YENAGOA – Mr. Tonye Isenah, the Chief Whip of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, has called on the state government to declare May 16 as a public holiday in the state.
Isenah said that such public holiday would afford the Niger Delta people a unique opportunity to participate in the annual celebration of the icon of Ijaw struggles, the late Isaac Boro.
Isenah, who represents Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency 1 in the Assembly, made the proposal in his goodwill message at the 50th anniversary celebration of Boro at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
He said it would be proper for the House of Assembly to come up with a bill to facilitate the declaration of May 16 every year as Isaac Boro Day.
He also proposed that the bill should capture the payment of monthly stipend to the family of the departed Niger Delta hero in honour of memory.
Isenah also suggested the building of a befitting Boro museum in Kaiama, hometown of the late Boro to decongest the Ijaw Heroes Park, Yenagoa, where his remains were re-buried after they were exhumed in Lagos and brought to Bayelsa.
The Chief Whip wondered why other states of the Niger Delta for which Boro declared a republic in his 12-day revolution were not also celebrating him for standing up against injustice to the region.
He argued that the 13 percent derivation currently enjoyed by the oil-producing states was one of the outcomes of Boro’s activism.
Isenah, however, commended the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson for ensuring infrastructure development of Kolokuma/Opokuma to give the people of the area sense of belonging.
Meanwhile, Commercial activities were Wednesday paralysed in Yenagoa and Kaiama, hometown of the late Isaac Jasper Boro and headquarters of Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA of Bayelsa State, as Ijaw youths celebrated the 50 years anniversary of the death of the Niger Delta hero.
The business houses were closed from 6 a.m. as the Ijaw youths marched in procession for over 10 kilometres for Boro who was killed 50 years ago fighting for the unity of Nigeria in the civil war.
Tare Porri, the central zone chairman of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), said the closure of shops and markets and commercial centres on Isaac Boro Day in the state was to prevent hoodlums taking advantage of Isaac Boro Day to attack shops.
Alfred Kemepado, the National Secretary of the IYC, noted that most of the injustices Boro fought against were still with the Niger Delta people today in the country.
He called on Ijaw youths to shun criminal activities such as kidnapping, piracy, violence, disruption of oil production and illegal bunkering, which are bringing disrepute to the Niger Delta.
Kemepado said that such inimical activities were de-marketing the region, adding, “Ijaw people must make economic sense to make political sense.”
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