Violent Conflict in Rumuekpe: Women to the Rescue
Â Biodata of Peace Agent:
Mrs Blessing Orijos is a 33 year old woman who hails from the Rumunkita family, Ovelle, Nvakpohia, Rumuekpe, Emuoha LGA of Rivers State. She is the leader of the Rumuekpe Women Prayer Warriors.
Â Context: Rumuekpe, an oil producing community in Rivers State plays host to several international oil companies – Agip, SHELL, TOTAL ELF and the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR). In 2005, a violent conflict arose as a result of an internal leadership tussle and disagreement over disbursement of funds provided by the oil companies. This led to a split in the leadership and two factions emerged. The conflict deepened over time and key players began to kill one another. According to Mrs Orijos, â€œPeople were dying everyday. Many people were killed and the community was desertedâ€¦everyone left. They even came to Port Harcourt and killed some people in their houses. My brother was also killed.â€
What did the Peace Agent do?
Peace Agentâ€™s demands â€“
Community members, especially women remain impoverished in Rumuekpe. Mrs Orijos calls for support (economic empowerment) for the women of Rumuekpe and for capacity building of her womenâ€™s group (now a community-based organization) for sustained action.
The International Womenâ€™s Day #MakeItHappen is a series that highlight key women, who through their actions and work, have created a peaceful environment that has led to more economic opportunities for women and men in their local communities.