For Entertainment, Education and Information 


Re-burial Of Isaac Boro


Mid May, the remains of Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro were re-interred at the Heroes Park in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State. Most people below 50  may not know Boro, a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, who died fighting in the civil war.

Convinced that peoples of the Niger Delta were not benefitting enough from the proceeds of crude oil, he left school to lead an armed protest. His Niger Delta Volunteer Force declared the Niger Delta Republic on 23 February  1966. Boro’s republic lasted 12 days. Federal forces contained the insurrection.

He was jailed for treason. General Yakubu Gowon granted him amnesty in May 1967, after which he was commissioned a major in the Nigerian Army. He fought in the 3rd Marine Commando when Colonel (later General) Benjamin Adekunle was boss. According to official accounts, a Biafran soldier who was hiding in an empty house by Okrika water side killed Boro on 18 May 1968 as federal troops advanced towards Port Harcourt which they captured six hours after Boro’s demise.

Boro, who initially took up arms against Nigeria, defended the same country against secession. His interment at the military section of Ikoyi Cemetery accorded him a national status and recognition for fighting against secession.

The event in Yenagoa, and the government’s investments in it – a DNA was conducted on his exhumed bones in London to ascertain the remains were his – raise some curiosity. Why would the remains of a soldier who fought gallantly to preserve the fidelity of the nation be re-buried in a state government cemetery? Why would the Nigerian Army permit the re-burial? Boro was more than an Ijaw nationalist; he was a Nigerian nationalist who paid the supreme price defending Nigeria. Would it be the rule hence to re-bury every nationalist, of Bayelsa origin, at the Heroes Park?

Late General Andrew Owoye Azazi was buried in the same park. Azazi was a four-star general of the Nigerian Army, not Bayelsa’s army. He was Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, not Security Adviser to Bayelsa State Government. In the United States, whose system of government we copied, people like Boro and Azazi, would have been interred at any of the US’ 146 national cemeteries. The one in Arlington, Virginia, seems to be the most prominent.

The re-burial of Boro, whatever it was meant to achieve, simply diminishes him, cascading him from the lofty status of a nationalist to a state irredentist. A statue at the Heroes Park would have been adequate recognition for Boro without de-nationalising him.


Number of comments: 0

Name: E-mailaddress: Homepage:
:) :( :D ;) :| :P |-) (inlove) :O ;( :@ 8-) :S (flower) (heart) (star)

Enter the code embedded in the image