The Niger Delta Women Leaders have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to include women in the on-going negotiation between Niger Delta leaders and the Federal government.
The Women made the statement during a workshop organised by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), titled “Promoting Inclusive and Peaceful Society for Suitable Development in the Niger Delta: A Roundtable for Women Leaders” in Warri, Delta State.
The women leaders from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers said the negotiations is another opportunity to include women in peace and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
A statement signed by the National Network Coordinator, WANEP, Bridget Osakwe read, “The rise in militancy at different times including the current resurgence in February 2016 and the different negotiations speaks to the underdevelopment of the region.
“There are different missed opportunities for mainstreaming women, peace and security in these policies.
“The on-going negotiation between Niger Delta leaders and the Federal government is another opportunity to include women in peace and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.”
The statement said that the women prioritized relevant policies like the Niger Delta Development Master Plan and the Leedum Mitee Technical Committee Report as containing relevant gender sensitive instruments for addressing issues of peace, security and development in the Niger Delta region.
According to the statement, some of the recommendations drawn from the round table meeting includes the “Implementation of the Niger Delta Development Master Plan and the Ledum Mitee Technical Committee Report on the Niger Delta for community sensitization.
“Ministries of Women Affairs in the Niger Delta develop State Action Plan on the implementation of UNSCR 1325, and its’ inclusion in the state budget.
“Women should engage the SDG offices in the region for full implementation of the SDG especially Goals 5 and 16.
“Regularization of national policies governing natural resources extraction like the oil/gas and solid minerals policies should be governed by same regulations.
“Inclusion of 50 per cent women in all governance structures from community to national level including the on going Niger Delta discussions/negotiations with the federal government.
“Government should speed up the Ogoni UNEP Clean Up and extend the clean-up to all oil devastated areas in the Niger Delta region.
“Commensurate incentive for teachers in hard-to-reach communities to promote the attainment of universal basic education targets.
“The ‘Sit at home and collect’ workers syndrome in the Niger Delta should be discouraged, as it deprives the youths the opportunity to build their career and contribute meaningfully to their society.
“Government to create an enabling environment for modular refinery as an alternative to illegal refinery and economic development in the region.”