Over 1000 women dressed in black outfits on Wednesday took to the streets of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, in a protest march, demanding justice for the slain Iniubong Umoren, who was raped and killed by a fake job recruiter.
The protesters were led by the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Ini Adiakpan, and other women in the state executive cabinet.
Several women groups, including the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), International Federation of Women Lawyers, and the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, participated in the march.
The women marched through major roads in Uyo.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as “Justice for Iniubong, justice for all”, “We need a safe society for women”, “Stop abusing our mothers and daughters”, “Stop defiling children,” among others.
Speaking while receiving the protesting women at a road intersection close to the Government House, Uyo, the wife of the state governor, Martha Emmanuel, said the society should put a stop to sexual violence against women.
“Enough is Enough, Iniubong Umoren has paid the price for rape and murder,” she said.
Mrs Emmanuel recalled how a three-year-old girl defiled by a 70-year-old man was brought to her. She wondered what could motivate an aged man to rape a little girl.
The Women Affairs commissioner, Ms Adiakpan, said they were marching in the streets of Uyo, demanding justice for Ms Umoren and other women who were victims of rape and gender based violence.
“We are walking to say enough is enough,” she said to the large number of women.
“We are to live, and not to be murdered. We are to live, and not to be butchered and sold as spare parts. We are walking for our freedom. We should be free in this land,” Ms Adiakpan cried out.
“We are marching for all the Iniubongs in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria who are dead, who are butchered. Today, we are saying women break the silence, talk to somebody. If Iniubong did not talk to someone when she was leaving for the interview, nobody would have known her whereabouts.”
The protesting women appealed to the commissioner of police in the state to carry out proper investigations to ensure that all those involves in rape and killing of Ms Umoren are brought to justice.
NAWOJ, earlier in a statement, described the rape and killing of Ms Umoren as “the height of wickedness against a fellow human being.”
The statement, signed by the association’s chairperson and secretary, Uduak Ekong and Esther Effiong respectively, urged the security agencies “not to treat the case with kid-glove, and to ensure that justice prevails not just for her family but for all Nigerians who have been enraged, saddened and touched by the wicked act.”
Similarly, the students of the University of Uyo on Tuesday staged a street procession to mourn and protest the killing of their former colleague, Ms Umoren.
The students particularly called on the wife of the governor, Mrs Emmanuel, the state police commissioner and the attorney general of the state to ensure the victim gets justice.
Ms Umoren, the 26-year-old Philosophy graduate of the University of Uyo, was raped and then killed while honouring an invitation for a job interview.
The police have arrested the suspect, a 20-year-old Uduak Akpan, described by the police as a “serial rapist.”
Mr Akpan has confessed to the crime, the police said.
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