By Annkio Briggs
I have always respected and will continue to respect journalism as one of the major tools needed to pass down true, factual, neutral and unambiguous information to national and international public.
I continue to believe that Nigeria and Nigerians of all ethnic nationalities, from all states and geo-political zones need only the true information to enable us make the best and right decisions for ourselves, people, communities, states and regions, it is only on these facts and truth we will save Nigeria if this is what we finally agree to do.
Creating a headline for newspapers in a manner to attract the readership is allowed and if done with honesty is acceptable but when it is done mischievously to give a wrong or false impression is reckless. When it is done maliciously, wickedly, and dangerously, it is wicked.
Journalism, all over the world, is most respected profession as journalist have taken ricks, some even have died while searching for truth and fact for us the people who seek to know the truth of issues, it is therefore most unprofessional and immoral to use journalism as a tool to push lies and propaganda that can result in threat to life.
False information leads to wrong conclusions and decisions, in some cases false information has resulted n the death, not only of the journalists who took risks to bring the truth the people, but sometimes the people who give the information and speak the truth are put at risk.
In the past 2 years, l have become increasingly worried and horrified at the ways some Journalist have carelessly twisted stories about me, wilfully misrepresented and put me at risk for genuinely express my positions on issues concerning Nigeria, my beloved people of the Niger Delta and the way forward.
I repeat, l speak the truth that l know, feel, see, believe and act. I have never denied nor will l ever deny what l have said in the past or in the future.
“On the Friday 16th of Sept 2016, l was honoured to be one of the discussants at the 2nd Edition Of The Great and Late Tunji Braithwaite Symposium organised by the Tunji Braitwaite Foundation. The event was held at Lagos and the theme was Nigeria In Crisis – The Imperative of a New Socio-economic Order.
My humble self was amongst some great and notable Nigerians Chief Chuwuemeka Ezeife, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, and Chief Femi Aborisade. The keynote speaker was Prof. Abubakar Momoh, the occasion was chaired by Prof. Pat Utomi,
l thank God that as l write this piece all of the great men mentioned can confirm that at no time in my presentation did l say the lies that has been carried about what am quoted as saying. If l did l will not deny it as l fear no human being, alive or dead. I fear only the Living God whom l unashamedly and unapologetically worship and believe in.
While l remain fearless in speaking the truth to myself and to power, l stand firmly to take this opportunity and call on President Buhari to be more concerned about people who blatantly lie to him not for his good or that of the Nigeria he claims he has come to save. The president should be concerned of people who have sold themselves and their people and region, for their political gains. They are more dangerous and destructive with their lies. People who have no scruples are dangerous to his own ambition.
The continued misrepresentation of my positions on National issues is despicable and a sign of desperation on the part of people who want to please the President at all cost, but l want to assure my people and region that the lies, threats, blackmail, are not enough to shut me up.
I have an inalienable right to express my beliefs, rights, justice and equity, l have a right to share theses rights with others, l have a right to agitate for theses rights, l have a right to withhold my support from one candidate, and give that support to another.
Expressing my rights does not make me an unpatriotic Nigerian, if Nigeria will survive this terrifying crisis of division, nepotism, failure, poverty, corruption, rights abuses, insecurity, the rampage of the herdsmen, the attacks of terrorism by Boko Haram who have paid allegiance to ISIS, the injustice of over 50 years endured by the Niger Delta, the demands of the IPOB and of the Niger Delta people to Self Determination, Nigeria needs the truth, nothing but the truth, Nigeria needs men and women of goodwill that will tell the bitter truth to the Nation and particularly to President Buhari.
It is not about whether President Buhari wants to hear the truth or not, but the campaign promises President Buhari made that he came to do better than President Goodluck Jonathan not only must he be told the truth, he must listen, change, and act.
I said in my presentation at the program, the injustice we have endured in the Niger Delta in over 50 years, the injustice of Kano state taking 44 LGA allocation of what Bayelsa state produces, while Bayelsa state who produces take only 8 LGA allocation is an injustice that will continue to produce people who yesterday called themselves MEND, today NDA and many more. Instead of looking for avengers, end the injustice in the Niger Delta, as long as there is injustice there you will find avengers.
If Lagos ends up with 13%, and their land and livelihood are destroyed like in the Niger Delta, Lagos State their own avengers will arise.
While l respect the great profession of journalism How the headline Annkio Briggs Knows Where Avengers Are is cheap, infantile, tasteless, and a disgrace to the noble profession of journalism.
I am calling on the real journalists in Nigeria to please clean their house and restore the dignity and respect due their profession, and not allow a few unprofessional ones amongst them to pull down the profession and drag it through the mud.
I will continue to speak up on National And Niger Delta issues.
Annkio Briggs is a respected leader of the Niger Delta struggle for human rights and environmental justice.