Ibani Furo Awo
2003 Boro Day
Nigerian Elections 2003




2009 was the 12th Boro Day/INAA Service Award Ceremony



Good afternoon and welcome to another family gathering and reunion. I must emphasize the concept of family because the Ijaw family of which you are a part is the reason why you have made personal sacrifice to attend. Unfortunately, I cannot mention names of all the guests amongst us today who have attended every “Boro Day” since INAA shifted venue of the event from Nigeria to here in the United States. We thank you for your dedication and petriotism. We also thank those who are attending the event for the first time. Special thanks to Chief Edwin  K. Clark, Patron of INAA, who is represented by his wife, Mrs. Clark, His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amayanabo of Twon, Brass and His Royal Highness  Charles Ayemi-Botu, the Paramount Ruler of Seimbiri Clan . Like many others here today who have come to lend support, you have unquestionably demonstrated your faith in our efforts by attending the “Boro Day” event, not once, not twice.  Your presence again this year serves as an inspiration for INAA to persevere, work hard and sustain the platform it has built for Ijaw dialogue here in the Americas.  We also thank and welcome the Ijaw National Congress President, Dr.  A. W. Obianime, and the other delegates from this great Ijaw Umbrella Organization and also Dr. Chris Ekiyor,  IYC President and  other IYC delegates to this historic summit. There are also Official representatives of various Ijaw Ethnic Organizations who are here today. We acknowledge your presence and grateful for you for your support. Thank you very much. This is the hand of fellowship and cooperation INAA has always extended over the years to Ijaws here in the United States and  at home in Nigeria so we could partner and work together for the common good of our people back home and elsewhere. On behalf of INAA, I would also like to welcome our keynote Speaker, Dr. Boladei Igali, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Sweden, for graciously accepting our invitation to deliver the keynote address today. And finally, INAA extends sincere gratitude to Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who is being represented by Mr. Braye Ekiye from Nigeria. So, you can see why I started with the “family” metaphor. Unfortunately, today’s event is at a time when things are inauspicious in our Region in Nigeria .


The Ijaw National Alliance of the Americas unequivocally condemns the act of genocide that the Nigeria government is currently carrying out against the Ijaws in the Niger Delta. The Nigerian government should be severely rebuked and ostracized by the International Community for the routine carnage of defenseless Ijaws in various communities since 1999. The Organization specifically calls on the United States government and governments throughout the world which cherish justice and civility to impose sanctions against Nigeria for the premeditated killings of innocent civilians time and time again in the Ijaw communities. The problems in the Niger Delta can never be solved with bombs, bullets and bayonets. Only dialogue and a sincere commitment to execute resolutions from these dialogues can bring lasting peace to Nigeria and development in the Niger Delta Region.Our prayers go out to our brothers and sisters at  Gbaramatu Kingdom and the neighboring villages who have been victims of the callous and criminal attacks.

 Were Isaac Adaka Boro alive today, he would consider today’s gathering noble and opportune for us to put our heads together to plan and strategize. To react by abandoning what we traditionally do on a day like this smacks of defeat. The Ijaw is not, and will never be defeated! Therefore, Boro would rather advise that we be proactive by doing what we traditionally do to uphold the integrity of our culture with grace, finesse, more tact and sophistication. So the sessions, workshops and presentations are planned to embody these elements. Let us therefore, take advantage of the opportunity this 13th. “Boro Day” summit provides.

I thank you again for coming.  Long live the Ijaw Nation. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Mr. Dawari Longjohn, INAA President

Sheraton Newark Airport Hotel

Newark, New Jersey

Saturday, May 30, 2009




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