VARIOUS Civil Society Organisations, on Wednesday, demonstrated in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, in protest against recent incidents of femicide in the state.
The protest themed “Walk for Peace against the Serial Killings of Women,” was attended by members of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Cosmopolitan, Women in Rotary Port Harcourt South, and Greater Women Initiative for Health and Right. They were joined by over a hundred other people in the protest march which took off at the NUJ Secretariat.
Residents of the state capital have been living in fear after about eight ladies were reported killed in different hotels in similar circumstances.
The protesters went to the Rivers State Government House and demanded adequate security of lives of women in the state as well as a statement from the state government.
According to BBC pidgin, Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) confirmed the death of a lady who was found dead in a hotel room on Friday morning.
He corroborated the likelihood of the incidents being a serial murder but added that investigations and profiling were still ongoing.
Omoni also told those who participated in an earlier protest on Friday that prostitution is to be “blamed” for the killings and advised that female residents in Port Harcourt to desist from the practice.
Speaking to The ICIR, President of Women in Rotary Port Harcourt South, Blessing Micheal, insisted that the police department was wrong to have referred to the victims as prostitutes and also that irrespective of what they do they deserved to be protected.
She also mentioned that they demand an immediate investigation into the killings by the supposed “serial killer”.
The Greater Women Initiative for Health and Right led by Aseme Josephine also expressed their grievances to the Commissioner of Police who subsequently apologised for referring to the victims as “prostitutes”, adding that he was misunderstood.
The protesters, however, lamented their frustration on the refusal of the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Ipalibo Banigo, to attend to them despite being a woman.
Josephine told The ICIR that after much wait at the government house, they were addressed by the Secretary to the State Government, Tammy Danagogo, who assured them that the government will not relent until the perpetrators of the crime are apprehended.
Part of the protesters’ demands is the use of valid national ID cards at hotels and motels by guests and the mandatory implementation of Closed Circuit Television cameras for such establishments in the state.