Edo 2020: Niger Delta is not for sale, will not be a conquered territory ~ by Annkio Briggs
Months after the 2015 elections the then APC party Chairman Chief Oyegun expressed the frustration, even anger the presumed controllers of the political party felt by saying that “APC did not win any oil-producing state.
For the team or gang across Nigeria who wanted Dr. Goodluck Jonathan out of office ” it was only ever about controlling the people and resources of the oil-rich states of the Niger Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta (BRACED) states.
The BRACED states should be determined to remain free. They must reject the desire to make them victims of the Conquer, Control and Own mentality of the few who believe it is their birthright to enslave the minds of others especially of the people and region of this geographical area that feeds the Nation created by Lugard with fear of arrests and terror.
On 27 June 2020 the President said to his party “we must not lose Edo to opposition party” This directives from President Buhari gave the impetus to some who believe that are above the law, that Edo State belong to them to decide from their gaden, who will be the Governor of Edo state. The statement and demand from the President gave some people the impression that they are free to do anything in Edo state on the 19th Sept 2020 to gift wrap Edo State as a prize and trophy and take it to present to President Buhari in Aso Rock.
Clearly holding a democratically elected Governor of Rivers state hostage was one such rascality.
During the 2015 elections campaign this same people brazenly came into Rivers state, speaking in strange language telling non indigenes resident in Rivers state not to vote for a PDP candidate of Rivers state and President Goodluck Jonathan, just as in Edo today the people voted their choice and not a choice made for them by strangers.
Right to parry politics does not mean as before the elections of 2019 that leaders of a political party should come into a state besting their chest and declaring as they did in Rivers State they will take or conquer Rivers state.
(In their arrogance with power they believe election is a War.)
In their arrogant attempt to take over Rivers State, a state where they will not win elections, unarmed electorates in Abonnema of Akuku Toru Local Government Area were shot and killed some in the back while run for safety in attempts to claim that their party won elections.
In 2019 elections Rivers State was taken over by the Nigeria Army, turned into a war front, tanks military personnel and armored vehicles we’re deployed to the streets of the capital Port Harcourt and other cities weeks before the elections, one political party planning to take over all 36 states of Nigeria. The world saw the Police and Army personnel in a free for all brawl. They lost then in Rivers state as they have lost today in Edo state.
This is to call on the Governors of the Niger Delta states to be responsive and responsible to their people and region as Governor Wike has done whenever the need arises to step up and stand up for his people and state. This is the responsibility the governors have sworn to uphold and under take. When they stand up for us We The People We The People will stand up for and with them.
When Federal Government demonstrated the desire to forcefully take, control and even destroy Rivers state the people rose up and said No, it’s our election, our vote, our right, our state and our vote must be counted.
On the eve of the elections of the 19th September 2020 along with everyone else, l heard Gov Wike of Rivers state say “over 300 men of the police force have surrounded his hotel in Edi state in a bid to deny him his fundamental and basic human rights and to stop him from carrying out his National and official assignment as appointed by his political party during the Edo state.
If the intent was to stop Gov Wike it was the wrong move, if you know Gov. Wike you will know that an act to oppress him and stop him using abuse of power will only ginger Him to rise up for his rights or that of his state and region.
In the past in Rivers state Wike have stood up to say NO to abuse of power. On Friday 18th Sept 2020 if there was any doubt over how Edo will vote, holding Gov Wike hostage did not intimidate Wike, it rather fired Edo people to kill and cremate godfatherism once and for all in politics especially in the great Niger Delta.
The victory Gov. Obaseki celebrates today are the voices and thumb prints of the great and indigenous people of Edo State. Edo people have spoken loudly and clearly that Edo state belong to Edo people, they will have the last say and they have the last say.
Congratulations Gov. Obaseki your people expect great, mighty and best things from you. l pray that God bless you with wisdom to do the best that Edo people have called you to do.
Congratulations Gov. Wike for standing up to be counted.
As lovers and defenders of democracy and rights in the Niger Delta discuss what happened before, during and after the Edo elections of September, 2020, we must not forget that the people of Niger Delta states have a greater abuse and danger it is just a few steps away, and we must face it the WATER RESOURCES BILL.
This is another attempt to take away the rights of the Indigenous People of the Niger Delta.
This is another desperate attempt to enslave and bring RUGA into our Region through the back door.
This is another desperate attempt to take away our ancestral homeland, Resources, and Our Lives.
As indigenous peoples of the Niger Delta it is our right to protect our today, tomorrow, future, identity and ethnicity.
This is a second attempt at enslaving our old, young and future.
We must never ever forget that we are a free people,
We must remain free, that our children may be free.
We must say no to the Water Bill.
We must not allow any person to take our god given rights and give it to themselves.
Annkio Briggs, a defender of Environmental, Human, Political, Developmental and Civil Rights, writes from Port Harcourt.