N’Delta: Call For Referendum, Annkio Briggs Tells FG, UN

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    By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri

    Renowned Niger Delta Activist, Annkio Briggs on Monday July 31 called on the the Federal Government to conduct a referendum saying, it is the only thing remaining for the country since the National Assembly recently refused to back restructuring.

    Authentic News Daily authoritatively  reports that Briggs expressed this during a lecture she delivered at the just concluded Niger Delta Youth Peace Dialogue Warri 2017 which held at the PTI Conference in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.

    Brigs noted that the National Assembly has drawn the line for  not backing restructuring the country.

    “The only thing remaining right now for Nigeria and all other ethnic groups is to call for a referendum. We need to have a referendum in Nigeria. Let the people decide. Let the ethnic nationalities decide. Let United Nations conduct a referendum,” she said.

    Briggs who reacted to a letter issued by members of the Niger Delta Avengers stated that Federal Government is not ready to discuss with the people of the Niger Delta, backed 100 per cent resource control.

    “I believe strongly, there is really nothing to discuss” pointing out that what the people of the Niger Delta wants is a 100% resource ownership and pay tax to the Federal Government,” she emphasized.

    Briggs said all the federal government is interested in is to continue to forcefully take the oil and gas monthly to develop other regions to the detriment of the people of the Niger Delta.

    According to her, “In the meantime, if you’re blowing up pipelines, they don’t care you are blowing pipelines because they are able to assess the oil and gas. The only language they understand is when everybody lives in darkness.”

    Speaking on the theme: Peace Dialogue; A tool for Niger Delta Sustainable Development, Prof. Benjamin Okaba stated that dialogue is a necessity but not a precondition for sustainable development stressing that, “We have had enough dialogue but less implementation.”

    Prof. Okaba noted that there has been 15 documented reports for the Niger Delta region since 1958 till date.
    Prof. Okaba pointed out that all the reports were presented to the government.

    “These reports like the 2014 Confab reports government is still struggling with the document.”

    Prof. Okaba stated 13 reasons why dialogue will not work unless there is a radical change in mindset.

    “Youth, check let us check our ways. There must be a change. Let us embrace tolerance, peace, togetherness.”

    Prof. Okaba said dialogue has failed in the Niger Delta because the proponents of dialogue don’t even believe in it stressing that the language the government understands is “Violence” amongst others.

    Prof. Okaba also stated that acting President, Yemi Osinbanjo visited the Niger Delta region not because of the people but because of the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers from further causing total collapse on the economy.

    “There’s no stability. Let Government show concern that we understand the import of dialogue,” he added.

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