The killing of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Women Leader in Ochadamu, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State, Mrs Salome Abu, has gotten the attention of the United Nations.
The world body joined President Muhammadu Buhari in condemning Abu’s murder, saying that the issue was non-partisan.
Mrs Abu was reported to have been set ablaze in her residence on November 18, an attack said to be a fallout of the November 16 governorship election in the state.
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed made the condemnation when she was received in audience by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
Mohammed said: “Yesterday, we began the 16 days of activism for gender-based violence and I want to thank again the government. We were able to launch that together with the Minister of Women Affairs and then to go into an audience and, of course, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs was also there with us.
“I think this really just goes to show the centrality of the burden of gender-based violence on women. But the context of it is beyond just domestic. It is now happening in all forms across a conflict situation – with IDPs, with the humanitarian issue, but yesterday, I believe we got a very high profiling of exactly what that is.
“We also commend the President’s condemnation of the loss of lives in Kogi State, particularly the woman that lost her life. I think this is a non-partisan issue. No person, and especially women, should have to lose their lives when seeking political office to make that safer for all to participate. It is credibly important.”
On the recent alarm raised by the Republic of Niger Delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament regarding Nigerian refugees in the country, Mohammed said the United Nations was working with the Nigerian government to see how the issues that created the scenario can be addressed.
Mohammed further said the United Nations was working on the other side of the border in the humanitarian space with her colleagues in Niger, “the government, the local governments, the prefects and the traditional rulers, as well to try first of all to make sure that they are safe and that the United Nations can provide the basic life-saving activities they can engage in, including how to work their way back into a home that is safe.
“Returning home, you have to make sure the conditions for return are also safe and that we can protect them,” Mohammed stated.
Earlier, Onyeama had said the last two days had shown a more positive and accomplished side of Nigeria.
Onyeama recalled last Friday’s visit of the President of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, which in quick succession was being followed by Mohammed’s visit.
He appreciated Mohammed for her management of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, having also worked in bringing about the Millennium Development Goals and her efforts in ensuring that Nigeria is keeping up with its obligations to achieve all the goals.
“We appreciate the support we are receiving from the UN and also from your office here in Nigeria under your UN Resident Coordinator and also in other areas, humanitarian support and, of course, in this context, we have had some challenges with some of the non- governmental organisations in the North East,” he said.
“That has been addressed and it has been acknowledged and we got expressions of gratitude from interested parties on the agreements, resolutions and modus operandi that we have established with the various partners that are in the North East, and in particular the non-governmental organisations,” Onyeama said.