Ijaw Women are Neglected in Delta, Says DIWI National President Bebenimibo

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Gov. Okowa

WARRI- Delta Ijaw women have expressed their displeasure over series of neglect and marginalization meant on them by various successive administrations in Delta State.

In a heavily worded open letter addressed to the Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, through his deputy governor, Barr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro  and signed on behalf of the group  National President Hon. Ebimaye Bebenimibo have lamented angrily that Ijaw women in Delta State would no longer take it easy with Okowa’s administration any longer as various successive administrations have kicked them to the kitchen for too long.

They argued that Ijaw women have gone to school with various chains of University certificates that can be appointed to any political office at both federal level and the state. But said, after campaigns and general elections the Delta state government forgets them when choosing commissioners, special advisers and other key political appointments.

Part of the letter reads, ‘‘Indeed it is no longer news that Ijaw women in the oil rich riverine communities of Delta State are constantly being neglected and marginalised against on a daily basis thereby contributing to the high level of poverty that is being experienced. This is so sad especially when their communities in the coastal region are positively contributing massively to the revenues of the state and the country at large.

‘‘Your excellency sir, there are no words to accurately describe or truly paint a picture of what the Delta Ijaw women are going through on a daily basis coupled with the fact that their coastal communities lack basic infrastructures like health and financial institutions.

‘‘This is made worse by the fact that the sole occupation of most of our women, which is fishing, has been seriously impacted by pollution thereby rendering the trade unprofitable. For many who delved into artisanship or some other forms of trade, they are finding it hard to sustain such businesses due to the lack of financial aid or capital to provide the necessary equipment and other working tools that are required.

‘‘First, as the deputy governor of Delta State and as someone who was from the creek, we expect you as the number two citizen of the state to feel our plight and to take the bull by the horn to cater for the general welfare of the Ijaw women in the state.

‘‘Secondly, being a man who was brought into this world by a woman and cared for by same, as well as having a wife, we expect you to know the important roles that women play, a knowledge we feel is supposed to ginger you to do the needful for the Ijaw women’’ the women expressed their anger.

They said further ‘‘We make bold to say that since the inception of this government, we the Delta Ijaw women have not benefitted from this administration as we are totally neglected. Note that we are not talking of youth empowerment but strictly women empowerment.

‘‘Therefore, we, the Delta Ijaw Women Initiative (DIWI) use this medium to call on Barr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, the Deputy Governor of Delta State to use his good office to rise up to the occasion of empowering the Ijaw women in the state in line with the SMART Agenda of the Okowa government so as to end the neglect, suffering and plight of the delta Ijaw women in the state’’ it said.

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