May 17, 2019

Ogoni: Environmental Justice and Resource Equity Highlighted During Isaac Adaka Boro Day

Yesterday [16 May 2019], people in Niger Delta region commemorated Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro, one of the pioneers of minority rights activism in Nigeria who inspired thousands, including Ken Saro Wiwa, the founder of UNPO's Ogoni member MOSOP. Following the growing injustice, inequity and unfair treatment meted on the oil-rich Niger Delta region, the people have re-echoed the call for equity and fairness from the Nigerian state during the Isaac Adaka Boro day. Among others, leader of the Pan Niger Delta Development Forum, PANDEF, Edwin Clark has urged the Buhari administration to look into the issues affecting the Niger Delta region.

The article below was published by Africa Independent television

Key among the concerns of the elder statesman is the passage of the petroleum industry bill and the clean up of the environment in the oil producing communities.

These were some of the demands made at the 51st anniversary of the death of Niger Delta activist Isaac Adaka Boro day in Abuja.

The struggle for justice and equality as far as resource distribution is concerned has been an endless one for many in the Niger Delta.

One man who has attained legendary status in the hearts of most Niger Deltans is Isaac Adaka Boro, a nationalist who fought on the side of federal forces for a United Nigeria but who at the same time is more revered for his struggle for economic freedom, justice and fairness for his region.

May 16, every year has been a day set by the Ijaw people not just to immortalize him, but also to reflect on the reality of the legacies he fought for.

For Ijaw leader and Elder Statesman, Edwin Clark, the issues that have influenced the struggle of Isaac Boro are still tragically present in many Niger Delta communities.

Other activists hold a more liberal outlook, taking into account some of the Federal Government interventions in developing the resource base of the Niger Delta region such as the amnesty programme.

For Ijaws resident in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the symbolism of Boro day can never be lost on them as they used the day to showcase the rich culture of the riverine communities of the Niger Delta. Even in the landlocked city of Abuja, the people thronged the only major water source – the Jabi lake to display various activities such as the boat regatta.

This ceremony is another testament to the cultural ideals, values and diversity of the Nigerian people.

Photo courtesy of Signal