INAA "Boro Day 2004"- POST-CONVENTION MESSAGE
Released: Adams, Massachusetts, USA. May 2, 2004
On May 22 we converged as Ijaws, inspired by the May martyr, Isaac Adaka Boro. Firstly, INAA would like to thank all those who attended the event because your presence was an affirmation of our (Ijaw) sense of unity and solidarity as a people. As Ijaws, your presence also added greater meaning and significance to the event. You realized that we all had a stake in the success or failure of the Day. You were very aware that all of us were in this together. Therefore, you prioritized the "Boro Day" as an obligation to fulfill on May 22 by driving several hours, flying several miles, spending hundreds of dollars to attend; it is, indeed, the epitome of commitment to a cause one believes! For some of you, this is not the first time you have made such a personal sacrifice. Given the demands of a society which demands so much from one financially and otherwise, you still were able to spare the time and dollars (some, with your entire families) to participate because you truly believe in Boro's dream and his legacy and also have faith in INAA. The Ijaw National Alliance of the Americas salute you. You are, indeed, heroes and heroines in your ownrights.
For those who could not attend, INAA would also like to thank you for your moral support expressed directly or indirectly on this forum. Apparently, a variety of personal reasons may have prevented many of you in this forum from physically being present at the event. The sentiments you have expressed, nonetheless, reflect your support and goodwill towards the event and INAA. And for this, INAA is equally grateful.
There is also another category of Ijaws and well-wishers INAA would like to thank. They are those who also could not make it to the event but were gracious enough to send in donations to help INAA defray some of the expenses. INAA would also like to acknowledge the disappointment some of you expressed for cancelling at the last minute due to unexpected last-minute hitches. Again, it is a gesture of commitment to Boro's ideals and his noble goal to pursue and preserve enlightened self-interest in a dismal and foreboding socio-political environment where the Ijaw andothers from the Niger Delta have found themselves.
Each one of the three panelists made informative presentations that, once again, highlighted our plight and called world attention to the challenges we collectively face as people from the Niger Delta. The underlying, recurrent theme from all three presentations was the need for proactivity to negate and/or assuage some of the cummulative negative effects of the criminal neglect (partly self-inflicted) that has endured in the Niger Delta for decades. Some of the presentations also stated by implication that if proactive, people of the Niger Delta can essentially control and shape their destiny.
Chief (Dr.) E. K. Clark, recipient of the INAA 2004 "Service & Devotion" award was his usual self-- exuberant, full of gusto, profound and funny. His remarks, delivered off the cuff but summary of a 32-page text, were poignant. Both Chief E. K. Clark's text, the panelists' presentations, the keynote address which Professor Kimse Okoko electronically sent and was deliever on his behalf, other presentations and pictures will be posted on the INAA website in the next week(s). The address is (http://www.ijaw-naa.org/boroday)
On behalf of the Ijaw National Alliance of the Americas, I thank you all once more and will continue to count on you as we look forward to next year. From all indications, we get better with each year and it is INAA's hope that in a few years' time, "Boro Day" would become a truly international event that we (Ijaws) would look forward to as a rallying point to rededicate ourselves to our culture and our desire to bequeath a legacy of hope and promise for the next generation.
Long live the Ijaw Nation, long live the Niger Delta, long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Joe Ebiware, Ph.D. INAA General Secretary.