Women groups protest assault on Ondo Commissioner by APC Chairman

A coalition of over 1,000 Women Rights Organisation, Womanifesto, on Wednesday (Sept 20), held a protest against the assault on Ondo State Commissioner of Women Affairs Olubunmi Osadahun by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ward Chairman of Akoko North-West LG Olumide Awolumate.

The Ondo State Chapter of Womanifesto took to the streets with banners demanding the prosecution of the APC Chairman and justice for the commissioner.

Awolumate attacked the commissioner on Saturday, September 16, while leading the distribution of palliatives provided by the Federal Government to alleviate hardships arising from the removal of fuel subsidy.

He was captured in a viral video hitting the commissioner on her head with a chair, which caused her some bleeding and swelling.

Osadahun was taken to the hospital for medical attention following the incident, while young men identified as her loyalists retaliated by launching an attack on Awolumate.

APC, others condemn attack, Awolumate suspended indefinitely

Following the attack, the Ondo State Chapter of the APC announced the Ward Chairman’s indefinite suspension on Tuesday, September 19.

His suspension was contained in a statement issued by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Alex Kalejaye, who described his actions as deplorable and lamentable.

“In furtherance of the above, the leadership of the party in Akoko North West deems it fit to officially inform the state secretariat that Awolumate Olumide is hereby suspended indefinitely from the party in Akoko North West of our great party,” the statement read in part.

Meanwhile, Womanifesto condemned the assault in a statement on Monday, September 18 and called for the Chairman’s prosecution.

“This situation is a microcosm and replica of the varying degrees of violence against women across Nigeria. The deepest disregard for women in Nigeria was displayed in public without any form of reservation or remorse. If a commissioner can be so assaulted, we can only imagine the gruesome forms of violence meted out to women around Mr Awolumate,” the statement partly read.

The Ondo State Police Command also condemned the attack in a statement and commenced an investigation into the attack.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the commissioner who was in the Akoko area to see to the distribution of said palliatives was attacked by the assailant named Awolumate Olumide while having a meeting with some of their party members in the area.

“The CP (Commissioner of Police) has ordered that a thorough investigation be carried out and the case transferred to the SCID (State Criminal Investigation Department), Akure, for further probe into what led to the assault,” the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Funmilayo Odunlami noted in a statement.

Deputy Minority Leader of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Oluwatosin Ajirotutu, also described the attack as barbaric and inexcusable.

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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