Women in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the weekend rejected the apology tendered by Senator Elisha Ishaku Abbo (Adamawa-North).
The Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat (SDS) Safiya Umar, said “violence against women is an international crime and we will not tolerate it, we demand justice.”
She said that the protest became necessary due to the demands from many women societies who condemned the assault and want the government to do the needful.
According to her, “We have written to Senator Elisha Abbo to come and tell us what happened. We are working with other women groups. We share the same vision with you. Government cannot do it alone. We are only complementing what you are doing. Violence against women must stop”.
The women, under the aegis of National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) FCT chapter, protested against the trending beating of a nursing mother by Senator Abbo in a sex toy shop in Abuja. They rejected Abbo’s apology, insisting that the law must take its course.
Umar said: “A Senator beats up a woman and he is in the Senate; what laws will he be making?
“If we do not allow them to prostitute (referring to commercial sex workers on streets) and take them to shops where they can do decent jobs, why go there and beat them again? The law must take its full course.”
“It is the women that vote. If Nigerian women said they are not taking the apology, who are we? We have no option but to support the NCWS. Government cannot compel you to accept the apology. You have spoken your mind. It is an offence against the women and we condemn it in totality.”
Earlier, President, NCWS FCT, Hadiza Abdullahi Umar, who spoke on behalf of the women, said that they were out on a peaceful protest against the assault by Senator Abbo.
“We want to stop the barbarism against women wherever it is perpetrated – whether in the market place, home, shops and offices. Violence against women must stop”, she warned.
Also, the Director, Gender, Social Development Secretariat, Dr. Agnes Hart, affirmed that the FCTA would “not relent in doing everything possible to stop violence against women. We are very pained by this issue.
“It must stop. We are inundated with cases of violence against women, and people we least expect are the ones perpetrating this crime.”
Also, the immediate Past President, NCWS FCT chapter, Nancy Bulus, who is also a Special Assistant to National President, NCWS, did not mince words in rejecting Senator Abbo’s apology.
All the protesting women hailed her as she said: “We do not accept his apology. We will take it up internationally until we bring Nigerian men to book.”