March 2, 2019

Ijaw mourn Amb. Iyalla

Ijaw mourn Amb. Iyalla

By Tony Nwankwo

The Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG) has described Ambassador Joe Tonye Fubara Iyalla, who died at the ripe age of 90, as an iconic diplomat, industrialist and a selfless Ijaw leader.

In a tribute by Comrade Joseph Evah on behalf of the group, the Ijaw stated that the late `Super Permanent Secretary’ was the brain behind the formation of the structures of the Ministry of External Affairs at  Independence in 1960.

“The Ijaw are proud that from our homeland, a great Nigerian served at the United Nations (UN), the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) at the highest level, and became a global citizen, contributing to world peace and progress, making Nigeria a reference point in world politics”, it said, adding, “It is important for the world to know that our great son Amb. Joe Tonye Fubura Iyalla,  fondly called `JTF’, coined from his Rivers-Ijaw name.  At a stage, JTF became a universal name for peace by the UN, the reason IMG publicly rejected JTF during the Obasanjo regime.

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“He was one of General Gowon’s “Think Tank” that made the government the best era in post-independent Nigeria. We hope the present Rivers State government with the Federal Government will honour him with befitting monuments named after him.

“The Joint Military Task Force was formed to harass and intimidate our communities in the name of working for militants. We rejected JTF because it represented the initials of our great son, a man of peace, a man recognised globally as an extraordinary envoy of world peace. We couldn’t contain the bad intention to oppress our people using his initials”.