Nigerian Women Invade ChevronTexaco Platform

Women from the Ilaje communities in Ondo state invaded the Ewan oil field operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited. Their reasoning behind the invasion is the oil company’s lack of sensitivity to the plight of the communities in past years.

ChevronTexaco evacuated its workers with helicopter late on Wednesday to pre-empt breakdown of law and order as activities in the installation ground completely to a halt. The women will not leave the installation until certain demands are met by ChevronTexaco. Their president, secretary, public relations officer, Madam Ibimisan Ebiwonjumi, Mrs. Charity Iwatan and Madam Ibitayo Ogungbeje in a statement said they have "suffered deprivation and utter degradation for the operation of Chevron Nigeria Limited and its contracting firms. We have suffered from the dangerous impact of the exploration and exploitation activities of the company to our health, occupation and our physical environment. In essence, our fishing lines and water-ways have been destroyed or blocked, the entire environment annihilated, no fresh water, our commercial trees and straw mat farm are all dead as a result of gas flarring and oil spillage. Chevron is insensitive to our plight; the present action of invading the installation is as a result of the failure of the company to address our demands which we have been making over the years."

According to the women, their demands include provision of employment with the contracting firms to Chevron, health centers, electricity, drinkable water and the building of Jetty to each community, foot bridge to link the community, canalization of the water ways, empowerment of women, acquisition of skill program to cater for men and women. Other demands include increment of scholarship award to beneficiaries, prompt payment for the scholarship, increment of monetary value of the scholarship both in tertiary and secondary schools while life should be made meaningful to the oil producing associations. They insisted that a memorandum of understanding should be signed and or executed between the company and the oil producing community for peace to reign.