Niger Delta Nigeria

Boro’s 50th memorial: Ijaw youths demand new States

Boro’s 50th memorial: Ijaw youths demand new States

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has celebrated the 50th memorial of one of their own, late Major Isaac Boro with a demand for additional two states to be created in the Niger Delta.

They said that the creation would give the Ijaw people space to achieve their aspirations in the federation.

The IYC President, Eric Omare, made the call at Kaiama, the home town of Boro in Kolokuma/Opukuma Local Government Area of Baylesa.

Omare spoke during the golden anniversary celebration of the demise of the freedom fight icon.

According to the IYC leader, 50 years after Boro died while fighting for the freedom of his people, the political fortune of the Ijaw people has not changed drastically.

He noted that Ijaws were still balkanised and shared out into six different states as minorities and subjected to all sorts of political suppression and oppression.

Omare bemoaned the situation where Nigeria now has thirty six states whereas the Ijaw people who are the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria have just one state.

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He said the situation had persisted even when the Ijaws were the first to ask for state creation through their late leader, Harold Dappa-Biriye at the London constitutional conference.

“This is oppressive and totally unacceptable to the Ijaw people, especially considering the fact that majority of the resources being used to fund the thirty six states of the federation and the federal and local governments of the country come from the Ijaw territory,’’ Omare said.

Omare said the key demand of the Ijaws on the way forward was the call for the restructuring of the country which include the creation of two homogenous Ijaw states.

He said the proposed states, Toru-Ibe State for the Ijaw people of Ondo, Edo and Delta states on the western flank and Oil Rivers State for the Ijaw people of Akwa Ibom and Rivers.

“The states will empower Ijaws to freely express their political aspirations,’’ he noted.

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Omare said the Ijaw areas covered by the proposed Toru-Ibe and Oil Rivers States are geographically contiguous and linguistically homogenous.

He said the only way that restructuring could make sense to the people was for these two states to be created which were key parts of late Boro’s struggle.

“It is sad that those 50 years after the demise of the late Adaka Boro, his dream of political autonomy for the Ijaw people has yet to be realised.

“It will be recalled that the agitations of the late Adaka Boro led to the creation of the old Rivers State in 1976,’’ Omare said.

 

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