Ibani Furo Awo
2003 Boro Day
Nigerian Elections 2003




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



Prof. Joe Ebiware - Opening Remarks

(By Prof. J. M. Ebiware)

(All Protocols Observed)

My Name is Professor Joe Ebiware and I am the Vice President of the INAA. Mr. Tonye Whyte (General Secretary of INAA) will be taking notes. It is very important to take notes because of the Importance Attached to this and the Subsequent Session on Sunday.

Our challenges are unique for many reasons and it’s not for me to chronicle them now because I believe that we are all aware of them. Besides, another fundamental challenge we have is how, those of you whom we are grateful to have here today, believed to be in a position to influence policy directly or indirectly in Ijawland, could effectively, I repeat the word EFFECTIVELY, collaborate with Diaspora Ijaws to make Ijawland a better place.

To be frank, those of us here in Diaspora, are quite frustrated, seeing what is going on in most of our communities, our States back home. That’s why, for many years, INAA has taken the initiative to provide such a forum, not to talk of the hoops gone through to make sure that a significant number of you from Nigeria and from the Diaspora are here to talk.

Since becoming “Acting” and later becoming “President” of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I have observed the number of times our brother, our son, President Jonathan, has used the phrase “good governance” in speeches he has delivered at various forums.

That’s the more reason why “good governance” in our communities, our States, should be the mantra for people of the Niger Delta. It’s the raison d’etre for the efforts and sacrifice by the man we’re honoring today.

It is no coincidence that the underlying message in the presentations we will be listening to momentarily is the need for “good governance” and best practices to harness resources to pave the way toward humility, integrity and accountability, the predicates for good governance.

INAA sincerely believes that we can do it.  But the Organization is not naïve about the obstacles that litter the path. INAA believes that we are all very serious and sincere about making Ijawland a better place for all and not just a privileged few. We can do it with a changed mindset. The changed mindset includes courage, the fear of God and the noble character to tell the truth and shun hypocrisy. Let us all try!  

As you can see from the order of presentation on the program, Dr. Obianime, INC President will be the first presenter. He will be followed by Dr. Chris Ekiyor, IYC President, Dr. Reuben Jaja, Ijaw Foundation, BOD President, Mr. Felix Oboro, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Venezuela and Dr. Abio Sokari. They all have specific time limits to make their presentations so we can effectively utilize the three-and-one-half hour period we have for this session. I will time them and give them a signal at the last remaining minute.

Questions/comments, from the audience will follow after all the presentations are made. As moderator, I will exercise my prerogative to interject or interrupt when questions or comments are a repeat of what has been said or asked. This is for the interest of time just as the presenters have time limits. The ultimate objective is for us to maximize the time, be very frank with ourselves as members of one big family, build consensus on some of the thorny issues to enable us move forward. We may disagree without being disagreeable or impolite.  We may touch upon sensitive issues and that’s why this session excludes the large number of non-Ijaws whom you will see at the other events planned for the rest of the day.  

Please raise your hand to be recognized to ask a question or make a comment.      

Towards the end of the session, His Royal Majesty Charles Ayemi-Botu who is chair of this session will make brief remarks to end this gathering.

But a couple of house-keeping information:

•    We will break at 12:30 to have lunch at the hotel cafeteria. And behind the hall, we have coffee, tea and some snack. So, feel free to help yourself.

•    We will also spend part of the few remaining minutes to take care of some business (Presentation of Plaque to Ebi Nanakumo)
•    At 2 O’Clock, we will gather for the SEMINAR, here in this same hall for the panel discussion.

•    The MC will announce the subsequent sessions/events as listed on the program. I now call on Dr. Obianime, President of INC to deliver the “State of the Ijaw Nation”


 Picture Gallery - Cross Section of Attendees

 Cross Section of Attendees Cross Section of Attendees

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