The Lagos chapter of the #BringBackOurGirls group has lambasted Dino Melaye for his threat to “beat up” his colleague, Oluremi Tinubu, during a disagreement in a closed-door session held by the senators.
In a statement issued Wednesday and jointly signed by Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, Aisha Oyebode, Ayo Obe, and Habiba Balogun, the group described Mr. Melaye’s actions as “disgusting”.
“While the issues of the senate and their disagreements remain strictly their issue, it is pertinent to put an end to this recurring act of threat of violence against women,” the group said in the statement also signed by Yemi Adamolekun, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Ngozi Iwere, Olalere Babasola, and Adwoa Edun.
“It is further disheartening that there is no indication to suggest that the leadership of the Senate has referred this weighty allegation for investigation by its Committee on Ethics and Privileges.”
Those who witnessed the Tuesday incident had told PREMIUM TIMES that trouble started when Mr. Melaye (APC, Kogi) urged the Senate to descend heavily on members who had offered to serve as prosecution witnesses in the ongoing forgery case against Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
Mrs. Tinubu (APC, Lagos) had reportedly criticised Mr. Melaye’s attitude of “always threatening people and behaving childishly and at times like a thug”.
In response, Mr. Melaye was said to have charged towards Mrs. Tinubu, who is the wife of national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, saying, “Look this is not Bourdillon (in reference to the famous Lagos residence of Mr. Tinubu), I will beat you up,…. impregnate you and nothing will happen.”
The #BringBackOurGirls group said Mr. Melaye’s actions sent the country back to the dark ages, and called on the National Assembly to stop tolerating “misogynists” like Mr. Melaye in their ranks.
“With the likes of Senator Dino Melaye in the Nigerian Senate, the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill which we are campaigning for might never see the light of day,” the group said.
“How can we encourage women to take elective positions without fear when the senate, which has only seven (7) female members out of the 109 members, has men like Senator Dino Melaye threatening the few that have dared the odds to get into politics?
“How can we put an end to violence against girls and women when those who lead/make these laws are guilty of the same acts? Are there no rules and code of conduct in The Senate? Are there no penalties for irresponsible behavior?
“Our future and that of our children depend on the actions we take now and we must put an end to this recurring act of violence, abuse and threats.”
The group noted that with the Lagos #BringBackOurGirls group being members of the constituency represented by Mrs. Tinubu, they are calling for an action against Mr. Melaye.
“The Nigerian Senate should not aid and abet him this time,” they said.
“If we, as BBOG Group, are asking the State to protect our girls, then such statements in our hallowed chambers should most definitely be strongly condemned and properly dealt with.”
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