The renowned civil/human rights activist, Ms Annkio Briggs has pointed out that only one hundred percent (100%) derivation control of resources would do for the Niger Deltans.
Speaking at the maiden South East/South South Economic Conference [SESSNet] in Owerri, the activist pointed out that before now, in the days of the colonial masters it was a lot better, until selfish leaders took over the affairs of the nation.
More so, above 90% of the oil wells in the Niger Delta were owned and controlled by persons other than sons and daughters of the area.
“Yet, according to her, the only oil well owned by citizens of the area has continued to attract so much security assault, arrests and intimidations by the nation’s security agencies.
“This, she saw as most unfortunate.
“Drawing strength from the reality that key solid mineral deposits in parts of the country especially the North were left to the people to help themselves hundred percent, therefore, the Niger Delta mineral deposits whether oils or any other product should likewise be allowed for the full benefit and control of the people of the area.
Briggs also noted that oil and gas deposits from the area were being exploited for the benefits of even non-oil producing states free, but the agricultural products from the Northern part of the nation come to the Niger Delta with a cost.
“We buy the yam and the rest agric products”, she emphasized.
“The North East, North West and the North Central geopolitical zones are indeed getting more than 60% oil and gas resources they do not produce.
“We have said repeatedly that we don’t want any Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs or the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“We need 100% control of our resources.”
On the issue of provision of grazing reserves, Briggs observed that the herders were all engaged in their private personal cattle rearing businesses either for selves or for a master.
“Therefore it was a misnomer for government at any level to involve himself in it in any form.
“That after all, other business operators in all parts of the country have no form of government assistance or involvement in their affairs.
“They give all manner of statistics whenever it would suit their convenience.
“They said they have 80% land mass and yet want to take out of our 20%. That is bizarre…”, she pointed out.
She noted that all the governor’s and representatives have been given time and were assured of the people’s love and support.
That is because the people want one hundred percent control of “our God-given resources”, she stressed.
She added that when it was the groundnut pyramids, and cocoa that was the mainstay of the nation’s economy the zones enjoyed full benefit of their produce.
“We need our resource to be under our control for the benefit of our people”, Ms Biggs added.