Ibani Furo Awo
2003 Boro Day
Nigerian Elections 2003




2010 was the 13th Boro Day/INAA Service Award Ceremony

Goodwill Message from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

HRM King Dandeson Jaja

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan



It is with great joy that I accept the invitation to be with you as Special Guest of Honour on the occasion of the 2010 INAA service and devotion ceremony called to celebrate one of Nigeria’s heroes, the late Major Isaac Adaka Boro. I call Major Boro a national hero for those very beliefs he shared with majority of Nigerians on the need to keep Nigeria one, united and indivisible. I am particularly delighted to note that the Ijaw National Alliance of the America had since 1995 set aside a special day to remember this man of courage and selflessness who died fighting to keep Nigeria together. His passion and emotion for the Niger Delta region is well known and I thank the INAA for helping to project his hope and dreams of a better Nigeria to the world.


In the business of building Nigeria we will need many patriotic hands. It is in this regard that I crave your indulgence to observe a minute silence for our departed President Mallam Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua who passed away in service of our dear country. May the Lord, Almighty grant him eternal rest. Amen


Ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that our departed President displayed an uncommon passion for the Niger Delta region while he was with us. In May, 2007 when we resumed office, President Yar Adua never hid his desire to stem the then rising wave of uncertainty, frustrations and anger that was prevalent in the region. Adopting a strategy of wide consultations he began the process of turning the tide and insisting that the development of the region, long forgotten by many, is a reality. He began by including the Niger Delta in his seven point agenda and proceeded to create a ministry of Niger Delta to compliment the efforts of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) while insisting that its regional master plan be adopted as a basis to begin the much needed transformation. He followed all this with the Amnesty Programme which many cynics felt it was unworkable!


Today, the amnesty programme is the bride in conflict transformation and we are happy to say the gains made will be saved and the lessons learnt will be treasured. But we must not forget that something brought about the situation that led to the amnesty. Following the foundation laid, I will pay special attention to removing the root cause of friction and fret that led us to a situation where the youths of our country from that region had to take up arms in protest. It is in our country’s interest that a permanent solution is secured that will return the Niger Delta to the path of peace and happiness. The task of achieving this is collective.


In this regard, I want to express my profound appreciation to our people in the Diaspora who not only encouraged our youths to accept amnesty but volunteered suggestions in various forms as to how to win the peace in the region. Your views and suggestions will continue to be treated with respect and the attention they deserve.


There are burning issues and questions on the matter of the Niger Delta needing resolutions and answers. What are those things that we can do individually and collectively to transform the region from an economically deprived region to one of peace, prosperity and security for the good of Nigeria and West Africa? How best do we secure a politically stable region? What is the best strategy to protect our environment? How can the gains and promise of the present be protected for generations that are to come?


In my view, some of these interrogations should form the basis of our interaction today and throughout the summit and beyond, for the content of our collective conscience on this matter backed by the burning passion of patriotism holds the key to our regional and national liberation. Our approaches on resolving these over five decades old problem may differ, our goal must necessarily remain the same: peace, prosperity and justice for the people and environment of the Niger Delta and Nigeria.


It is against this backdrop that I congratulate INAA on the theme for this year’s commemoration: THE NIGER DELTA: PATH TO A NEW ERA. The theme is apt and very phenomenal especially viewed from the bigger picture that a viable Niger Delta is an unparalleled support for Nigeria’s advancement.


The position of service that I find myself today is not my making, it is the Lords doing. Many of us will take pride that a son of the Niger Delta is holding this privileged position of responsibility in our beloved country Nigeria. That pride will be better celebrated if you can support me to do the work efficiently and effectively to the glory of God and the people of Nigeria. I have come to work so that smiles and happiness will become the common currency in our daily discourses.


I will contribute to the building of the economy by generating investor confidence through providing the enabling environment, supporting the rebuilding of decayed infrastructure such as electricity and roads. We will focus attention on providing the basic necessity of life including education, water and health facilities. I will not do this alone. I will work with various tiers and arms of government in a very cooperative manner that gives no room for the bitter taste of distractions. Government has mapped out policies strategies aimed at discouraging capital flight and to encourage investment. Apart from taking advantage of the local content law to grow our economy the amnesty program which is now under a Special Adviser will lead to a consolidation of the gains recorded so far. It is not going to be easy but we are determined to turn a new page in the interest of our people.


My brothers and sisters the Nigerian project is the singular most important task of our generation. We must encourage only those things that keep us together. With our neigbours we must continue to keep the peace. With our country we must offer patriotism and service. With our environment we must keep it protected so that the generation that is to come, will say we betrayed or forsake them.


I cannot end this address without thanking the INAA for the many years of labour in keeping this event alive. Thank you my brothers and sisters. To the honoree Barrister Oronto Douglas, congratulations! You have been called forward on account of what you stand for and what you are doing. You must keep up the good work for it is not over! To all of us who year in year out expend time and money in this enterprise, may God Almighty remember and bless you. Nation building is certainly a brick by brick affair. We are all labourers on this great mission.


I wish you all fruitful deliberations and journey mercies as you returned to your respective destinations.


Thank you and may God bless us all.


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