Late Mrs. Salome Abu
The League of Women Voters has joined numerous Nigerians calling for justice for burnt PDP Woman leader in Kogi State.
Mrs Salome Abu was gruesomely burnt to death in her home during the November 16 governorship election in that state. Since the incidence which sent shock waves down the spines of many Nigerians, no arrest has been reported while the bereaved and traumatized husband told Punch Newspaper he was yet to report to the police because of fear.
In a just released statement signed by the League’s president Dr. Esther Uduehi, the women body expressed shock at the barbaric act which it described as a continued display of the helplessness of women as a vulnerable group.
It called for immediate enquiry by the federal government and maximum punishment for all remotely or directly involved.
The statement reads:
“The League of Women Voters of Nigeria is alarmed at the barbaric act reeled on a woman, Mrs Salome Abur , in Kogi State following the Kogi gubernatorial election which led to her burning to death with her charred remains and ashes scattered in her home, signifying the continuous oppression of women who are seen as a helplessbgroup.
“We are pained by her death and condemn the barbaric act. We ask for justice for late Mrs Salome Abu. We call on the federal government of Nigeria to immediately institute an inquiry into the circumstances that led to this tragic act. We ask that all those found to be remotely or directly involved be given the maximum punishment and though compensation cannot bring her back to life for her family, we ask that her family be duly compensated.
“This act is shameful and barbaric and a slur on the image of Nigeria as a country and government must take every action to ensure that such acts never occur again.
“God help Nigeria. God save Nigeria”.
The burning of Mrs Salome Abu confirmed claims by women who sought elective positions in the 2019 elections that this year has witnessed the worst political season for women in Nigeria. Protests and condemnation have followed the killing of Mrs Abu over a PDP/APC struggle for power in Kogi State and fears have been expressed that if the matter is not addressed, more women will face such fates in future. Recall that prior to to the November 16 election, the only female in the governorship race, Akoti was violently abused before INEC officials.
Speaking for Women in Politics Forum, EbereIfendu, the national president stressed that if Abu’s death is not handled by relevant authorities, less number of women will be motivated to join politics.
‘There must be justice for Salome because this is a huge crime against women. We are still struggling to find our feet with all the challenges women face and now this. We are afraid and going down on a daily basis but there must be justice to give us reason to continue.
“We hold inspector general of Police, IGP accountable. We will follow the prosecution because somebody must pay for that gruesome murder”, she said.
Meanwhile, a coalition of women at the end of the National Women Dialogue tagged,”Womanifesto 2019: The Nigeria Women Want” in Abuja presented to the Women Affairs minister Dame Paullen Tallen, have asked for the declaration of a state of emergency on violence against women in Nigeria.
The minister while assuring the women that their demands would be addressed by President Buhari, stated: “The issue of our sister Salome that was killed brutally in Kogi State, some few days back, Mr President responded condemning it. He is very worried and committed to this matter and he has made a statement and is fully committed to see that justice is done to this issue and similar issues.
“The president, the vice president, the wife of the president are fully committed to this issue and we all condemn violence against women in totality”
During a peaceful walk in Abuja last Friday to the Women Affairs Office to present the charter of demands, first daughter of Salome Abu, Mrs Tavaershima Eikojonwa said no woman should face her mother’s fate. She described the death as uncalled for.
She stated, “If women will be burnt like this, I wouldn’t say they should venture into politics. But a woman must stand. I still encourage women to go into politics but they shouldn’t be treated like my mother”.