2019 Elections: Our Votes, Our Mandate, Our Lives, Our Blood… Matters ...

2019 Elections: Our Votes, Our Mandate, Our Lives, Our Blood… Matters [MUST READ]

Annkio Briggs, AN OPEN & URGENT LETTER TO IJAW NATION, Bayelsa , Goodluck Jonathan, Olusegun Obasanjo
Annkio Briggs at the National Conference in May 2014 | NAN Photo

The Niger Delta Self Determination Movement, NDSDM, went into an emergency meeting on Thursday the 28th 2019 in Port Harcourt. The meeting appraised pre election positions and utterances of the political parties, the political parties flag bearers and other stalwarts of political parties. The movement appraised the caution, fears and positions of Nigerians from all works of life expressing their expectations, fears concerning about the elections of 2019.

The NDSDM having meet to analyze the personal experiences of Nigerians in the polling units, wards, LGAs and states, the live updates with video and audio evidence, the on the spot reporting of journalists and citizens.

We discussed the delay of INEC’s obvious inabilities and failures in certain areas of their responsibilities to the electorate and the nation.

The reactions of the opposition political party in particular the Peoples Democratic Party PDP.

The reports of the various officially accredited national and international election monitors and monitoring teams from all over the world including Africa and the statements of congratulations trickling in for the incumbent government of President Buhari.

In the meeting we watched and analyzed the acts of violence, vandalism, intimidation involving thugs and very disturbing acts of violence and intimidation against the citizens by the military and police, ballot box snatching and carting away of electoral materials where allegations are made against the military and police of having participated or stood by and turned a blind eye.

The NDSDM affirms its position before the cancellation of the 16/02/2019 elections and the subsequent elections of the 23/02/2019 Of the movement’s endorsement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The NDSDM take the position that the election of the 23 of February 2019 across Nigeria was not free, credible, transparent, or peaceful. Our convictions are based on some of the informations of INEC accredited official international and national election monitors and on the accounts of Nigerians and journalists evidence and uploads on the internet by Nigerians.

The high level of violence and killings especially in the Niger Delta Region and specifically in Rivers State were over 50 persons it is claimed have been killed. Particularly in Akuku Toru LGA were it is claimed by indigenes that over 30 Persons were killed on the 23/02/2019.

Referring to the open disregard and abuse of electoral laws, rules and regulations of INEC as irregularities is putting it mildly.

NDSDM refers to the actions of the security forces as one sided, favoring the incumbent government and its candidates. Some officers and men of the Army and Police were not neutral in their activities and roles.

NDSDM again maintain that the illegal acts that lead to the illegal suspension of Justice Walter Onoghen as the CJN weeks before the elections was the kick off to start the process to position persons within the electoral tribunal system in anticipation of the opposition party and its candidates going to court to challenge any and all electoral illegalities and crimes that will be committed.

We call on the Peoples Democratic Party and its Presidential candidate and all other candidates to stand firmly and use all legal and democratic processes to challenge the unacceptable results in the courts within the constitution.

It is not acceptable to the NDSDM that the Peace Accord after soliciting the support of the electorate and the international community, after pressurizing the Presidential candidates to commit to the peace accord and after giving hope to Nigerians will turn around and call on the electorate to support and turn the other way to the injustice of abuse of their rights to have their votes count by applying pressure on the PDP presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to accept such blatant stealing of the mandate given to him by the people, some have died for the right to vote for the candidate of their choice Atiku Abubakar.

The Peace Accord team must first address issue of the grievances of the people who were disenfranchised from voting, by disregarding the rules of free, fair, transparent, and credible elections which the INEC promised Nigerians.

The members of the Peace Accord must not let Nigerians down by covering up such electoral fraud, by confirming what the majority of Nigerians thought all along, that the Peace Accord was just a process set up to aid what the incumbent have decided months ago.

The delay in releasing the results that were counted at polling units, is suspected to give INEC time to try and tabulate the results and allot the needed percentage to incumbent political party and candidate across the states and geo political zones as required by law is cheating and rigging. This is unacceptable by the electorates.

