Killings in Kogi: Women protest in Abuja, demand justice for late Mrs Salome Abuh

Women from various walks of life on Wednesday staged a protest at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Abuja, demanding justice for Mrs Salome Abuh who was killed in Kogi.

Mrs Abuh, the PDP women leader of Ochadamu Ward in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi, was murdered in her house on Nov. 18 in a post-election violence.

The women led by PDP National Women Leader, Hajiya Mariya Waziri, told newsmen on Wednesday during the protest in Abuja that they would not rest or relent until justice was secured for the diseased.

“Today, Nigerian women have gathered to continue our mourning and agitation over the death of an innocent woman, our sister, friend and mother, Mrs Abuh who was killed in cold blood in Kogi for participation in politics.

“We are here today to find answers to these nagging questions: Why are the murderers of our sister Mrs Abuh who are well known in their community still walking free?

“How long will justice continue to be delayed and denied for Mrs Abuh?
Who killed Salome Abuh? Who killed Abuh, this innocent mother?” she asked.

Waziri said that no mother deserved to be killed in cold blood, not even after enduring the pains and strife of motherhood.

The national woman leader described the killing as the `height of humiliation’, suppression of women in Nigeria, and a huge setback for women participation in politics.

Waziri called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take major action that would bring the perpetrators to justice, while also calling on Nigerians to raise their voices in solidarity for justice for Abuh.

The Executive Secretary of NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu, receiving the protesting women, said that the Commission commiserated with them in their moment of grieves.

Ojukwu said while it was expected that Nigeria’s elections should be improving, unfortunately the improvement in the electoral system in the past seemed to have been rolled back during the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

“Everybody has attested to this. It behooves on all of us to make sure that we take steps to deepen our democracy in making sure that things like this did not go unchecked.”

Ojukwu said that was why Justice Uwaise electoral reform committee advocated an Electoral Offences Commission be established to ensure that electoral offenders were tried and prosecuted for justice to prevail.

He recalled that Buhari had directed that everything should be done to arrest and deal with those behind the killing.

He pledged that the commission would work with the women and other stakeholders to make sure the matter were not swept under carpet.

“We understand some arrests had already been made. We don’t want this to be one of those arrests that are made and by tomorrow you start hearing another story.

“So, we are going to join hands with you to make sure that it will not be swept under the carpet.

“You have already written to the Inspector-General of Police, we are also going to forward your petition to the police again. Let them know that this time around it is not enough to say arrest has been made.

“We want to know the court that they are charged. We will be going to court to ensure that justice is done.”

Some of the proscriptions on the banners displayed by the women include, `Women’s political participation is not a death sentence’, `Abuh, our martyr for democracy’, sponsors and killers of Salome must face justice, parade sponsors and killers of Salome. (NAN)