Dear Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,
As you celebrate your 59th Birthday and l believe as you reflect on your life, the experiences you have had, the shoeless days, like millions of Niger Deltans growing up in our beloved creeks, the playful days by the waterside of clean crystal clear waters of our God given homeland in the mangroves, as we all remember who indeed are blessed to have those memories of the beauty and blessings of the wealth God gave to us, before the British Empire invaded us as they invaded from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean to Asia, to the Americas.
The slave trades, the looting and the forced amalgamation of different peoples who had nothing in common into a country that never were able and is most unlikely to find a truthful common ground for anything or any reason.
As you reflect and thank God for his hand upon your life, l not only join you to thank God for using you in a period of time in the history of Nigeria and most importantly in the history of our Niger Delta peoples and region, particularly of the Ijaw nation, as a proud Niger Delta daughter and servant and as an Ijaw daughter and servant l assure you that my support and that of a few others l am aware of remain intact.
“I was not born rich, and in my youth, l never imagined that l would be where l am today, but not once did l ever give up.” – President Goodluck Jonathan
You are not a perfect man, no human being is, only God is perfect, but you are better than a lot, definitely most of the ones that have called you names, and lied against you from Niger Delta and across Nigeria to the United Kingdom to the USA, can see and hear of you and about you today. On this day l wish you greater years ahead.
You are a true democrat and you not only demonstrated your belief in democracy you gave up your political ambition to show true democracy in action, most non Nigeria, Nigeria may catch up light years later yet the world that thrives on democracy has recognised the true democrat you.
Your recent outing to visit the Sultan Dasuki demonstrates the type of Nigerian you are, l am proud of you l may not agree with you sometimes but l admire the gentle ways you stand up for the things you believe in.
“The dark patches in the Niger Delta will give way to light”. – President Goodluck Jonathan
In the Niger Delta we have waited too long for darkness to give way to light, we will never give up until we have light, and soon.
No matter the lies, and the denials of your achievements keep your head up, hold onto your humility, time will not only show Nigerians will say it just as they have started in Jos.
THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDER REJECTED HAS BECOME THE CORNERSTONE.
YOU REMAIN A NIGER DELTA STONE. REJECTED BY SOME BUT NOT BY ALL.
Annkio Briggs is a daughter, servant, and respected leader of the Niger Delta. She is a leading voice in the struggle for human rights and environmental justice in the oil-rich region. Connect with her on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.