February 27, 2021

TNN Newspaper

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Who Will Take Adaka Boro’s Deputy Out Of This Wheel Chair?

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While the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson prides himself as defender of the Ijaw Nation, Captain Sam Owonaro who was deputy to the slain Ijaw freedom fighter, Adaka Boro has been condemned to a life on wheel chair, with no help coming from the self styled Ijaw governor. But why would Boro be celebrated daily, in his grave, while the living Owonaro is dying in phases? JOHN ODHE, was in Kaiama and came back with this report.
Captain Sam Owonaro is a living legend. Owonaro was the second in command to the legendary Niger Delta freedom fighter, the late Major Isaac Boro. The Kaiama born late warlord is celebrated worldwide following his dogged fight against oppression of the Ijaws and the Niger Delta region which had been the mainstay of the Nigerian economy but only rewarded with lack of social amenities and environmental degradation. Boro’s famous 12-Day Revolution against the Federal Republic of Nigeria gave him national and international limelight.
Though Boro and his foot soldiers were overpowered by the federal government, their genuine cause for resource control never went in vain. It brought some level of recognition to the hitherto abandoned region. The creation of Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Bayelsa states are some of the benefits of the Isaac Boro’s selfless and sacrificial struggle for the people of the Niger Delta.
However, one pertinent missing link about the Boro’s confrontational trajectory is the inability of leaders of the Niger Delta especially Bayelsa state to recognize the fact that Boro did not walk alone but as a team. He could not have fought alone. He had his foot soldiers, those who fought with him. Among them is his second in command. He is Capt. Sam Owonaro. Importantly, Owonaro happens to be the only living among the Boro team of freedom fighters. Supposedly, Owonaro should been seen as a beautiful bride to all Niger Deltans who and now beneficiaries of his selfless service to humanity.
While late Boro is being commemorated and celebrated worldwide, which is commendable and the right thing to do, his living second in command is totally abandoned and forgotten by those who are currently enjoying the fruits of his priceless fight for the emancipation of his people. Owonaro is condemned to a wheel chair, having been hit by a bullet which destroyed his spinal cord during the struggle. He is currently battling with deteriorating health condition including prostate ailment of which a catheter is fixed into his body through which he urinates. Yet, no one looks his direction for help. Indeed there is no rescue in sight.
It is based on this backdrop that a concerned group, the Ebiarefagha Group of lzon-lbe is calling on the Bayelsa state government, politicians and well-meaning sons and daughters of the Niger Delta to come to Owonaro’ rescue. Leader of the group, Mr. Neville Abiamowei, said when he and members of the Ebiarefagha visited Owonaro at his Kaiama home town, they could not hold back their tears when they saw the Niger Delta icon in his sorry state. Abiamowei revealed that Owonaro had been placed on a permanent two times a month medical check-ups with serious financial implications.
Recounting his ordeal, Owonaro told the group that there were standby persons who do the work of lifting him from his bed and also drop him every day. The facially stressed and pale looking Owonaro lamented that the only help he had got from the Bayelsa state government was during the time of Goodluck Jonathan as governor who bought him a customized car (now in bad shape), motorized wheelchair (now in bad shape), renovated his house, paid for his two times surgical bills in the United Kingdom and gave him some financial assistance. He lamented that the other politicians would only remember to seek his blessings and support during elections and would not return after winning.
According to the group, the 75-year old freedom fighter needs a brand new customized car and motorized wheelchair to aid his moment. Other immediate needs of Owonaro include prostate surgical operation abroad so that he could live a comfortable life without the stress of catheter. The group is also canvassing that the septuagenarian be placed on a monthly salary to be able to cater for his debilitating health condition as well as his family.
Ebiarefagha which is interpreted in lzon language to mean “good name is indelible. He said the group’s desire was to “contribute to society by way of identifying and recognizing worthy sons of the ljaw nation. Other members of the group who were in the team that visited Owonaro include the secretary, Chief Otami Clifford, Ojobokeme Engineerowei and Mrs. Sisekpari John Kalama.

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