By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY—WOMEN from the nine oil producing states of the Niger Delta, under the aegis of Host Oil and Gas Communities, Women Wing, Tuesday, cried out that women in host communities are suffering breast cancer and other diseases as a result of gas flaring and appealed to the National Assembly and the Federal Government to put in place, laws that would protect women of the area.
They also appealed to the National Assembly to urgently pass the pending Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, saying that the passage of the bill will bring transparency in the management of the funds from the oil sector.
National Coordinator of Host Oil and Gas Communities, Women Wing, Evangelist Carina Gassidy, in Benin City, Edo State, at a meeting of the Hostcom women, explained that the body is to be inaugurated on July 27, 2013 by President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that the women wing of Hostcom was formed to protect the rights and health of women in the oil producing communities.
“We women are not satisfied with the condition of women in the oil producing areas because gas flaring is affecting our women, we are suffering breast cancer and many other diseases. And that is why we are sensitizing our women to take their rightful place in the communities. The woman is a major stakeholder in the family and when we suffer all kinds of disease such as breast cancer due to oil exploration and gas flaring and nobody is doing anything about it, it is certainly unfair.”
“So, we want laws that will protect the health of women in oil producing communities. We are also appealing to all the state governors in the nine oil producing states of the Niger Delta, those states that have not created the oil commissions to use same to create the employment opportunities for our youths, empower people and infrastructural development,” she said.
Pointing out that Governors Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Godswill Akpabio(Akwa-Ibom), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Seriake Dickson(Bayelsa), have all utilized the oil fund accruing to their states judiciously, she stressed the need for governors from the region to look “inward and formulate policies and programmes geared towards empowering women and youths with the oil revenue accrued to the states.