Akwa Ibom women of Obotim Nsit community in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, Akwa-Ibom State have vowed to protest nude.
The women group also threatened to summon the wrath of the gods against the Federal Government and a certain gas company in their community. The said company’s pipeline in the Obotim Nsit community was recently blown up by the Niger Delta Avengers on July 24, thus increasing the fear of the women and their need to protest for security.
The aggrieved Akwa Ibom women alleged that the both the company and the Federal Government abandoned them after the destructive incident, claiming that the explosion caused extensive damage to all the houses in the village aside from ruining their farmlands and other means of livelihood.
According to them, the company, a joint venture partner with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which constructed the pipeline, simply evacuated its equipment and left after the incident without caring about the villagers that were affected by the ruin.
NDA, penultimate week, declared an unannounced ceasefire following the appeal by monarchs, leaders and stakeholders of the Niger Delta coastal states on militants to sheathe their swords. In response to an earlier inquiry on the complaints by communities about the effects of their attacks on the environment, spokesperson of the militant group, self-styled Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, empathized with the people, but said it was an unavoidable corollary they would have to bear in the spirit of the struggle to liberate them.
Eteidung Okon Aaron Ukpong, told Niger Delta Voice, NDV, that the explosion destroyed nearly 2000 houses in the community. Besides shattering the villagers’ means of livelihood, he said the people have become susceptible to untold danger and insecurity, as their homes now stand on shaky foundations with the roofing sheets weakened by harmful chemical effects of the gas emissions.
Akwa Ibom Women to protest
Stressing that the explosion destroyed their cassava farms, oil palm and other economic trees, Nkanta lamented, stating,
“Unfortunately, Seven Energy came and evacuated their equipment from the site not minding the losses the community have recorded. That means that they do not care about the disaster they have brought to us after taking our land to lay their pipeline and locate their control valve.
They are not bothered about the health hazards and general calamity the emissions from their pipeline have brought to our land. What have they said is our offence for giving our land out for them to do business? Is this the kind of reward we should receive from government and the gas company for the good thing we did for them”?
“But I want to warn that they should not provoke us to go naked on the streets for them else, it will not be well with them. “We need compensation for the losses we have recorded as a result of that gas pipeline explosion and for the degradation of our land since that gas pipeline control valve was installed at the
“We need compensation for the losses we have recorded as a result of that gas pipeline explosion and for the degradation of our land since that gas pipeline control valve was installed at the Asang Community High School, else, we will go naked on the streets to provoke the gods of our land to action against these people, who have suddenly turned our enemies.”
Besides, our farmlands have become degraded and no longer record good yields as a result of harmful chemical spills on the land. Even the roofs on our houses no longer last beyond one year because of leakages caused by harmful effect of chemicals from the gas pipeline.
“And now, the explosion, which occurred on July 24, 2016, has come to cause complete destruction of our farms, our houses and investments and the attitude of government towards us after we recorded the magnitude of losses, is an indication that the location of the gas pipeline control valve and the gas pipeline passing through our community generally, is a curse rather than a blessing”, the Eteidung insisted.”
Hopefully, the cries of the women have been noted and the FG and the company involved would do something about the ruins of the community in order to invade this protest.