Scores of women activists from across Nigeria converged on Abuja on Tuesday, demanding justice for a lady who was allegedly killed by thugs said to be working for the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Kogi State.
The activists, who represent different women groups, said their protest became necessary because it appeared that the killing of Khadijat Yahaya, an All Progressives Congress, APC, supporter, in the Kotonkarfe area of Kogi State about two months ago, might have been swept under the carpet because “she was not from an influential family”.
Co-convener, Women Standing Together, Pereagbe Enagonimi Ekpede, who addressed the press after the protest, said after about two months of the sad incident, Khadijat’s killers were still walking the streets free, while nothing had been said about police investigation into the matter or arrests of culprits.
The women, who said an injury to a woman was an injury to them all, appealed to President Bola Tinubu and the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to intervene directly to get justice for the late Khadijat.
“Justice to us means her killer being arrested, prosecuted and sentenced accordingly. All those associated with her killer, no matter how highly placed, should be brought in for questioning with a view to getting the main culprits arrested,” the activists said.
They held placards with various inscriptions such as “arrest Khadijat’s killers now”, Khadijat’s killers still walking free, Police must act now”, Khadijat cannot be wasted just like that”, and “Women’s lives matter: justice for Khadijat”, among others.
Addressing the press, the Co-convener said, “An injury to any one woman anywhere in this country is an injury to all of us because we don’t know who the next victim may be.
“Therefore, we must stand for one another irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation. That is why we are Women Standing Together. We have been fighting for women’s rights for almost two decades and we will continue to get stronger doing that.
“This protest has become necessary due to the fact that about two months after this innocent poor lady was gunned down by armed thugs allegedly/suspected to be thugs in the convoy of the Kogi State politician, those who killed this lady are still walking the streets free as if it’s just a goat that has been killed.
“We cannot have a society where anybody can just take the life of another without consequences. I am a lawyer and activist of many years’ standing. We have laws against assault and murder with clear consequences prescribed for those crimes in our statute books.
“We have laws even against domestic violence. The time has long passed that women should be suffering and dying in silence. We have laws protecting us. But we must come together to ensure that we continue to protect one another and fight for one another. We are the mothers of the nation. We deserve to be respected, protected and honored.
“What is more infuriating is to learn that after this ugly incident, the Kogi State Police Command issued a statement saying that they invited (someone) but till date he hasn’t honored Police invitation to address this issue and Police authorities don’t feel the need to do anything about it simply because of political correctedness.
“We understand that, being a campaign season, the Police may not want to take an action that might be deemed political, but when human life is involved, political correctedness should take a secondary position.
“Late journalism guru, Mr. Dele Giwa, wrote that one life taken unjustly is the same as a million lives taken in a pogrom. We agree with that submission and hereby appeal to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, to intervene directly to get justice for our murdered sister.
“Justice to us means her killer being arrested, prosecuted and sentenced accordingly. All those associated with her killer, no matter how highly placed, should be brought in for questioning with a view to getting the main culprits arrested.
“We want to make it clear and loud that we will not stop until justice is served on this matter. Khadijat was a Nigerian. She had three little children. She cannot be allowed to be killed anyhow without anyone paying for the crime.
“What would have happened if she were to be the daughter of an influential Nigerian? By now, some suspects would have been arrested and arraigned.
“We call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a father and grandfather to weigh in on this matter and help us get justice for Khadijat. Women lives matter.”