Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, has been accused
of sponsoring protests against the Bayelsa State Government over the
state’s decision to allot the Bayelsa Palm for herdsmen operating
A group, the Ijaw Patriot, in a statement in Yenagoa, the state
capital, maintained that the ex-First Lady  was behind Ms Ankio
Briggs’ rally in Bayelsa last week.
The Ijaw group stated that the decision of the ex-President’s wife to
support a protest that might lead to the breakdown of law and order
was not only insensitive, but done in bad faith.
Executive Secretary of the Ijaw Patriot, David Lawson, who signed the
release on behalf of the group, said the action of the former First
Lady was condemnable and must be resisted by all well meaning Ijaw
sons and daughter.
According to the organisation, Mrs Jonathan’s sponsorship of  Briggs
was hinged on her selfish interest to avoid paying taxes to the
government on her own herds, herself, being an owner of over 500
cattle in the state.
It noted that restricting the movement of the cows to the area
provided was not only a strategy against any unforeseen clashes
between herdsmen and farmers, but would also help boost the Internally
Generated Revenue of the state.
“She owns 500 Cattles and the protest was to ensure she does not pay
tax per head of cattle as part of government’s decision to restrict
herdsmen and their cattle to the Bayelsa Palm Area for grazing”, the
IP said.
The group described the act as irresponsible and unwarranted and
warned the former First Lady to steer clear of Bayelsa State in the
interest of peace and public sanity.
The socio-political organisation also condemned attempts by Ms Briggs
to lead the protest “after collecting huge sums of money from Dame
Patience Jonathan to incite citizens in a protest against the Bayelsa
State Government”
It called on all true Ijaw sons and daughters to resist any attempt
to set them against each other, noting that it would not augur well
for the badly needed cohesion required to advance the progress of the
Ijaw people.
“We call on all Ijaw sons and daughters to join forces with
government to keep the peace in the state rather than allow some
people use their own selfish interest to destroy the state.
“Confining the Fulani herdsmen to Bayelsa Palm was aimed at
pre-empting any security breach such as is happening in other parts of
the country”, the group posited.

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