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Niger Delta youths berate Ankio Briggs, condemn protest over Bayelsa grazing land

By News Express on 17/02/2017

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Frontline Niger Delta activist Annkio Briggs.
Frontline Niger Delta activist Annkio Briggs.

The Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress (NDYCPP) on Thursday said that the aborted protest led by Ms Annkio Briggs, a Niger Delta Activist against allocation of grazing land, was ill advised.

Briggs had led a protest on Tuesday against donation of 1,200 hectares of land to cattle rearers for grazing purposes by the Bayelsa State Government.

The protesters were dispersed at the Tombia area of Yenagoa by youths who stormed the area in several buses injuring the protesters in the process.

Reacting to the development NDYCPP in a statement signed by Mr Jude Tiedor and Chief Henry Nabena, Acting Coordinator and Acting Secretary respectively noted that the protest did not follow laid down procedure.

“Our attention was drawn to the incident that occurred on the 14th February 2017 at the Tombia Junction, Yenagoa Bayelsa.

“Our respected sister and Amazon, Lady Ann Kio Briggs, had a scuffle with some persons who felt her protest on that faithful day was naive, distractive, and orchestrated to over-heat the polity.

“This foiled protest was totally unnecessary and unacceptable by the majority of the Ijaws.

“While we consider the situation unfortunate, especially as it affects a woman who has been involved in the Niger Delta Struggle for many years, we are at the same time forced to ask this very pertinent question.

“Was the protest necessary? In our thinking Ann Kio Briggs and her group did not follow due process in staging the planned protest in Yenagoa.

“Our investigations revealed that the police and other security agencies in the state knew nothing about the planned protest which could have been hijacked by hoodlums to cause trouble,” the statement read in part.

NDYCPP noted that some Niger Delta youths leaders had prevailed on Briggs to shelve the action but she rebuffed the entreaties.

The coalition further stated that the government of Bayelsa’s explanation that the move to restrict the cattle business was a security measure to avert clashes between farmers and herdsmen devoid of politics.

It was observed that that Briggs may have acted from a misinformed perspective.

However in her own reaction to the reported attack, Briggs who said she lost her phone in the course of the melee, described the action of the youths that as “unacceptable”.

Her words: “All what we are saying is no to Ijaw land being ceded to Fulani people under any circumstance.

“At the rally, thugs came into the Tombia round about field, they invaded the place push me down, one particular boy collected my Samsung phone, my Identity Card was ripped off my neck and some people secured me and moved me away from the location.

“I told the police DPO that this rally was not against the Governor of Bayelsa, but against the decision he has made.

“It is unbelievable, I am an Ijaw person, I have fought for the Ijaw nation for as long as I can remember.

“I have been called a bigot because of my stand on Ijaw issues and if today I can come to Bayelsa, and Bayelsa children some of them are old enough to be my children, whether it is Gen Africa, and others; so if today they have appointments and positions and think that people like me no longer have the right to speak on Ijaw matters, that is a sad day for them and not for Ijaw nation.”

Source News Express

Posted 17/02/2017 1:35:18 PM


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