Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed sadness over the passing of Captain Sam Owonaro (rtd), whom he described as a giant, father, hero, and one of the greatest leaders of modern Ijaw and Nigerian history.
Owonaro, second in command to late Major Isaac Boro in the 12 days revolution which attempted to break the Niger Delta region from Nigeria in 1966 was the last survivor of the rebellion.
Senator Diri in his condolence message said Captain Owonaro’s steadfastness and dedication to the cause of the Ijaw nation was a source of inspiration and motivation to him just as it was a guiding light to millions.
While extending his condolences to the Owonaro family of Kaiama, the people of Kolokuma/Opokuma and Bayelsa State in general, the governor said he is comforted by Pa Owonaro’s legacy of self-denial, commitment and loyalty with which he battled for equity, fairness and justice.
He recalled that these were the same issues that propelled the late Major Isaac Adaka Boro and his colleagues, at very tender ages, to be involved in the legendary 12-Day Revolution.
According to him, these issues are still dear to Bayelsans and the Ijaw nation.
“Captain Sam Owonaro was indeed a giant and we are privileged to have had the benefit of his erudition and wise counsel. His steadfastness and dedication to the cause of the Ijaw nation was a source of inspiration and motivation for me and a guiding light to millions of others. Today, that light has been extinguished and it feels as though we have been engulfed by darkness.
“Yet, I recall with gratitude and I am comforted by his legacy of self-denial, commitment and loyalty with which he battled for equity, fairness and justice. These issues constrained Major Isaac Boro and his colleagues at a very tender age to be involved in the legendary 12-Day Revolution from February 23 to March 6, 1966 and which are still dear to Bayelsans and the Ijaw nation.
“We are blessed to have shared in the life of Captain Owonaro, who embodied such values and ideals.”
The late Owonaro, who would have been 76 years on July 22, is reputed for his gallantry alongside the late Isaac Boro, Nottingham Dick and others that declared a Niger Delta Republic in 1966.