Annkio Briggs, a Niger Delta activist, writes an open letter to “the one and only democratic president of Nigeria since independence. It is worth reading.
My brother the world knows that, you too have known it, it’s just that being who you are you are too modest to have said it earlier than this.
For you to even acknowledge it now must have taken a lot of convincing you.
Since God guides your footsteps and He has cut out an international platform for you, run with it, my only suggestion is this, people know you for your nationalistic streak.
Do remember that you are first of all a Niger Delta son, your turn at presidential governance in this country that is built on greed, injustice, and corruption was marred with religious and ethnic opposition, therefore as you serve the world in demonstrating your belief in democracy always remember that back in your own country and particularly your Niger Delta people, and other ethnic nationalities are denied the very process you are promoting in Africa, charity begins at home.
The world must see you protecting democracy, equality, justice, freedom of information, speech, association and particularly of religion and choice of Nigerian nationalities to decide if they want to continue in the project Nigeria or not.
In my humble opinion your own position that Nigeria should not consider the prospect of stay or leave is against the very platform of democracy you are projecting, that has so boosted your international profile.
Your international profile must be in the interest of Nigeria your country which means all the over 350 ethnic nationalities should benefit from it otherwise it can not be said to be for the good of all.
My support for you will continue to hold as long as it is for the greater good of all, first for our beloved region Niger Delta, and all other ethnic nationalities desiring equity and justice, it is only on this platform of freedom of worship, equity, justice, governance and development that Nigeria can stay together.
While l agree with you that they are jealous of your rising international profile, this international profile must benefit all of us.
You argued against been seen as a regional president when you were in government and worked hard to enforce it, that made you to cut off access to some of us who said it was wrong to isolated you people, but l respected you for it, though l would have unrepentantly favored my people and region and still will, and it is the Nigerian style of governance. This is why one Nigeria has never worked, it is fake concept that is used to blackmail the Niger Delta and other stakeholders of Nigeria.
Not favoring your people of Niger Delta was the democratically right thing to do, but as you have seen it is not the Nigerian thing to do.
If you had favored your people developmentally, economically, and politically the heavens may not have fallen, we will never know.
Nigeria is in big trouble, while as Nigerians we want Nigeria to succeed l disagree and refuse to accept that the success and survival of Nigeria must depend on the death of Niger Delta, l repeat,
NIGER DELTA MUST NO LONGER PAY THE PRICE FOR NIGERIA TO SURVIVE AS A COUNTRY ECONOMICALLY.
It is not true that we should deny our ethnic group or region to be patriotic to Nigeria.
Patriotism is earned by a Nation and given freely and willingly by the people not by force of guns, bombs, threat of arrests or killings.
If Nigeria will stay as a country and it can if we all agree, we must agree on the terms and not be forced to agree by oppressing our region. Our people should not be sacrificed for other people and region to get rich, and promote their political and religious interests.
I remain a proud Niger Delta daughter and servant, of Ijaw ethnic nation, from Kalabari Clan, in Nigeria whose priority is and will remain the defence and protection of our rights to be who God has called us to be and will remain what we want to be, unconquered and peace loving.
Annkio Briggs is a respected leader of the Niger Delta struggle for human rights and environmental justice. Connect with her on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.