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Published On: Tue, Aug 16th, 2022

Protesting Isoko Women Send SOS To Okowa Over Incessant Shooting By Oil Bunkerers

ISOKO WOMEN PROTESTING

LAGOS AUGUST 16TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Hundreds of women from the Igbide community in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State sent a ‘save our soul’ message to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over dubious activities of illegal oil bunkerers in their community.

The protesters in their large number protested the incessant shooting of guns by suspected bunkers whom they said are plying their illegal trade with impunity in the community bushes.

Daily Sun learnt that the women who stormed the Oroni Flow station to register their grievances accused some undisclosed persons of tormenting their lives with activities of bunkering in the community.

They said that the residents no longer sleep with their two eyes closed because of crude oil bunkerers who wield guns freely in the area and shoot intermittently throughout the night.

Sending a ‘Save our Soul’ message to the state government, the placard-carrying protesters, urged security operatives and other relevant authorities to urgently arrest the situation whereby illegal bunkerers have made life unbearable for residents.

Some of the placards bore by the protesters had the 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’, ‘Save our Soul’ amongst others.

The protesters, however, threatened to shut down oil exploration in the area if the authorities fail to address the ugly menace within a stipulated ultimatum.

Addressing newsmen at the Oroni Flow Station, Igbide, president general of the community, Chief Egbaoghene Ugolo said, If you look at the background very well, the thick smoke behind is from the bunkering activities.

“And 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, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa and it was acknowledged, to the local government chairman of Isoko south and the 181 Battalion of the Nigerian Army.

“We have complained severally of these bunkering activities, our women no longer go to their farms for fear of being killed, they can no longer harvest their farm produce.

“We go to bed here and wake up with fear because of their incessant shooting from the evenings to the mornings, now various illnesses are on the increase as our water has been polluted with soot.

“The women are tired, the entire community is fed up. We have complained to the governor, the local government chairman and the 181 Battalion. We are crying, we are calling on the state governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa to come to our rescue.

“We are calling on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to come to our rescue, we are also calling on the security agencies to do their job and put an end to the bunkering activities so that our mothers and wives can access their farmlands,” Chief Ugolo pleaded.

Speaking in the same vein, Chief Mrs Grace Egwero, a community women leader who lamented the havoc by oil bunkers said, since the inception of these bunkering activities in our bush, we have been suffering, we can no longer use the rainwater to wash because of pollution.

“At night the smoke from the bunkering activities has destroyed our farmlands and environment and illnesses are increasing.” She lamented

On her part, the secretary of the community’s women, Mrs Egbage Edafe said “Our farming activities have stopped because of oil bunkering activities and our crops are now rotting away.

“The smoke from the oil bunkering is polluting our environment and this is not good for the health of our people,” he lamented.

The Sun

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