From Bayelsa State government has come a piece of advice for the Boko Haram sect to adopt what it called violence-free approach adopted by the late Niger Delta activist Isaac Adaka Boro in his struggle against injustice and marginalisation of the people of the region, saying the bombings and killings are divisive and could undermine the unity of the country.
The Bayelsa government gave the advice at a press conference to mark the kick off of activities to celebrate this year’s Boro Day.
At the event, Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolor said though members of the Boko Haram group had the right to protest any form of perceived injustice to their region, the issue of indiscriminate bomb attacks on innocent people is unacceptable.
“Though the likes of Isaac Adaka Boro hijacked flow stations and blocked roads to show dissatisfaction with the Federal Government on the suffering of the people of the Niger Delta, they never killed any Ijaw person. Boro was a symbol of liberation and unity for the people of the region and the nation. They should not use the violent bombing in the Northern states to divide the country under the guise of religious conflict or whatever. Let us use the approach adopted by Isaac Boro as a symbol of unity.
“These Boko Haram people should know that we own the resources that sustain the economy of the country and we are advising that the sect members should embrace dialogue and stop killing innocent people. We advise them that though they have a right to fight against any injustice, they should stop infringing on the rights of other people,” Tuodolor said.
According to the commissioner, the on-going violent campaign by the Boko Haram sect is one targeted at dividing the country. ‘They should study the rule of engagement by the Ijaw leaders in the various struggle against injustice,” he said.
On the decision of the present administration to review its sponsorship of celebrations of the Isaac Boro Day in the United Kingdom and the United State of America, Tuodolor said: “Though a minimal delegation would be sent to honour invitations abroad, the stop in the past frivolous spending by government and the celebration in the state is in line with the attempt to save funds for development projects. This year’s celebration will not take the usual jamboree and misuse of fund in the past.”