by Mike Odiegwu
There was anger among some politicians in Bayelsa State after the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, cancelled government’s involvement in the annual celebration of Ijaw nationalist, Isaac Adaka Boro, abroad.
The administration of former Governor Timipre Sylva had spent huge amounts annually to sponsor government officials, friends and relations to the United States and the United Kingdom to celebrate Boro Day.
The day, which is usually celebrated on May 16, is set aside to remember Boro who began the struggle for the emancipation of the Ijaw nation and died while fighting for the unity of Nigeria in the civil war.
But our correspondent gathered that instead of imbibing the virtues of self-sacrifice of Boro, leaders in the state used the occasion to fritter the resources of the state by embarking on expensive journeys abroad under the guise of celebrating the Ijaw chieftain.
Further investigations showed that the celebrations had not translated into economic and developmental benefits for the people of Kaima in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area where Boro was born.
The Kaima people, our correspondent gathered, lacked basic amenities such as good roads, potable water and hospitals.
But Dickson’s decision to localise the celebration which was for the first time held in the Kaiama area of the state infuriated some politicians.
Although the people of Kaiama and some stakeholders applauded the resolve of the governor, some local government chairmen and few elders in the state were not happy with the governor.
Dickson, however, defended his decision, saying it was part of the government’s desire to end all the jamborees and free funds for development.
He said, “From now on, there will be no more Boro Day celebration outside the shores of this country. I don’t think that it is very popular for political leaders to say but that is what my administration entails. The Boro Day will henceforth be celebrated in Kaiama and in the state.”
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