Activists in the Film

Emem J. Okon
Executive Director and Founder
Kebetkache Women’s Development and Resource Centre

Emem J. Okon, featured in THE NAKED OPTION is a women’s rights activist and leader. She received her B.Ed from the Faculty of Education of the University of Calabar and is the Programs Coordinator of Niger Delta Women for Justice (NDWJ). She has received two awards in recognition of her contribution to women’s emancipation in the Niger Delta such as the Funmilayo Kuti Award for Women Emancipation by the Rivers State Branch of Civil Liberties Organisation and the prestigious “Woman of the Year 2002” Award of the American Biographical Institute (ABI). She was the State Secretary and later Coordinator of the Rivers State Branch of Women in Nigeria (WIN) from 1999-2001 and is currently the Zonal Coordinator, South-South of the Gender and Constitutional Reform Network. She is the founder and Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre whose mission is to promote the rights of women and develop their leadership potentials, and to mobilize for the promotion of social justice and democratic principles. Kebetkache applies a holistic approach to understanding of women’s human rights, trying to intervene wherever women’s human rights are being violated, denied or undermined.

Annkio Briggs
Executive Director and Founder
Agape Birthrights

A daughter of a British mother and an Ijaw father, Ann spent most of her childhood in the Niger Delta, then moving to the UK as a teenager. Ann returned home to the Niger Delta in 1998 where she founded Agape Birthrights. “When I came back to my community I could not recognize it. The school I went to in my community was a shambles. I found that the wells were polluted…we are surrounded by water and all the water was poison and you couldn’t drink it. There was no more development and the environment was totally devastated.” Having lived in England and America it was clear to Ann what was happening. “We found that women were paying a high price for the economic power that Nigeria was wielding, for the economic power that others were getting. So as we got into the areas of women’s rights, environmental rights, children’s rights….and then they are all linked and you couldn’t participate in one without participating in the others. I woke up one morning and I became somebody who was in opposition… and I realized I was in a process of political opposition. Unfortunately, in the Nigerian system, it does not accept any form of opposition.”

Dr. Owens Wiwa, MD
Human Rights Activist

Monday Owens Wiwa (born October 10, 1957 in Bori, Nigeria) is a medical doctor and human rights activist. He is the brother of executed Ogoni leader Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the son of Ogoni chief Jim Wiwa. Wiwa is an internationally renowned expert on the effects of globalization, especially as it relates to the highly controversial business practices of Royal Dutch Shell in the Niger Delta. Vice chairman of the Toronto chapter of the Sierra Club Canada and an active member of Amnesty International, Wiwa is frequently called upon to advocate for development programs in Canada and abroad and to campaign for increased corporate responsibility. This work has taken him to Ireland, which he visits in support of the Shell to Sea campaign.

Stella Fyneface
Women’s Rights Activist

Stella Fyneface, Akwa Ibon – Living in fear of the police, the oil companies and the government, Stella was surprised and excited to learn that she and other women like her have basic human rights. Stella is a farmer and lives in Ubio, a small rural village north of Port Harcourt. She met Emem when she entered a “human rights office”. She’d been upset because she had come to her farm on many occasions to find a line of her cassava plants brushed with red paint; or white arrows painted on the soil. There were also big machines parked on her crops and destroying her farm. In addition to these offenses, she found that the water in the near-by ponds was hot and the fish were dead because of the “explosions and the heat from the fire that is floating morning to night” (gas flares). “If you take your problem to them (Emem and her colleagues) they will chase it out with flying colors….and you see that you are not intimidated, nobody will intimidate you.” Emem fought for compensation for Stella and other farmers like her. Stella is now a women’s leader in her community. Attending Emem’s training workshops, she travels to meetings where she learns more about her rights; she learns not to sell her children; how to deal with the police; how to fight the oil companies through educating women and political participation. “I will go back to Ubio and gather 10-15 women and tell them I went to Port Harcourt today. I will tell them to send your children to school. It is left for me to go back to my community and tell them about unity. Without putting it into practice we will not have an effect. This is what we learn outside (in Port Harcourt) and tomorrow we hope to have a better Nigeria for women.”

Oronto Douglas
Human Rights Attorney

Oronto Douglas is a leading human rights attorney in Nigeria, and served as one of the lawyers on the defense team for the Ogoni leader Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed by Nigeria’s military rulers in 1995. Douglas co- founded Africa’s foremost environmental movement, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and has served in the board of several non profit organizations within and outside Nigeria. Though he has been arrested and tortured by successive military regimes, he continues to work for and speak out on issues of social justice in a corporate- military state. He was the first Niger Delta activist to be hosted by a serving American President – he presented the Niger-Delta struggle at the White House to President Bill Clinton. Douglas who advises the Nigerian Vice President on strategic issues of community and the environment, is a fellow of both the George Bell Institute (England) and the International Forum on Globalisation (USA). Widely traveled, Douglas has presented papers in over 200 international conferences and has visited over 50 countries to speak and present on human rights and the environment. He is the author of several works including the ground breaking WHERE VULTURES FEAST, Shell and human rights in the Niger Delta which he co-authored with his friend Ike Okonta.” [1]

Annie Porbeni
Co-Founder – Niger Delta Women for Justice

International Development – Mobilizing communities; Negotiating and conflict resolution; Coaching; Capacity building, Leadership and citizenship engagement, Adult Education and Community Development, Leadership Development; Training of Trainers; Development interventions in agriculture, and microenterprise; Critical Action Research, Guest speaker.

Non-profit Organizations – Staff supervision; Budgeting and finance; Grant writing and reporting; Program management; Technical writing; Advocacy; Networking with other agencies. Higher Education – Student Advising; Coaching; Research; Teaching; Curriculum Development; Extension activities; Publishing articles in journals. Specialties: Training and Facilitation skills for adult learners; Addressing hunger and poverty; Developing new microcredit and savings loans programs; Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics; Environmental Development, Sustainable Development and Capacity Building, Community Based Development in Africa; Agro-ecology and Sustainable Agriculture

Also appearing:

Damka Pueba
Nigeria Country representative at Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN)

 


Professor E. J. Alagoa
Historian

 


Dr. Mrs. Felicia Ihuoma Nwalutu
Historian

 


Dr. David Okwidili
Historian