Lobatan, women aren’t taking this lightly at all. The Women Advocacy Research and Development Centre (WARDC) on Thursday gave Senator Dino Melaye from Kogi State, three days to apologise to Senator Oluremi Tinubu over his verbal assault against the senator from Lagos central.
The women group threatened to occupy the National Assembly if Melaye failed to do so within three days.
The centre in a statement by its Coordinator, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi said the altercation between Tinubu who is the wife of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) “is another case to buttress the lackluster attitude to the issue of women’s human rights protection and gender equality in Nigeria”.
The non-governmental organization (NGO) which is at the vanguard of promoting women’s participation in politics said the confirmed verbal attack on Tinubu by Melaye became much more reprehensible at a time women participation in politics is at its lowest ebb in Nigeria.
Akioye-Afolabi also lamented the silence of the Senate and other Senators over the attack on Mrs. Tinubu even as she called on Melaye to tender an unreserved apology to the Lagos Senator within the next three days, saying she is not only representing her constituency in Lagos State “but also representing the almost half of Nigerian population- the female population”.
According to her, “Failure of Senator Dino Melaye to take this appropriate step will lead to OCCUPY NATIONAL ASSEMBLY by well meaning Nigerians”.
The statement read further, “Verbal abuse, assault and battery of women is becoming a pattern in our democratic dispensation and it is a reflection of the numerous abuses that women face on a daily basis in the society
“According to National Demographic and Health Survey Report (2013), 28 percent of women age 15-49 have experienced physical violence at least once and 7 percent have experienced sexual violence in Nigeria and it is believed these figures are not representative of the magnitude of the problem.
“Between 2003 till date, notable women lawmakers have experienced physical and verbal abuse from men who are supposed to protect their rights. Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, was slapped by another Lawmaker at the National Assembly while another female lawmaker from Edo state was battered by an aide to an Immigration Officer at the Assembly Complex earlier this year. Honourable Funmi Tejuoso was also physically assaulted at the Lagos State House of Assembly sometimes ago then this gender insecurity against Senator Oluremi Tinubu.
“Unfortunately, despite the public outcry against the security threat to Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the senate and the APC have not yet responded to the matter. The silence on the matter by the Senate and other members of the National Assembly vividly explains a tacit support from the hallowed Chamber on violence against women.