The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mr.Â Oronto NateiÂ Douglas was yesterdayÂ awarded this yearâ€™sÂ â€œService Awardâ€ byÂ theÂ Ijaw National Alliance of the AmericaÂ (INAA).
The socio-cultural group of the Ijaw in diaspora said it bestowed the award on the globally renowned environmentalist because as a â€œtrue IjawÂ patriot, Mr. Douglasâ€™s efforts on the scenes, behind the scenes, in the trenches and on the hills have always added meaning, muscle and salience to the debate and demand for economic empowerment, social and environmental justice in the Niger Delta.
INAA described Douglas asÂ â€œa grassroots social activist who is also one of the seminal minds of the seminal â€œKaiama Declarationâ€ document, he is dauntless in challenging any vestige of inequity and injustice.â€
â€œHe is uniquely dogged, well-informed and singularly articulateÂ in presenting the Niger Delta grievances at domestic and international forums, always faithful that the Ijaw and others in the Niger Delta have a right to live harmoniously with nature while also enjoying the rights and privileges of their environment as well as the basic rights of justice and equity as Nigerians.
â€œAn adroit negotiator and a compelling advocate for the Ijaw and people of the Niger Delta, his sense of decorum, relative young age and physical size belie the effective energy he exudes and the goliath that he is when challenged on matters about justice, peace and progress in Ijawland and the Niger Delta in general.â€, the group added.
The award ceremony was one of the key highlights of theÂ Boro Day Summit and 13th Annual Service and Devotion by INAA at Sheraton Newark Airport Hotel, New Jersey, United States.