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From the archives: One Ethnic Nationality Can’t Speak For Niger Delta ~By Annkio Briggs

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FG, others involved in any kind of negotiations, wheeling and dealing should not that there are several other Nationalities that make up Niger Delta.
The author, Annkio Briggs

Cease fire, dialogue etc. The FG and all other peoples involved in any kind of negotiations, wheeling and dealing should not be allowed to forget that there are several other Nationalities that make up the Niger Delta.

One ethnic nationality can’t and will not claim to speak for all these nationalities.

One or two agitating group or groups, violent or nonviolent can’t have the sole privilege of choosing the people who will be involved in this process of dialogue.

We can’t and should not repeat the mistakes, failures and impositions of the late Yar’Adua time. Grave mistakes were made then we will not allow those to repeat itself.

For instance in Ijaw nation we have zones and clans, one zone will not be allowed to speak for all zones

I am from the Eastern zone, and we have clans from Abua to Okoloba (Bonny) Opobo, Nkoro, Asarama, to Wakirike, Kalabari, Bille etc. Right now we have crisis in our recognised bodies of IYC and INC where our originally elected representatives have been destabilised for selfish, political and economic reasons.

In my beloved Rivers state and as a nonviolent agitator for Justice and Equity, all the nationalities of Rivers state must have representations picked by their own people and involving the state government and business interest.

Ogoni, lkwerre, Eleme, Egbema, Orashi, Egi, all and every nationalities of Rivers state must be represented in any discussion, negotiation and dialogue.

It is therefore my opinion that any meaningful discussion can’t take place without everyone representing their own aspirations.

No one will be gagged and neglected into negotiations.

A word is enough for the wise.

While l remain an advocate of nonviolent negotiations and dialogue for justice, equity, resource ownership, and internal self-determination, l continue to appeal to all ARMED AGITATORS to consider the path of dialogue, based on our facts and realities of injustice we have long endured and continue to endure, it is on this conviction that l have never condemned any person or groups as we all are asking for the same things.

The only groups or persons l will condemn and oppose are those who use the collective pains, oppression, neglect and abuses we have all suffered and continue to suffer as their business enterprises.

It is worrisome that people who openly have condemned youths of Niger Delta for expressing their voices end up representing these youths they earlier condemned and at the end of it all, the voiceless remain voiceless, while their voices are used for personal and political gains.

I am concerned, with all the claims and counter claims, the different groups, that have so far emerged claiming to be making efforts with FG to dialogue, and bringing peace, while the FG is silent on these claims and amassing weapons and non ND personnel into the ND and especially my beloved creeks and mangroves.

The ethnic groups of Rivers state contribute a lot of oil and gas and therefore no one will impose negotiators on us by any other representation but by ethnic representation, will Ijaw man now claim to know what the Egi man wants? 

The Ndoni man must speak for himself, and the lkwerre man for himself, we will all support each other because our collective positions will be effectively useful to the state.

The FG is not interested in protecting our environment their interest is in our taking our resources, we are therefore not impressed or fooled by these claims to negotiations, or dialogue, we are interested in equity and justice, we have a long way to go, the path we must take is not the political or economy focused path, it must be a people focused path.

We must remove political and economical logs from our eyes. 

We know our people who have credibility, commitment, loyalty to our cause, we know the people who have died for us, we know the people who have risked their careers and jobs for our cause, we know our people who have been arrested, we know our people who suffer insults, threats, blackmail, and starvation for our sakes, when the time comes we will call on them.

We know the people we can trust, we know the people who will say what we tell them to say on our behalf.

Our call for justice and equity is not about individuals or political parties, it is about all our peoples and the future of our generations to come.

Anything, terms and conditions negotiated without our input, contributions and actual participation will be rejected.

Annkio Briggs; Daughter and Servant of Niger Delta

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