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Ijaw youth coalition rustles Briggs, anti-grazing protesters in Yenegoa



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The Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress (NDYCPP) has said that the aborted protest led by Ms Annkio Briggs, a Niger Delta activist, against allocation of grazing land was ill-advised.
Briggs had led a protest on Tuesday against Bayelsa government’s donation of 1,200 hectares of land to herdsmen in the state for grazing purposes.
The protesters were dispersed at the Tombia area of Yenagoa by youths who stormed the area in several buses, injuring the protesters in the process.
Reacting to the development NDYCPP in a statement signed by Mr Jude Tiedor and Chief Henry Nabena, the acting coordinator and the acting secretary respectively, noted that the protest did not follow laid down procedure.

“While we consider the situation unfortunate, especially as it affects a woman who has been involved in the Niger Delta struggle for many years, we are at the same time forced to ask this very pertinent question: Was the protest necessary? In our thinking Ann Kio Briggs and her group did not follow due process in staging the planned protest in Yenagoa,” the group stated.
“Our investigations revealed that the police and other security agencies in the state knew nothing about the planned protest which could have been hijacked by hoodlums to cause trouble.”
The NDYCPP noted that some Niger Delta youth leaders had prevailed on  Briggs to shelve the  action, but she rebuffed the entreaties.
The coalition further stated that the government of Bayelsa’s explanation that the move to restrict the cattle business was a security measure to avert clashes between farmers and herdsmen is devoid of politics.
However, in her own reaction to the reported attack,  Briggs who said she lost her phone in the course of the melee, described the action of the youths   as “unacceptable”.
“All what we are saying is no to Ijaw land being ceded to Fulani people under any circumstance.
“I told the police DPO that this rally was not against the Governor of Bayelsa, but against the decision he has made,” she said.
“It is unbelievable. I am an Ijaw person. I have fought for the Ijaw nation for as long as I can remember.
“I have been called a bigot because of my stand on Ijaw issues. And if today I can come to Bayelsa, and children that have got appointments and positions think that people like me no longer have the right to speak on Ijaw matters, that is a sad day for them, and not for Ijaw nation.”