Niger Delta women including Ogoni women groups have joined hands together to protest against the lack of progress and the slow speed implementation of the Cleanup of Ogoni land three years after the current administration of President Buhari launches the project with pomp and fanfare.
The women numberings in hundreds came from different parts of the Niger Delta with the majority of them drawn from Rivers state. They protested by marching around the town of Bori against the continued politicization and marginalization of the infamous project.
The women held the protest during the Niger Delta Day of Action for Environmental Justice rally in Bori, Rivers state. In the rally which had many prominent women from the Niger Delta as well as from Rivers state, featured speeches of neglect of women in the implementation of the Ogoni cleanup project.
President Buhari Right, Promised but failed to Cleanup Ogoni
Various speakers complained about the negative impact of crude oil exploitation in the Niger Delta which has left the region polluted and degraded. This condition argued the women has led to continuous death, sickness and low lifespan in the region. It has also been linked to the prevalence of serious diseases like Cancer e.t.c.
The women reason that the brunt of the danger of the oil activities such as gas flaring and oil pollution due to leaking oil pipes is impacted more on women and children as they are the more vulnerable than men.
The women stressed the need for more enlightenment on the serious impact of oil pollution and the need for the cleanup of impacted areas to be pursued sincerely and vigorously.
According to the women, the Ogoni cleanup project is one of the pioneer cleanup projects in the Niger Delta must be executed and completed professionally. Women of the region should be carried along in its implementation so as to assuage the feeling of neglect and abandonment harboured by them concerning the project.
Degraded Niger Delta Environment
A chieftain of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni people MOSOP Roland Nwigbo, however, called for the maintenance of peace within Ogoni land so as not to frustrate and delay the ongoing clean up exercises noting that no meaningful project can be done in an atmosphere of strife and violence.
A director of Women Development and Resource Centre Emem Okon commended the women for coming out to participate in the symbolic marching around Bori town to demand participation of women in the Ogoni cleanup as well as expose the environmental hazards of crude oil exploitation in the Niger Delta region.