A former Minister for Environment and Niger Delta Activist, AnnKio Briggs have described comments by President Muhammadu Buhari saying that “anyone who has another country is free to leave” as offensive and unwarranted.
Reacting to comments by President Buhari during a meeting with the Pan-Niger Delta Forum at Abuja, AnnKio Briggs said: “It is a pity, sad and offensive for Mr. President to make such statement as at no point during the meeting did the group raise such issue of anyone leaving Nigeria.
The comment shows very clear the level of insensitivity and mindset of the government towards the people of the Niger Delta. The government should know that we had Ijaw land just as other ethnicities like Itsekiri, Urhobo and others have their lands before the existence of the Nigeria state.”
Speaking further, Niger Delta activist said, “When the Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha told his fellow delegates during the 2014 National Conference under President Goodluck Jonathan that him and his people are prepared to secede from Nigeria to Cameroon if the country disintegrates, President Jonathan did not make counter remarks against them.
“So how can anyone tell us to leave? We existed before Nigeria hence they should know that I have Ijaw land to go to if I choose to.”