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“Return Our Land To Us”, Ogoni Women Tell Govt

OGONI WOMENThe women of Ogoni demanded the return of their land forcefully collected by the government. The women made the demand at a peaceful protest in Bori, headquarters of Ogoni. Women numbering over 250 from different parts of Ogoni however, stated that their National Human rights Commission and the women are eager to know the outcome.

In a statement by the organizer of the event, Ms. Martha Agbani who is also the executive Director of Lokiaka community Development Centre, an indigenous and a Non-Governmental Organization in the Niger Delta stated that some of the travails of the Ogoni women are the non-inclusion of women in decision making and discussion at the community level.

The Executive Director further explained that the discrimination against women has further excluded them and left them behind in the affairs of the development and has also increase the poverty margin. One of the demonstrators, Ms Grace Basi said “Banana farm no longer allow “is to feed our goats, we do not use land for farming alone but to get herbs also for treatment and delivery. She stated”.

Other deprivation suffered by the women has led to series of environmental hazards, land seizure by government and outright denial of access to land mostly perpetrated by government and multinational companies.

Ms. Agbani maintained that there are training and activities that will improve the living condition of the women, especially the 3 day strategic training workshop on advocacy, leadership and negotiation skill for Ogoni grassroots women, small scale farmers displaced by government for the use of banana farm. It could be recall that in Ogoni land over 3,000 Ogoni women were displaced by the Rivers State government with 2,000 hectares of arable farmlands with any compensation.

Lokiaka community development centre is collaborating with Lush Charity Pot UK to raise awareness, mobilize and build the capacity of women across Ogoni land. ###


Pius Dukor

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