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Ankio Briggs: Why Niger Delta may not Participate In 2019 general Election

Why Niger Delta may not Participate In 2019 general Election - Ankio Briggs
Activist, Ankio Briggs
Annkio Briggs, Niger Delta activist has given reasons why Niger Delta may not participate in the 2019 general election, and why the North are the cause of the crisis in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking in an Interview with The Sun, the Activist said the way things are today in Nigeria, she did not see a way forward, if the country can get out of the economic recession.


Ask about her thought on current economic recession, Briggs said; Right now, recession is an international phenomenon. It is not just Nigeria alone. The whole world to some extent or the other is in a recession. But the question is –how does the recession affect Nigeria? You look at it from the angle of the fact that the only wealth Nigeria is producing is from oil and gas, and the price of oil and gas has gone down. The sale of oil and gas has also gone down whereas the value of the naira to the dollar has gone up.

So, you can see that Nigeria financially and economically is in a great mess. The nation is in crisis. Apart from being in an economic crisis, Nigeria also has security issues. There are terrorism issues, religious cleansing issues, ethnic issues and all of those things. The truth is that Nigeria is in a mess, recession wise and in the aspect of security.

Nigeria cannot control what is happening; when you have a situation where the government is telling you that herdsmen who are killing Nigerians are coming in from Mali and Senegal, it means that Nigeria cannot protect herself. Financially and economically, we are in a mess. Security wise, we are in a mess; governance wise, we are in a mess. Where are we going? I do not know where we are going.

Speaking further on the recent statement made by the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof Ango Abdullahi said that the North is ready for a break up if the need arises.

The activist said; Certainly, it is a welcome statement as far as I am concerned. If somebody like that from the North is saying the North is ready for break up, it means that almost everybody in Nigeria is ready for a break up. The Igbo have always said they want to be on their own. The Niger Delta people are talking the same thing. So, if the North is now saying they are ready for a break up, it is a welcome development. The only people who are not talking about a break up are those of the Middle Belt. But whatever it is, personally I do not see anything wrong with that.

In the statement that in some quarters especially by the Northern elite that the Niger Delta elites are the cause of the problem of the zone.

Briggs said; I do not agree with that and the Northerners are not in a position to proffer solutions to the Niger Delta crisis while they are the cause. The North is the reason why we have the Niger Delta crisis. The Fulani is the reason for the Niger Delta crisis.

I will tell you why I say so. More than 80 per cent of the private oil wells in Nigeria belong to them. Since 1968 and since after the war, the Niger Delta resources have been used to develop the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, the North and so many other places. If the North is saying the Niger Delta is the cause of their problems, what is the North bringing to the national treasury?

The North is bringing nothing to the national coffers. A group of 19 states that is bringing nothing and who are the cause of the Niger Delta crisis is no way in a position to say that the Niger Delta elite are the cause of the Niger Delta crisis. Who are the leaders and the elite of the Niger Delta? Is it the Niger Delta people that are exploring for oil and gas? It is the oil companies and the Federal Government that are taking our resources. So, how are we the cause of our problems?

In conclusion about 2019 general election, if the region will participate or not, she said; With the way things are, the prospects between now and 2019, I do not know how to capture it. For me as a person from the Niger Delta region and having experienced the 2015 general elections, the way it was handled, the elections in Rivers State and all that, I begin to doubt if there would ever be a free and fair elections in Nigeria.

If there is not going to be a free and fair election, and we do not trust there will be, we may start considering to ask ourselves the question, is there any need for us in partaking in an election that is not going to be free and fair but going to be manipulated and where people would be imposed on us and all of that. If we ask our selves that question, we may decide not to participate in the election in 2019. I do not see why we should not come to that decision.


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