yet his house was decrepit.
“He wondered why Ijaw leaders did not do anything about the house all these years they have been celebrating. Amagbein took it upon himself and spent over N13 million to rebuild the house. No government has done it, yet it was an individual that took it upon himself to save the family room shame.
“People in government are benefiting from the sweat of the Adaka Boro but they will not look at the family. They started the anniversary abroad but former Governor Seriake Dickson brought the celebration back to Nigeria. But even at that, what are we getting? Amagben has changed all that. We are eternally grateful to him for what he has done.”
The first daughter of Isaac Boro, Esther, said the significance of the Boro Day celebration was knowing where the Ijaws were coming from and where they had gotten to today and the changes they had to make within themselves.
She stated: “You know we still need to work as individuals not as government. What we need to do to get to the Promised Land, we have to implant in us Boroism. True Boroism is unity, peace and love. Without those components, we are nobody, we are not ready to fight or identify our needs let alone talk about what others expect of us.
“So, it is very vital that we signify those aspects of what the entire struggle is about, what this young man died for, why did he go to fight the nation, have we achieved that? Yes, we have achieved a lot but we are not where we want to be yet. We still have many rivers to cross.”
National Spokesman for IYC, Mr. Ebilade Ekerefe, noted that the remembrance celebration of Ijaw hero, Boro had impressed on the minds of youths from the Niger Delta region that he was not just another folk hero, but a university student’s leader, a teacher, policeman and Nigerian army officer.
The National Secretary of MOSIEND, Ambassador Winston Cotterel Amain, described the celebration as another avenue to observe, commend, instruct and where necessary criticize, especially in an event of outright contravention of the fundamentals and vision of the actualisation of the Reorientation, Repositioning and Recovery of the lost grounds in the emancipation of the Ijaw nation.
The Coordinator, APM, Mr. Okadi Abraham, said: “We are here to celebrate and also to pray to the gods and send a message to the Ijaw nation. We are here because Boro from his youthful age sacrificed his life for the Ijaw man to live a good life, to have light, to have good roads and other things that make life worth living.
“Another reason we are here to celebrate with Boro and his family in Kaiama and today I stand before Boro grave. What General Amagbein did and what Boro did that motivated us: ‘Boro said ‘I want to tell you something, you people will kill me but more Boros are coming and today Boro has given birth to General Amadein, the river lord. He has come out for peace, he has come out development and he has come out for equality.
“Thousands of persons have used the name of Boro to benefit, to go to abroad to build houses and nobody remembers Boro family and nobody remembers that Boro had a house in Kaiama.
“Today, Amagbein is a significant to Boro, to the Ijaw nation. He has built a house, made it a modern standard for his family. Nobody in the Ijaw nation has remembered that house.”