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For Immediate Release
3rd April, 2020
Alhaji Yahaya Bello,
The Executive Governor of Kogi State,
Lokoja, Kogi State
RIGHTS VIOLATION; WOMEN’S RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS CALL FOR THE SUSPENSION OF KOGI STATE COMMISSIONER FOR WATER RESOURCES
We, the undersigned organizations, appreciate the prompt response of Your Excellency to the pictures and video in circulation showing assault of Miss Elizabeth Oyeniyi in which she alleged that Abdulmumuni Danga, the Commissioner for Water Resources in Kogi State assaulted her on the 29th of March 2020.
We welcome the press statement expressing zero tolerance of the Kogi State government to sexual assault and violence. We are also glad to hear that the incidents will be investigated by the appropriate authorities. The allegations against the Commissioner are weighty and of such nature that when confirmed will be damning of the perpetrator, and so we call on your administration to ensure these allegations are thoroughly investigated by an impartial body to ensure justice is served.
Speaking in Abuja, the Women’s Rights Activists led by Dorothy Njemanze of Dorothy Njemanze Foundation with support from Action Aid Nigeria and Global Affairs Canada said: “We are dismayed by the recent news of alleged physical and psychological violence perpetrated by the Kogi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Abdulmumuni Danga, against Elizabeth for criticizing him on Social Media. This is especially appalling because the accused commissioner allegedly abducted her, physically assaulted her, stripped her naked and took a video recording of her with the threat that the video would be released if she speaks about the incident. As if that was not enough, her phone was destroyed to avoid documentation of evidence, and she was forced to retract her statement and apologize under duress. This is the height of abuse of power and outright violation of rights. If left unaddressed, such heinous act by power holders against women will increase thereby leaving women and girls more vulnerable than ever. We are sure that his Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, is against the abuse of power in office, and an ardent advocate of the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens, thus, he will not allow this matter be swept under the carpet.”
The lady in question has had to flee for her life and deserves protection pending the outcome of investigations. She and her family are being threatened, they have been receiving incessant threatening calls. She is also currently undergoing medical procedures because of the extent of her injuries. It is important to also bring to your attention that the same Mr. Danga has also been accused of assaulting another woman and her children a week before this current incident is alleged to have taken place, tearing her clothes, spraying pepper spray on her and her kids. This situation cannot go unaddressed. We are calling on the Kogi state government to demonstrate its commitment to addressing gender-based violence and redeem itself now by:
While we count on Your Excellency to do the proper thing in the circumstances, we will continue to monitor the case and ensure that the survivor gets the assistance and support she needs at this time.
As women’s rights organizations, we are keen on seeing this case to a conclusive end, for the violation of the right of any woman is a violation of the rights of all women which must attract consequences. We are watching keenly as this opportunity to get justice for the Nigerian woman is too important to miss.
Dorothy Njemanze Foundation is a Non-Governmental, non-partisan, survivor run organization committed to amplifying Human Rights. Our mission is to promote basic ethics and values in the society through encouraging social responsibility, orientation and re-orientation by properly addressing abuse related issues with the aim of aiding, healing and re-integrating victims; inspiring attitudinal change to fight sexual and gender based violence incidences.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.dnf.org.ng