OWERRI—A chieftain of Ijaw Peoples Assembly and
a human rights activist, Miss Annkio Briggs, has
expressed worry over what she termed “the induced
differences between the South East and South South
geo-political zones of the country”.
Briggs, made her feelings known yesterday, during
the first South East/South South Conference in
“Our traducers not only balkanized the
former Eastern Region, but also injected false and
jaundiced propaganda that has effectively left us
where are today”, Miss Briggs said. While saying
that she is a very proud Ijaw woman, Miss Briggs
however insisted that nobody should coerce her into
being a better Nigerian without necessarily being a
patriotic Ijaw woman.
“There is a lot of misinformation in the land. We
must be determined to save ourselves from the grip
of those who hate us. There must be a time we
must sit down and work out a way to drive this
unification project”, Briggs pleaded. She recalled
with grief that the two zones were making huge
sacrifices to keep Nigeria afloat, pointing out that
all the federal allocations to the states and local
government areas are skewed in favour of the
North. On the issue of grazing land for herdsmen,
Miss Briggs said it was the most senseless thing
for any state to do.
Speaking also, an elder statesman, Dr. Uma Eleazu,
reasoned that “we have several groups pulling us in
different directions, adding that “what we need is
self determination as distinct from sovereignty”.
his own presentation, one of the conveners of the
conference, Chief Aloysius Osuji, lamented that the
South East/South South zones are the worst hit in
the present federal system. “Why are the Port
Harcourt, Warri and Calabar ports not functioning?
Why should our traders be forced to use only the
Lagos ports? The Federal Government should
please give us the answer”, Osuji said.