The South South leaders have berated President Muhammadu Buhari over the dot-in-the-circle statement made on Arise Television’s interview on the South East region of the country.
Recall that President Buhari had during interview with Arise Television described the South East as dot-in-the-circle while commenting on the operation of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Reacting to the statement, the leaders of the South-South in a virtual meeting on Monday, disowned President Buhari over IPOB, adding that they did not have any form of discussion or agreement with Mr President.
The leaders further slammed Buhari over his assertion that some South-South leaders told him they won’t allow Ndigbo access to the sea in case they have their separate country.
In the virtual session organized by Njenje Media in Conjunction with Elombah TV and anchored in United Kingdom (UK), the South South leaders present at the Conference said that the derogatory statement used against the Igbos shows the mindset of Mr. President against the region.
The South South leaders that attended the virtual conference titled, “Addressing The Dot In Circle In President Buhari’s Interview, A Return To 1966?” were Asari Dokubo, Annkio Briggs, Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki, Mr. Tony Nnadi, Lt. Col. Tony Nyiam, Rear Admiral Yanga (retd) among other participants.
Opening the stage for discussion on the matter, Annkio Briggs said the statement in the interview has already shown the mindset of the person of President Buhari.
The Ijaw woman said it doesn’t matter if the Igbo people or Ijaw people or the Itshekiri people are only 10 people or 100,000 people, “referring to them as a dot in the circle, shows very clearly the mindset of the person of President Buhari.”
On the access to the sea, Briggs said, “first of all, I don’t even recall any access or non-access to the sea during the onslaught of the civil war.
“It was the federal government that came through the sea and the creeks. So having settled that, there are millions of elders and there are millions of youths in the Niger Delta, and there are ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta that make up the South-South.”
Separating the IPOB from Igbo people, Briggs affirmed that the ties between the Niger Delta with the Igbos remain ever strong.
“As a South-South person, as a daughter of the Ijaw ethnic nationality, and as a people that have heritage, blood heritage with the Igbo people and other ethnic nationalities, we have to make it very clear to whoever is listening and to whoever is playing these games that they cannot hit the heads of the ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta against the ethnic nationalities of Ndigbo.
“We may not agree on things per se, but one thing we do know and have, is a common enemy, a common problem, a common crisis and we do almost have a common desire, which is our collective survival,” she added.
Also in his contribution on the issue, the, former Managing Director of DAAR Communications PLC, Dr Don Pedro Obaseki, backed Mrs Brigg’s stance that the South-South and the South-East are united in the struggle for survival against the existential threat of the Buhari led administration.
Obaseki said: “There are 65 ethnic nationalities as defined by some of our leaders in the entire South-South and the man comes on public television and says he speaks to two elders, and some youths, it is laughable. What I see in Mr Buhari or General Buhari is like a rehash of the Amoral B code of law, an eye for an eye.
Dr Obaseki noted Mr. President is trying to be clever by half by trying to play the devil’s advocate between the South-South and the South-East.
“All he said in that interview were lies from the pits of hell, but unfortunately he has created a lie, he believes the lie, he is living the ‘lie’ and on all interviews that he has done, he has made it clear that his agenda is simple, a decimation of those he feels are lesser human beings in this country.
He has made it clear from his body language, spoken language and all else that Nigeria is a different country with different nations.”
On his part, Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd), stated that Buhari’s statement is a threat unbecoming of a President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of all Nigerians.
He noted that it is an open revelation of an unchanging published mindset that was responsible for the 1966 killings of Ndigbo’s in particular, and the people of Eastern Nigeria in general.
Nyiam added that Buhari’s utterance is enough evidence that can be used in a court such as the international criminal court (ICC), adding that the synergy and alignment between the Igbos and the ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta cannot be shaken by the mischief of the President.
In his submission, the Secretary of Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), Tony Nnadi claimed that the President was trying to be mischievous by trying to create suspicion into the minds of the leaders of both regions, adding, “I can confirm from what I know that there is no such promise extracted from anybody.”