The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, on Wednesday called on the federal government to urgently address issues of restructuring, environmental degradation and underdevelopment of the Niger Delta region to ensure sustainable peace and stability.
Mr Dickson, who was represented by his Deputy, John Jonah, made the call at the 50th anniversary and wreath laying ceremony of Isaac Adaka Boro in Yenagoa.
A statement by the governor’s spokesman, Francis Agbo, noted that the issues which necessitated Boro’s 12 day revolution in the country, are still looming large in the Niger Delta region and agitating the minds of the people, fifty years after the departure of Mr Boro.
Mr Dickson, who described Bayelsa and the Niger Delta as the goose that lays the golden egg sustaining the country’s economy, wondered why the federal government and multinational oil companies have continued to “subject the people to untold hardship”.
The governor also urged leaders and the people of the Niger Delta to emulate the lifestyle of Boro, which represents selflessness, justice and equity.
Commenting on the deplorable state of the ecosystem, arising from the activities of oil companies and pipeline vandals, he urged youths to shun practices that would further degrade the environment.
In their separate remarks, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Konbowei Benson, and the Chief Whip, Tonye Isenah, eulogised the qualities of the late freedom fighter, noting that his agitations had brought governance closer to the Ijaw people.
The Chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council, represented by the Ibedaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, Bubaraye Dakolo, described the 50 years anniversary as a time for self-appraisal and charged Ijaw people to strive harder to carve an enviable identity for themselves.
In their goodwill messages, the Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council, Alfred Kemepado, and daughter of the late hero, Esther Boro, urged the youth to uphold the ideals of Boro and eschew activities that would de-market the region.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Austin Dressman, stressed the need to keep up the struggle, in achieving a restructured Nigeria, justice and economic inclusion.
Highpoint of the event was the laying of wreaths at the tomb of Isaac Adaka Boro at the Ijaw Heroes Memorial Park.