Women march to demand justice for slain PDP woman leader

• As NHRC assures culprits will be punished

Women, mostly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday,took to the streets in Abuja to protest the gruesome murder of Mrs Salome Acheju Abuh, in Kogi State.

The PDP ward woman leader was burnt alive in her home on November 18 by alleged political thugs in the aftermath of the conduct of the November 16 governorship election, in which incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello was declared the er.

The protesters who came under the auspices of PDP Women Stakeholders were led by the National Woman Leader of the main opposition party, Hajia Mariya Waziri.

Speaking to journalists on the essence of the protest march, the PDP Woman Leader said it was to continue their mourning and agitation over the death, in cold blood, of “an innocent woman” and to ask some pertinent questions.

She said: “We are here today to find answers to these nagging questions:

“Why are the murderers of our sister Mrs Salome Acheju Abuh who are well known In their community still walking free?

“Why are the APC led Government quiet about the murder of Salome Abuh?

“How long Will justice continue to be delayed and denied for Mrs Salome Abuh?

“Who killed Salome Abuh!!!! Who killed Salome Abuh!!!! 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.”

Waziri called on President Muhammadu Buhari and his government “to value human life for once,” adding: “We call on Nigerians to raise their voices in solidarity for justice for Salome Acheju Abuh.

“We must never rest nor relent until the murderers of our dear sister are held to account.”

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Dressed in T-shirts with various inscriptions such as “Justice for the Martyr of Democracy,” they also carried placards bearing messages including “Women political participation, not a death sentence,” “We want justice for Salome,” and “Buhari/ APC: Allow women participate in politics.”

They marched to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) where they were received by the Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu.

Speaking while receiving the women on behalf of the commission, Ojukwu expressed sadness at the state of the nation’s electoral system.

He promised that his commission would ensure that the matter was not swept under the carpet.

Ojukwu added: “We have expected that our elections should be improving and not going backwards. The gains of improvement in our electoral system seem to have been rolled back in Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

“Everybody has attested to this. It behoves 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 commits 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 the 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 commit an offence during election is tried and prosecuted, justice will prevail.”

The NHRC boss commended President Buhari’s intervention on the matters, assuring those behind the tragedy would be made to face the wrath of the law.

The NHRC boss further stated: “You can also see that even Mr President is very angry about this and he has already directed that everything should be done to make sure that those behind this are arrested and death with.

“We also understand that some arrests have already been made. We don’t want this to be one of those arrests that are made and by tomorrow, you start hearing another story.

“So, we are going to join hands with you to make sure that it is not swept under the carpet. We have already written to the Inspector General of Police.”