Niger Delta activist, Ms Annkio Briggs, has declared that people of the region are yearning for control of their resources, not to break away from Nigeria.
Briggs, who made this known as the weekend in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, urged the federal government not to misconstrue their demand for self-determination for secession, adding that what the people of Niger Delta truly want is to control their resources while still being part and parcel of “one indivisible Nigeria”.
According to her “It is not illegal for a group of people to demand self-determination. The indigenous persons are recognised by the United Nations. An indigenous person is someone that has its own distinct culture, language and religion. In the case of the Niger Delta region, who are mainly from the creeks, we are recognised by the United Nations as an indigenous people”.
“In September, the president attended the United Nations conference and during that meeting, he categorically supported the request that the United Nations should give indigenous right to the Palestinians. If the president can do that, I am yet to be convinced how that can be wrong in Nigeria, if other ethnic groups are making such request. We in the Niger Delta are asking for self-determination for us to be able to determine our development, economy, political lining, who will govern us and who will not govern us”, she added.
Ms Briggs stressed that “the control of our destiny as far as Niger Delta self-determination movement is concerned is not to say that we want to break away from the country. What we are saying is that we want to control the creeks; that is in our territory. We want to control our wealth in those creeks”.
She, therefore, enjoined other ethnic nationalities in the country clamoring for self-determination to toe the line of the law to achieve their objectives instead of resorting to violence.