Fresh round of protest Wednesday rocked Owerri, the Imo State capital as women activists across the country protested the continued ‘molestation of women’ by agents of the Imo State government.
The protesters under the aegis of the Coalition of Women Rights Defenders (CWRD) sent a Save Our Soul message to wife of the President, Aisha Buhari over what they described as calculated harassment and intimidation of the women by the state government, especially those with different political opinions.
It will be recalled that a coalition of Igbo women and other groups had tackled the state government over the assault of the daughter of the immediate past governor of the state, Mrs. Uloma Nwosu by members of the Committee on the Recovery of Government Property set up by the state government.
The group insisted that the recent assault on the former governor’s daughter and wife of the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) and harassment of other women have forced women with different political views to live in fear.
Appealing to the President’s wife to reign in on the Imo state government to respect the Rights and Liberties of women in the state, the group accused the state governor, Emeka Ihedioha of being intolerant to the opposition.
Inscriptions on some of the placards displayed by the aggrieved women read, ‘First lady Aisha Buhari, please rescue Imo women’, ‘Imo women deserve peace and protection’, ‘we say no to harassment of women’, ‘Gov Emeka Ihedioha stop assault on our women’ and ‘women in opposition parties are no longer safe in Imo’.
According to the communique read by Lilian Enyi, shortly before the protest, the group observed that, “for the past five weeks or thereabouts, virtually all female opposition politicians in Imo state and indeed our little children have continued to live in perpetual fear, agony and trepidation as a result of the unholy and unprecedented molestation, harassment and intimidation of our people especially women by governor Ihedioha commissioned myriad Committee”.
The communique further noted that the governor “has shown disheartening disregard for women in Imo State especially and the nation in general” by his continued silence on the matter.
“Besides the attack on Okorocha’s daughter, the Recovery Committee has physically attacked appointees of the immediate past government as well as business interests of by prominent women in the state”.
They demanded among other things, “that Governor Emeka Ihedioha should within four days produce Mr. Casmir, who on the instruction of the Governor’s CSO, SP Ibe Chukwu, slapped daughter of the former governor, Uloma Nwosu for prosecution.
‘The instant stoppage of the brigandage and anachronistic technique of government property recovery currently foisted against Imo women by Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
“Immediate cessation of harassment and molestation of women in the state by the Committee on recovery of government properties, who have been visiting our various homes with thugs”.
Meanwhile, the group has also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to protect Imo women from further attacks and embarrassment.
They enjoined the state governor to “settle down and attend to his numerous jobs of governance instead of hounding hapless women.”