Gift BARIKWA, PH
Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder, according to the national president of a pan Niger Delta group, Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta MOSIEND, Kennedy Tonjo-West.
Tonjo-West stated this at the commemoration of the 54th remembrance of the great icon, Late Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro, held at Abuloma UPE Primary School Field, Rivers State.
The theme of this year Adaka-Boro’s Remembrance Day is unlocking potentials for liberation.
The late Boro, born September 10, 1938, was a Nigeria Nationalist of Ijaw extraction and a soldier who was one of the pioneers of minority rights activism in Nigeria. He formed the Niger Delta Volunteer Force with members consisting of his fellow Ijaw ethnic group.
Also, he declared the Niger Delta Republic on February 23, 1966, and fought with federal forces for twelve days before being defeated .He and his fellows were jailed for treason however the General Yakubu Gowon granted him amnesty on the eve of the Nigeria civil war in May, 1967.
Boro was enlisted and was commissioned as a major in the Nigerian army; he fought on the side of the federal government but was killed in active service in 1968 at Ogu waterways near Okrika in Rivers State.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with TNN, during the Adaka-Boro’s remembrance event, Tonjo-West said “today is a memorable day for us, it gives us sober reflection because 54 years ago there was a need for this country to be divided so that people can manage their resources, government will be more responsible to effective administration for development, this were the reasons why Boro wanted the Niger Delta Republic.
“Interestingly all the ethnic nationalities that saw him being a secessionist, that saw him being unpatriotic have all joined the queue seeking for various republic.
“A truth be told that Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder were we have our constitutional infractions; we have regional manipulation, favours one against the other, government one sided administrative policies.
“The estate called Nigeria is beginning to overwhelm the government that be. Going forward being this 54th anniversary we tagged it unlocking potentials for liberation.
“There is no law for that favour the minority in this country and our brothers from the northern region boosted about it convinced that there is nothing the Niger Delta or any other Nation could do but I want to tell Nigeria something whether we want to stay in this country or we want to leave, as ethnic Nationalities as a region it is our right to say so and to make every effort within the hand bit of international law to ensure that we leave.
“As the days go by it is beginning to down on us that this whole estate called Nigeria is a shrewd. Few oligarchies have put this country in their pocket and their beginning to milk us dry, enslave this country and enslave the people.
“The 1999 constitution as far as we are concern is a fraud on Nigeria , it is a fraud on our intelligence that’s 1999 constitution coming back the electoral act that was pass into law was also a fraud because it is a makeup of the 1999 constitution if the call for agitation of the Niger Delta self determination of the Niger Delta is anything to go by just watch and see it will be Niger Delta Republic and it has come to stay.”
Also speaking, the Eastern Zone chairman, Prince Marley said “today marks the 54th memorial day of our great Icon late Major Isaac Jasper Boro who was gruesomely annihilated on the 9th of May 1968 during the almost ending of the Nigeria civil war.
“It was his presence in the war that we were rewarded with this state, Rivers State in 1967. He was the first to declare a republic, the Republic of Niger Delta a 12-day war due to the manner the Izons was subjected to an excruciating painful suffering in the then Eastern region, we were actually neo-colonized.
“You may ask yourselves why should there be regions without a South. The South region was fused into South East there was no South while there was the North, the West and the East and in the West Midwest was created, we were denied the identity of the south.
“Boro could not stand the incipient condition, we were treated as second class slaves while our natural resources were shipped abroad and its proceeds used to better and enrich, develop other regions of the country as the Niger Delta suffer in abject poverty and squalor.
“I therefore entreat you to work hard for the success in the development and freedom of the Ijaw nation for we are not having a fair deal, the marginalization still persists, the oppression continues we need to determine our future and future of the generation yet unborn to sustain their pride of place in this ancient space of our God given natural abode”.
The Ikwerre National President, Omachi Micheal noted that, ”the struggle is a struggle that have begun 54 years ago when our father’s, Obiwali, Adaka Boro, Ken-sarowiwa and others that were fighting for south when this country was operating on three political region the north, west and the east where we have four cardinal point where is the south that is the question which our father today Adaka boro asked that led him to prison.
“Today we have come to remember that which he had said in the beginning and stand by it, follow his step and to ensure that our children do not suffer today and this we have come to say give peace a chance in the Niger Delta and we are still warning let there be peace in the Niger Delta”.
Further, Speaker Rivers State Youth Leaders Assembly, Prince Tonye Jeminimiema in an interview said, “we are having this remembrance today because he died for the liberation of the Niger Delta people that is why we are all gathered here today under the Rivers state youth assembly to join MOSEIND to celebrate our brother who died 54 years ago chief Jasper Adaka Boro that is what his known as”.