By Lateef Ibrahim
Hundreds of women, mainly members and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday took to the streets of Abuja, calling for
justice for the party’s slain woman leader in Kogi State, Salome Acheju Abuh.
Abuh was set ablaze in her home on November 18, by rampaging youths in Kogi state following the conduct of the November 16 governorship election, won by Yahaya Bello.
The women, who came together under the eagis of ‘PDP Female Stakeholders’ and led by the PDP National Woman Leader, Hajia Mariya Waziri, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take decisive steps towards bringing the killers of Mrs. Abuh to book.
The protesting women, who were dressed in T-shirts bearing the inscription, “Justice for the Martyr of Democracy,”, marched to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, where they were received by its Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu.
Some of the placards carried by the protesters had inscriptions such as “Women political participation, not a death sentence,” “We want justice for Salome,” and “Buhari/ APC: Allow women to participate in politics,” among others.
The women lamented what they called a deliberate plot to slam the window of political participation against women.
The PDP National Woman Leader, Hajia Waziri, while submitting a petition to Ojukwu, solicited the commission’s speedy intervention in the interest of the Nigerian women.
Responding on behalf of the NHRC, Ojukwu lamented the poor state of the nation’s electoral system, saying, “we have expected that our elections should be improving and not going backward.
“The gains of improvement in our electoral system seems to have been rolled back in Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections. Everybody has attested to this.
“It behooves on all of us to make sure that we take steps to deepen our democracy in making sure that things like this will not go unchecked.
“We have advocated that an election offence commission should be established so that anybody who commit any election offence should be made to face the law.
“This was what Justice Mohammed Uwais recommended and there were other recommendations but this very particular recommendation has not been attended to by government.
“So we insist that at least, let her (Mrs. Salome) not die in vain. If the government can establish an election offences commission that will ensure that anybody that commits an offence during election is tried and prosecuted, justice will prevail.”
The NHRC boss commended President Buhari’s intervention on the matters, stressing that in no distant time, those behind the tragedy would be made to face the wrath of the law.
Addressing journalists earlier, Hajia Waziri asked “why the murderers of our sister, Mrs. Salome Acheju Abuh, who are well known In their community, are still walking free”, even as begged to know “how long justice would continue to be delayed and denied for Mrs. Salome Abuh.”
She continued: “Who killed Salome Abuh? Who killed Abuh, this innocent mother? No mother deserves to be killed in cold blood, not after enduring the pains and strife of motherhood?
She vowed to continue to press for justice for the slain party mobiliser, adding that regardless of the time it takes, the law will catch up with the perpetrators of the tragic act.