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A Time to Reflect - The Commons: A Method of Socio-Economic Renewal

on Thu, 09/01/2011 - 23:43

"Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro (September 10, 1938 -- May 9, 1968), fondly called "Boro", was a celebrated Niger Delta nationalist and Nigerian civil war hero. He was one of the pioneers of minority rights activism in Nigeria." Wikipedia  

Attended by 300 Nigerian people including state dignitaries and community leaders this two day seminar entitled “A Time to Reflect” was held last weekend of the 27th and 28th of August 2011 at the Holiday Inn, The Regent, London. Commemorating the life of this great war hero in Niger Delta, this conference was a mixture of presentations and celebration including a keynote speech and video presentation by Governor of Bayelsa State Chief Timipre Sylva. My colleague Tia Carr Williams and I were invited to this annual event to give a presentation on the Commons.
The Niger Delta people have experienced environmental and human destruction on a massive scale in the face of oil companies sucking the resources out of their communities and leaving them dependent on private and public provision, there needs rarely met. Here in London we listened to a wide number of impassioned speakers voice their concerns, hopes and wishes for their homeland, in front of the watching state officials. Our presentation was actually the first of the conference which although not video recorded can be viewed here on youtube.
In his speach at the end of the discussions Timipre Sylva gave mention to our presentation and the value that the commons approach could have in Bayelsa state. We really enjoyed putting this work together and raising awareness of real alternatives already being practiced in Nigeria that state actors may want to work with and support in the various ways we outlined. Sylva's speech shone a very positive light on what looks to be impressive progress being made in Bayelsa State lifting them out and away from the serious problems that still plague the Niger Delta region. He gave examples of projects that were underway as well as informing the audience of projects in the pipeline. After the discussions and a rousing end to Sylva's speech the celebrations began in earnest with a fine selection of food and drink, and dancing.. it was a privilege to be invited, we hope this event can produce further positive discussion and deliver the change desperately needed for the Niger Delta region.