Ijaw Freedom Fighter, Capt. Samuel Owonaro, Buried In Bayelsa

Ijaw Freedom Fighter, Capt. Samuel Owonaro, Buried In Bayelsa

The remains of former ijaw Freedom fighter, who led the 12-day revolution for the emancipation of the Niger Delta, Late Capt. Samuel Owonaro have been laid to rest.

The freedom fighter who died on the 16th of June this year after “a brief illness” at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri.  was buried on Saturday at Kaiama, Kolokuma/Okpokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Until his demise, he was the only survivor of the ring leaders of the Boro-led “Twelve Day Revolution”, which declared a Niger Delta Republic to secede from the Nigerian state. 

The revolution, which lasted from February 23 to March 6 1966, was quelled by federal troops.

At the burial, a former governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, said that the heroic efforts of the late Capt. Owonaro and his compatriots who led the 12-day revolution for the emancipation of the Niger Delta were not in vain.

Dickson said the Ijaw nation will forever remember the pains suffered by Owonaro in his fight for justice and equity in the Niger Delta.

He recalled that the late hero lost an eye and an arm to the Ijaw struggle and would be remembered always for his historical contributions to it.

Chief Dickson thanked God for giving men of exemplary character like Major Isaac Boro, Owonaro and others to the Ijaw nation to speak truth to power at a time minority existence was not given the deserved attention.

He described Owonaro and his compatriots as heroes of Ijaw land and the Niger Delta who appealed to the conscience of the nation on sensitive existential issues.

Dickson said: “I join the good people of Bayelsa, the governor, His Excellency Senator Douye Diri, the Ijaw National Congress and others to commiserate with the immediate family of our hero.

“We appreciate the pioneering role of our great leaders in the struggle. The Ijaw nation will forever remember that Owonaro lost his left eye to torture while in prison for the cause of our people, and while awaiting execution by the Nigerian Army.

“We shall always remember your pain when the bullets pierced your arm while fighting on the side of Nigeria.”

Chief Dickson said that he was happy that the late Captain Owonaro witnessed the creation of Bayelsa State and the emergence of a governor from Kolokuma/Opokuma in his lifetime.

In attendance at the event was the governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri; his wife, Gloria Diri; the pioneer president of the Ijaw National Congress, Chief Joshua Fumudoh; the pioneer president of the IYC, Dr Felix Tuodolo; former Secretary Engr Ebieridei Charles Ambaiowei and other top personalities across the Ijaw nation.


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