BAYELSA GRAZING LAND: INC CONDEMNS ATTACK ON ANN-KIO, OTHERS

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The Ijaw National Con­gress, INC, Eastern Zone has condemned the harassment of a right ac­tivist, Ms. Ann-Kio Briggs who led a peaceful rally re­cently in Yenagoa, the state capital condemning the al­location of land to the Fulani herdsmen for grazing.

Briggs who was physi­cally assault by hoodlums at the venue of the rally told a delegation of the INC who paid her a solidarity visit in her house on Tuesday that besides sustaining a life-threatening injuries and pains, she also lost her phones and other belongings to the thugs who attacked her.

The rights activist how­ever blamed the state Gover­nor, Henry Seriake Dickson for the attack and urged him to tell “his boys to return my phone”. She added that over 1,200 green and fertile hect­ares of land at a palm planta­tion area have been allocated to the Fulani herdsmen for grazing.

“When we got to the lo­cation of the allotted land, I was personally shocked to see that this was the most fertile land in the state. Just as we were there, Dickson called somebody. After the conversation, the person gave me the phone to speak with the Governor and he told me that he was not re­sponsible for the attack.

“As far as I am concerned, he was talking a different thing from what we were in the state for the peaceful rally for. We say that we don’t want any Ijaw land to be giv­en to the Fulani herdsmen to graze. A terrorist watch group had identified herds­men as the fourth most dan­gerous terrorist groups in the world.

“one of the thugs who came to the venue of the rally in the company of some SAs to the governor pushed me down forcefully with my back down.

He placed one of his legs on my chest and then snatched the phone from me”, she narrated.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the INC led by the care­taker chairman of the zone, Ken Robinson described the attack on Ann-Kio as barbaric and charged the Bayelsa state government to “immediately identified the culprits and bring all of them to justice.

“Bayelsa is the Jerusalem of all Ijaw people and the governor of that state must protect the interest of the Ijaw people and not to attack them”.

Robinson called on the state government to pick up all the medical bills incurred by the activist in the course of the attack while the east­ern zone of the Congress was considering a modality to discuss the matter to the national body of the INC for appropriate action.

INC however encouraged Ann-Kio who is also the spokesperson of the Ijaw Re­publican Assembly, IRA, not to be deterred or intimidated by the action of the Bayelsa state government but contin­ue in the “good works” she is doing for the Ijaw people.

“Let this action not deter you from the good works that you are doing for your people and country. Ijaw land belongs to all of us. Please, continue in that good work”.