The other equally serious event was not a festivity, but a protest mounted by Ijaw leaders across the Niger Delta for Governor Dickson to rescind his decision on the vexed and controversial issue of allocation of 1, 200 hectares of land to Fulani herdesmen for grazing in the Bagels Palm area.
Ijaw Peoples Rights Campaigner/Activist
It was a peaceful protest led by the Kalabari born daughter of Abonema, Ijaw Peoples Rights Campaigner/Activist, Ankio Briggs who arrived the Tombia junction with other Ijaw colleagues to press home their demand on the controversial allocation of Ijaw land to the Fulani cattle men who they believe has a track record of killing and destruction of their host communities.
Ankio Briggs, accompanied by the National president of Jaw Peoples Initiative IPDI, National Security Watch Organization of Nigeria NSWON, Messrs Austin Ozobo and Dickson Bederemo, others include Comrade Harrison Kpikpi, Ojugo Christy, Preye Dressman and others.
According to information the protesters were 'attacked by some hoodlums' led by a former militant leader. It was when Ankio Briggs started to address the Divisional Police Officer (D.P.O) in the area when the attackers came and pounced on them, and wounded many.
After the attack, Ankio Briggs who had an interview with the Vanguard stated that the attackers seem to have official backing.Hear this:
The Police know them. They ripped my identify from my body forcefully, took my phone and manhandled me. The attacked and wounded many of us " she graphically explained.
The President of Ijaw Peoples Initiative, Comrade Austin Ozobo has this to say:
It was sad and disgusting, when thugs, police, army and Civil Defence Corps manhandled protesters..."
The group widely condemned the governor of Bayelsa State for battering his fellow Ijaw people for embarking on a peaceful protest against a terrible decision taken by his administration, against the allocation of 1, 200 hectares of land to Fulani herdsmem.
According to media reports:
"When Vanguard visited the area, battle ready security operatives backed by seven patrol vans, a military armoured personnel carrier were sighted at the Idepie roundabout also known as Tombia roundabout."
when Golden Pen contacted the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite and the Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso Markson on line, there was no response.