By Emma Amaize
WARRI—WOMEN from oil and gas producing communities in Delta State, yesterday, warned that they will protest naked against those opposed to the passage of the bill for a law to establish Delta State Oil Producing Areas Commission, DESOPADEC’s Five Ethnic Nationalities Oil Producing Areas’ Development Agencies and Investment Corporations.
Also, youths from oil-bearing communities in the state have called for speedy passage of bill, appealing to the Assembly to include Ika and Aniocha ethnic nationalities, as only Itsekiri, Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko and Ndokwa were captured in the bill.
The bill, proposed by the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has gone through first reading at the Delta State House of Assembly, but it generated controversy when a group of oil producing communities’ leaders, led by the National Chairman of Host Communites of Nigeria, Chief Alfred Bubor, National Coordinator, Prince Maikpobi, Okareme, alleged that it was a cover up.
But, another group led by a founding father of Host Communities and pioneer DESOPADEC chairman, Chief Wellington Okirika, countered the bloc, describing its position as uninformed and selfish.
The women, under the auspices of Delta State Host Communities, HOSTCOM, (Women Wing), led by Madam Grace Oghenekevwe, in a statement, said: “We will go naked on the streets if any group opposes the swift passage of the bill, which clearly has a human face.”
Vice chairman, Mrs. Awani Akande, Urhobo Women Leader, Mrs. Maria Onagere, Ndokwa Women Leader, Mrs. Rita Okolocha, Mrs. Comfort Maya, acting Itsekiri Women Leader, Mrs. Mercy Ogbu, Isoko Women Leader and Mrs Florence Monene, Ijaw Women Leader, who supported their leader, said, they were happy that the new bill gave opportunity for representatives of women on the board of the commission.
They expressed confidence in the leadership of Mr. Benjamin Iwetan as the state chairman of HOSTCOM.