Vol. 25July 2001
News Bulletin of the Niger Delta Women for Justice (NDWJ)
Niger Delta Women Demand more Political participation:
Women in the Niger Delta are demanding for more participation in the political system in the Niger Delta. Speaking with a the coordinator of the Niger Delta Women for Justice Ms Emem Okon in her residence she informed the reporter that "The problem with the low standard of living of women in the Niger Delta has a lot to do with the economic and lack of political might of women in this region. Women have to be able to sit on the table with other women and men to make very traditional political decisions that affect both them and their community."
Women in Nigeria Rivers State branch also works with the grassroots women organizations to create opportunities for women to look inwards for sustainability. However, there are several Non governmental organizations in the Delta that are working with these women to help improve their standard of living
By Ebitare Obibi
Yenagoa, Bayela State
July 27th, 2001
The Repression of Ijaw Youths in the Niger Delta by agents of the State;
The foremost youth organisation in Nigeria is angry at the invasion of the home of its Secretary general Ms Brisibe Annie, who by special sources is said to be in Canada. The President of the Ijaw Youth Council Mr Felix Tuodolo sent out a press release on July 25th, informing the public of the threat to the life of Ms Brisibe whose siblings were taken away at the time of the invasion of her home in Portharcourt.
The Ijaw Youth Council, whose executive members have been the target of state security forces in the past three years since the Kaiama Declaration have been met with very strong military attacks where more than 800 of their members have been killed. The deaths resulting from shootings by the Nigerian military police and guards of the oil companies. The recent case been the killings at Obobo flow station by Agip station guards.
The leader of the Chikoko movement Mr Oronto Douglas in his words "We are aware that our lives are in danger, and that the government and oil companies are making sure that we do not actualise the Kaiama Declaration but the recent attack on Ms Brisibe who thankfully is not in the country right now is a clear sign that we have been marked for death."
Members of the organization and the state branch of the Civil Liberties organization are very unhappy with the recent event and are seeking that the action be probed. On January 11, 1999 Annie Brisibe was arrested, detained and tortured by the state security in Portharcourt for staging a peaceful protest against the government of Abdulsalam Abubakar and the oil companies. She has since then continued with her campaigns against the injustice to her people.
SECURITY THREATS TO MEMBERS OF THE IJAW YOUTH COUNCIL
The Ijaw Youth Council has sent out a security alert on the stalking by its members by the Rivers State security agents. The president Felix Tuodolo in an interview with DeltaWOMENAlert informed the reporter that the State government of Peter Odili and the Nigerian State have given the State department a conditional order to arrest members of the Ijaw Youth Council. In his statement he said "We are also aware that the government has been trying to destroy the organization by fixing its members and fifth columnists that relay secret information of the organization to the State security Service".
He continued, "However, it is barely one month since the invasion of the home of our secretary general Ms Annie Brisibe and the arrest of her siblings. IYC will not condone the continuous death threats to its' members by the State and will also stand firm to defend its people and their rights to self-determination".
Mr Tuodolo also informed the reporter that "On June 19th, 2001, plain cloth security officials arrested Ebiodu Agana, and Terila Yeimi at the premises of the office of the Ijaw Youth Council. The two young men's whereabouts is still unknown. This is the third clampdown on our members this year by state security officials and we are not taking likely to these threats to our lives, being Ijaws and belonging to the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality" he said.
IYC is demanding for the release of its secretary's siblings and two other members of the organization that were arrested by the State. Von Kemedi, the Director of the Dispute Resolution Bureau of the IYC signed the press release.
Niger Delta Women for Justice
#13 Agudama Avenue D/Line
PortHarcourt, Rivers State Nigeria
Sokari Ekine: London, Emem Okon: Nigeria