The judiciary along with Nigerians are been intimidated and demoralized with attacks of arrests and blackmail and hopelessness, while Nigerians are looking to the judiciary to stand up to their responsibilities the NDSDM assures the judiciary that we will stand with it while we look to it as our last stand.

All we ask of the judiciary is to stand up to the truth based on the evidence that will be presented to it, the judiciary have nothing to fear as it deals with the evidence of facts and figures.

The NDSDM along with numerous other democratic groups of Nigeria believe in democracy, legal process and rule of law. We are a law abiding movement of the Niger Delta Region and her people, we take this opportunity to remind the People Democratic Party and its Presidential Candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that when the movement decided to endorse the party and its candidate for the February 2019 presidential elections it was not with the knowledge that our people will be killed for their freedom of choice of candidate, therefore we do not expect and will not accept a situation where Nigerians have voted, protected their votes and were callously killed in the process of exercising their basic democratic and human rights, if the rights and lives of innocent Nigerians will be bargained away at the altar of imaginary peace, when the war is waged against Nigerians by a few politicians who have stolen the people’s mandate.

The offer of peace should and must come from the few who have cheated Nigerians out of our democratic rights, not from the millions of Nigerians who have been cheated to the few who cheated Nigerians.

We call on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to see the mandate as the mandate of the people given to him on the plate of trust, garnished with the blood of Nigerians for change, real change. Children have been orphaned, wives have been widowed and husbands have been left to raise children for the mandate given to him, Nigerians were called upon to Vote and Defend their Votes, Nigerians have voted with their lives, the least we the living and the dead expect is for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to defend the mandate we have given him at such a huge price with all the democratic and legal processes available to him and the PDP political party.

The pattern of governance shows very clearly a highly divided country by ethnicity, religion, oppressive and nepotistic tendencies, irresponsible and destructive level of greed and hunger for ultimate political powers to rule forever, but we believe that the 2019 presidential elections is to give Nigeria an opportunity to Reengineer, Restructure and position Nigeria for the best future, as one of other Niger Delta groups we endorsed Alhaji Atiku Abubakar because we believe that he has the capacity to take Nigeria on the path of rebuilding Nigeria but if it fails it will not be for lack of trying.

The Niger Delta Self Determination Movement is convinced that the posture of calling on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to accept defeat in an election that is so disputable under such brazing circumstances of unacceptable results by playing the card of ‘the country will go up in flames’ will show Nigeria as irresponsible, cowardly, untrustworthy and weak.

There is nothing democratic in claiming to be a democratic nation if leaders of Nigeria are afraid of real democratic process.

Finally the earlier positions of the international community via their statements before the elections, and the reports coming from the international and national election monitors is confusing at best and horrifying. These statements are calling on the millions of electorates who have been encouraged to accept democracy as the best form of government, when we do somewhere along the line we are encouraged to accept a democratic process that is not acceptable or practice in their Countries.

The NDSDM is most disappointed by the mixed messages coming from the congratulatory messages and the reports. The congratulatory messages are silently supporting the pressure been applied on the Nigerian people by the Peace Accord, assuming and pretending that all the people who voted on the 23 of February agree with the outcome.

This is how Africa’s leaders are encouraged to oppress their people for decades under the pretense that it is about democracy and the world continue to exchange natural resources with aid that we don’t need in Africa. No nation in Africa need aid but Africa’s worst leaders are hoisted on Africans through this method we are experiencing to keep their countries in perpetual poverty.

Are there two kinds of democracies? One democracy for Africa and one democracy for the rest of the world. One democracy for the owners of the natural resources and one democracy for the rest of the world.

We reject the democracy that keep us underdeveloped and keep us hungering for the rest of the world as beggars, rather Nigerians demand the same democracy where the will of the people is supreme, and not the will of a group of people.

The Niger Delta Self Determination Movement call on Nigerians to stand firm for a Government of the People, by the People and for the People.

Good is the only alternative for Bad.

Annkio Briggs
Niger Delta Self Determination Movement

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. 


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