Ibani Furo Awo
2003 Boro Day
Nigeian Elections 2003



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INAA 2004 “Service & Devotion” Award Citation
(By Professor Joseph M. Ebiware)

Service to humankind and devotion to service are not altogether inherent human virtues; they are acquired qualities. Also, courage has been regarded as one of the major human virtues. Isaac Adaka Boro whom we commemorate today is an embodiment of selfless service, unalloyed devotion and supreme courage. Isaac Adaka Boro believed in service, he was devoted to service and above all, he was very gutsy, in his efforts to find answers to the Ijaw Question. So, the Service & Devotion award INAA bestows annually has iconic significance and contextual symbolism. To that extent, Boro’s persona, his personality attributes are the animating principle of the service and devotion award. To the men and women who have been honored with this prestigious award over the years, they are a source of pride, a beacon of hope and a flashlight of conscience for the Ijaw and the rest of humanity. We will always honor and invoke their memory to remind us about the need to serve selflessly, faithfully and do good. The principle of service, devotion & accountability thus becomes the standard maxim and living language of hope for the Ijaw at this point. It is no coincidence therefore, that INAA’s motto is “Service, Devotion & Accountability”.

Today’s recipient of the “Service & Devotion” award is Chief (Dr.) E. K. Clark, an eminent Statesman and educator who is honored and recognized in numerous Ijaw communities and beyond for his patriotism and selfless services. Right from your early years, you were determined to give back much more than you received from the Ijaw community from where you received your early education. As a young teacher, you were not attracted by the allure to go to other more urban communities to guide young men and women in the classrooms. Instead, you devoted your efforts to groom and impart knowledge to the younger generation in the rural Ijaw communities because you believe in the age-long saying that “charity begins at home”. > From Okrika to Ofoni to Bomadi, you reformed and transformed schools as headmaster.

It was no accident, therefore, when you were appointed as Commissioner for Education in the then Midwest State. Your appointment as Education Commissioner marked the end of a period when Ijaw communities had less than a few secondary schools. You promptly adjusted the legacy of years of neglect. Your tenure as Education Commissioner became a period when many more secondary schools were established in the Ijaw Communities in the then Midwest State and with this, you gave life, hope and a sense of direction to numerous Ijaw youths who would otherwise be hopeless and wasted. And when you later became Commissioner for Finance and Establishment, you made sure that schools in the Ijaw communities were equally well funded like those in other parts of the then Midwest State. Many men and women currently in government, politics and other professions in Nigeria and abroad owe it to you for their success and achievements.

Your political career spans more than four decades. As a Senator at the national level, you were a member of the Senate Select Committee representing the Southern Minorities. You were also Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Industry as well as Federal Commissioner for Information. You served with distinction in all these positions and were known to be forthright, fearless, out-spoken, built bridges and made alliances necessary to advance our cause as a people.

It is with the same motivating force that you have been a steadfast advocate for fairness and justice regarding claims and counter-claims about the perimeters of Ijawland in some parts of Delta State. Despite serious reprisals you have suffered over the years for being courageous and out-spoken to enable peace reign, you continue to be dogged in disseminating the truth because you equally believe in peace and justice. You believe that truth is like an anvil that always wears out the hammer—the hammer of lies, deceit and subterfuge. We pray that some of your intellectual and legal analysis (as a lawyer) to set the record straight would, indeed, remove the wrinkles from the record and enable peace and justice reign in this particular area of Delta State.

You are the Izon Ebe Kekereowei of Ijaw; the Amiu-nu-go of Iyede Kingdom; the Ebidouowei of kabowei Kingdom; the Bebeariowei of Ngbelekebiri- Mein Kingdom; recipient of the National Award of the Republic of Togo; National award of Order of Federal Republic of Nigeria; Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Mina; Honorary LLD, University of Benin and many more awards. You have served Ijaws, you have served people of the Niger Delta, you have served Nigeria, you have served humanity steadfastly, courageously and selflessly for many decades and that is why the Ijaw National Alliance of the Americas also bestows upon you its 2004 “Service & Devotion” award.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

P/s. In addition to the plaque, the sum of N50,000 (fifty-thousand naira) was also part of the award given to the recipient to be donated to a school or schools of his choice. The money will be used to buy books or equipment for the school.

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