AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE IYC, WORLDWIDE, BARR. PEREOTUBO ROLAND OWEILAEMI ON THE OCCASION OF BORO DAY CELEBRATION AT KAIAMA TOWN, BAYELSA STATE ON THE 16TH OF MAY, 2019.
May I with respect greet all compatriots in the liberation struggle for the onerous task so far. Permit me to thank our founding fathers who set the pace for this epoch making day to come as this year marked the 21st anniversary of the historic Kaiama Declaration.
Indeed, the founding leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) deserves all commendations and accolades by the teeming Ijaw youths who have the privilege to experience this very important day.
No doubt, these legendary compatriots sacrificed all their comforts to fish in the turbulent water in December, 1998 to relaunch the armed struggle bequeathed to us by our pioneer martyr, Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro whom we are hitherto celebrating today.
Permit me to recognise the efforts of some of our liberation crusaders both dead and alive for keeping Boro’s dream alive. I want to sincerely thank Elder T. K. Ogoriba, Late Barr. Oronto Douglas, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, Alhaji Asari-Dokubo, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, Chief (Dr.) Bello Oboko, Sergeant Digifa, Akpoboloukaemi P. Ziakede, Dan Ekpebide, Kime Engouzi, Late Owei Bosin, Oyinfie Jon-Jon, Abiye Koremiema, Charles Omusuku, Ibiba Don Pedro, Alfred Egbegi, Presido Gomorai among others too numerous to mention who were the brain behind the Kaiama Declaration.
These persons laid the foundation for the birth of IYC. It is gratifying to remember once again their suicidal sacrifice in relaunching Boro’s dream for the liberation of the Niger Delta region.
My floral tribute also goes to the former presidents of the Council, to wit: Dr. Felix Tuodolo, Alhaji Asari-Dokubo, Oyinfie Jon-Jon, Dr. Chris Ekiyor, Abiye Kuremiema and Udengs Eradiri.
51 years after Isaac Boro laid down his life for the unity of this country, the issues that caused its near collapse have not been addressed thereby threatening the country’s continuous corporate existence.
Successive governments for the past 51 years have refused to heed to the popular demands of restructuring, true federalism and resource control which are a panacea to addressing the wounds of the civil war.
Today, Nigeria is faced with myriads of insecurity occasioned by sectarian crisis in the North East, Herdsmen crisis, Banditry attacks, ethnic crisis as well as kidnapping and other social vices which are posing a big threat to the continuous survival of Nigeria as a corporate entity.
For us in the Niger Delta, our grievances can only be addressed only if the country is restructured. We will never back down on our collective struggle for the liberation of the region until we attain our political independent. All we ask for is resource control, true federalism and equal political participation among the various ethnic groups that formed this federation.
IYC views that the solution to our liberation struggle and the growing insecurity in the Country generally is resource control and true federalism. Let us go back to the 1960 constitution where the regions had greater economic powers than the central government. We need regional autonomy for a proper policing of the country.
On the growing insecurity in the country, IYC is calling on the FG to immediately initiate amendment of the Constitution by devolving much powers to the states. We need state and community police to effectively tackle the menace.
In another vein, IYC is using this medium to call on the Federal Government to immediately relocate the offices of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Presidential Amnesty Programme to the Niger Delta region. Just like NDDC is sited in the region, the Ministry and the Amnesty office can only effectively function once they are relocated to the region. Those offices have no business being stationed in Abuja.
We are also calling on the government to commence the construction of the coastal highway proposed by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. The coastal areas in the region are still grossly underdeveloped due to the terrain. For the sake of peace in the region, FG should therefore establish coastal areas development agency for the inaccessible coastal dwellers in the Niger Delta. Our demands herein are in addition to the timely completion of the East West Road as well as beefing up security in the East West Road, especially in the Bayelsa and Rivers axis.
Lastly, we also use this medium to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to make Prof. Brambaifa as the substantive Managing Director of the NDDC. His short stay as the Ag MD has brought so much peace and progress to the Commission.
The region is benefiting immensely from his qualitative leadership. No doubt, making him the substantive MD will bring the desired peace to the region.
May I at this juncture, thank my fellow youths who have been keeping Boro’s dream alive unto this day. For us to cross the turbulent river of oppression is not going to be easy. However, with our collective efforts, we shall definitely cross the Rubicon in order to give Boro’s spirit a final rest. Once again, thank you very much for coming to grace this occasion.
Long live the IYC!
Long live the Ijaw Nation!!
Long live the Niger Delta!!!