30 August 2016, Nsit Ibom – Women of Obotim Nsit community, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, Akwa-Ibom State have vowed to protest nude to summon the wrath of the gods against government and a gas company whose pipeline was blown up in the community by the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, July 24, for allegedly abandoning them to their fate after the destructive incident.
They claimed that the explosion caused extensive damage to all the houses in the village besides ruining their farmlands and other means of livelihood, only for the company, working for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which constructed the pipeline, to simply evacuate its equipment after the incident and leave.
However, NDA, penultimate week, declared an unannounced ceasefire following the appeal by monarchs, leaders and stakeholders of the Niger Delta coastal states on militants to sheathe their swords.
In response to an earlier inquiry on the complaints by communities about the effects of their attacks on the environment, spokesperson of the militant group, self-styled Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, empathized with the people, but said it was an unavoidable corollary they would have to bear in the spirit of the struggle to liberate them.
2000 houses under threat
Head of the host community, where the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, gas pipeline control valve is located, Eteidung Okon Aaron Ukpong, told Niger Delta Voice, NDV, that the explosion destroyed nearly 2000 houses in the community.
Besides shattering the villagers’ means of livelihood, he said the people have become susceptible to untold danger and insecurity, as their homes now stand on shaky foundations with the roofing sheets weakened by harmful chemical effects of the gas emissions.
Our anger against gas firm, govt- Nkanta, women leader
Women Leader of the community, Mrs. Dorothy Nkanta, who corroborated the claims of the village head, was aghast at the alleged lack of concern of their plight showed by government and Seven Energy Gas Company before and after the explosion. Stressing that the explosion destroyed their cassava farms, oil palm and other economic trees, Nkanta lamented: “Unfortunately, Seven Energy came and evacuated their equipment from the site not minding the losses the community have recorded.
“That means that they do not care about the disaster they have brought to us after taking our land to lay their pipeline and locate their control valve. They are not bothered about the health hazards and general calamity the emissions from their pipeline have brought to our land.
“What have they said is our offence for giving our land out for them to do business? Is this the kind of reward we should receive from government and the gas company for the good thing we did for them”?