Protesting Gbaramatu Women Disrupt Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline Project
By Jimmy Lace, Warri
A call has gone to President Goodluck Jonathan to meet the demands of protesting Ijaw women in Gbaramatu Kingdom of Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Gbaramatu women had been protesting over electricity and water with their action leading to the disruption of the Escravos-Water-Lagos Gas Pipeline Project of the Federal Government.
The on-going gas pipeline project is the biggest in Africa and expected to deliver gas to other parts of the country and African countries on completion.
The project had been stalled since the beginning of this month due to the protest of the Gbaramatu women.
But a group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change on Monday threw it’s weight behind the women, saying their demands were not out of place and urged the President and the Minister of Power and Energy to address the issue.
The Group in a statement signed by its President, Nelly Emma, John Sailor (Secretary) and Mukoro Stanley (P.R.O.) sought to know the stake of the women in the gas project when completed.
According to the Group, it made no sense to pipe gas from the area to other parts of the country and the rest of the world when it will not impact on the lives of those close to the source of the resources.
“What the protesting Gbaramatu women are asking for is electricity and President Jonathan is also talking about improved power supply in the country and the resources are from the oil-rich Niger Delta region; therefore, the President and Minister of Power and energy should meet the demands of the Gbaramnatu women; they are not demanding for money. Federal Government should take a critical look at the issue because the women as we gathered were deceived by Chevron Nigeria Limited and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs,” the group wrote.
Continuing, the Group said; “We want to see Federal Government sincerely in power supply because if people who are close to the resources are agitating, what will be the fate of those far away from the resources. President Jonathan should start the campaign for steady power supply from the poverty-stricken people of Gbaramatu and other Niger Delta communities; otherwise the campaign will be meaningless. What the women are agitating for is reasonable because they are just about two kilometers away from the Escravos Gas Plant that will supply gas to other parts of Nigeria and African countries and you want to keep them in darkness. Federal Government should know by now that the protest is a major set back to the Escravos Gas Pipeline Project.”