A coalition of over 500 women organisations and activists under the aegis of Womanifesto on Wednesday took to the streets of Akure to protest against the humiliation and attack on the Ondo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Juliana Osadahun by a ward chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olumide Awolumate.
The protest terminated at the Governor’s office in Akure where the Commissioner for Information, Chief Mrs. Bamidele Ademola Olateju, received them and assured them of the government’s committment to justice on the matter.
The protesters who carried placards with different inscriptions demanded the arrest and prosecution of Awolumate.
Awolumate and Osadahun were said to have fallen apart during the distribution of palliatives to the people in Arigidi-Akoko in Akoko North-West Local Government Area of the State.
The Commissioner was allegedly injured in the head during the fracas, for which the State chapter of the APC suspended the ward chairman for alleged unruly behaviour.
Awolumate claimed that the Commissioner and her son, in the company with a police officer and another man, came to his house to arrest him and he never resisted arrest, but had to defend himself when the Commissioner’s son confronted him, started beating him, and tore his clothes.
But the Commissioner during the protest debunked the video credited to Awolumate, describing it as shady cover-up.
She had told Womanifesto that she had received several threats from Awolumate before the viral attack.
Osadahun also said she had reported a threat to her life both to a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) as well as the King of Arigidi in Oke-Agbe, Ondo State before the last incident.
One of the leaders of the protesters and Executive Director of ROTDOW, Olabisi Omolona said the ward chairman should be prosecuted.
She said, “Awolumate should be arrested and prosecuted, Womanifesto is not comfortable with the fact that the matter is yet to be taken to court. Criminal assault of this nature is a matter that government should investigate with immediate effect, or else perpetrators will be working merrily and doing videos to further subject their victims to second degree trauma.
“The fact that the man didn’t bury himself in shame but rather went to the public to justify the assault is not only disturbing but distressing.”
The protest follows the slow reactions by the Ondo State Police Command and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in bringing the perpetrator to justice.
Another leader of the protesters, Folashade Bamgboye insisted that the assault on the female Commissioner “is an assault on all Nigerian women.”
“Womanifesto insists on the
arrest and prosecution of Awolumate as a lesson to other men who might intend to mete out violence against Nigerian Women”, she emphasized.