Isoko women protest against illegal bunkering

By Kelvin Ohoror

Worried about incessant bunkering activities and frequent tension from shooting which vandals have subjected residents to, women of Igbide Community in Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State, have sent Save Our Soul (SOS), through protest to the state government, security agencies and other relevant authorities to urgently come to their rescue before things get out of hands.

The women in a peaceful protest displayed various  placards with inscriptions such as, ‘Igbide Community condemn pipeline vandalization/bunkering activities’, ‘Enough is Enough,’ ‘We cannot continue with this anymore,’ ‘Stop the air pollution,’  ‘Stop the shooting,’ ‘Make the environment safe for all,’ amongst others, the women vow to shut down oil exploration at the expiration of the ultimatum issued by the community leadership.
Addressing journalists at the Oroni Flow Station, Igbide, President General of Igbide Community, Chief Egbaoghene Ugolo, said, “If you look behind me, you will see the thick smoke, it is from the bunkering activities.
For a very long time, this community has been complaining and I have with me a letter that was written and addressed to the Governor of Delta State, and it was acknowledged, and sent to the Isoko South Council Chairman as well as the 181 Battalion, Nigeria Army”.

Continuing he said, “we have complained severally of this bunkering activities. Our women no longer go to their farms for fear of being killed. They can no longer harvest their farm produce even as we go to bed here and wake up with fear because of their incessant shooting from the evenings to the  mornings.”
He also stated that as a result of air pollution different diseases and  sicknesses are of  increase as the environment and water has been polluted. Ugolo maintained that “the women and the entire community are fed up, and use the medium to remind the Delta State Governor to come to our rescue.”
Also speaking, one of the women leaders, identified as Chief Mrs. Grace Egwero and the Secretary, Mrs. Egbage Edafe, both lamented the havoc done by oil bunkers to the community, adding that, since the inception of bunkering activities in their bush, they have suffered alot as they can no longer use rain water to wash clothes as a result of pollution.
They also complained about the thick smoke emanating from bunkering activities, stating that it has caused environmental disorders as it affects their health.

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