Nigeria - Women in Nigeria's restive but oil-rich Niger Delta region have threatened to down their cooking utensils unless the developmental problems in the region are addressed urgently.
In a communique after a meeting held Monday under the aegis of the Gender Action Group in the oil region, the women, from the oil-producing states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers state, also war ned that the ongoing government's amnesty offer might not achieve peace unless it is backed by a massive development of the region.
They blamed militancy and criminality in the Niger Delta for the long years of neglect, poverty, environmental degradation and under-development in the region.
''The amnesty offered by the federal government has no potential of addressing the root causes of the agitations in the Niger Delta. It is simply a noose over the head of the Niger Delta people,'' the women said, in reference to the 60-day amnesty to militants who renounce violence and embrace peace.
''Every weapons surrendered must be exchange for jobs, scholarships and other forms of development, otherwise women will have to surrender their pots, pans, buckets of pepper, grinding stones, mortar, pestles etc as weapons of their warfare,'' they said