By Our Correspondent
A group of Women under the auspices of Ebonyi Federated Women Organization has protested over the disruption of her August meeting by suspected Ebubeagu security operatives on Saturday in Ebonyi State.
This followed the alleged attack on the women by the suspected Ebubeagu security outfit at People’s club, along Abakaliki-Enugu express way, venue of their August meeting.
The women who are made up of 17 non political organization, hails from all parts of the 13 LGA of the state and other tribes in the country.
The Ebonyi Federated Women Organization who expressed shock on the way the Ebubeagu operatives were harassing the women the time they invaded the venue, condemned the act in its totality, describing it as barbaric and satanic.
The President general of the women organization, Mrs. Amaka Chukwu who spoke to journalists during the protest said the Ebubeagu operatives were shooting sporadically on the air, to scare the women.
She noted that the women on hearing of the gun shot fled the venue and that many of them got wounded while few others were missing.
Our correspondent gathered that the canopies, seats and other properties used in the decoration of the venue were catered away by the operatives.
Mrs. Chukwu however accused the State government of sending the Ebubeagu operatives to unleash mayhem on them.
She said: “we are mothers in the state. August meeting is an annual event. In the hand of government in Ebonyi state, we were beaten, chased out away. When we got the venue, suddenly we were just discussing with the event decorator, the boys called Ebubeagu came and was shooting”.
“They said we are supporting PDP governorship Candidate, Ifeanyi Odii
Some of our women are still missing. The government in Ebonyi state sent Ebubeagu chased us away” she noted.
Reacting on the development, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Internal Security, Mr Panchris Eze said they disrupted the meeting because of security alert that members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, were also planning to have a meeting on the same venue.
In a swift reaction, the Special assistant to governor on Media and strategy, Mr. Chooks Oko said he has not gotten any brief on the development but vowed to react later.
Meanwhile, In a released signed and made available to newsmen in Abakaliki by some of the women group including the President, Umuada Ebonyi Women Mrs. Charity Chukwuemeka,
Hon. Amaka Chukwu
Coodinator, EBOWATAN, Mrs. Margret Nweke
Chairperson, Ebonyi Widows Forum,
Mrs. Alobu Seraphina
South-East Women Association,
Hon. Nwali Eucharia, Rep. Female Ministers of God,
Mrs Amina Mustapha, House Community Women)
and Mrs. Ngozi Nwabueze, President -general, Urban Women Organization called on the Inspector General of Police, FILDA, and rights groups to urgently intervene on the desecration of the rights of women of Ebonyi State by Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi State using Ebubeagu Security Network.
They noted that the Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of women. “Articles 15(2) and 42 (1) a & b (2) (3) prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex and ensure that men and women have equal access to the courts in matters of contracts, torts and civil matters”
They added that It was not new to the Igbo Race that the entire women meet every August to discuss and chart the best possible developmental ideas and projects to improve the well-being and welfare of our people.
However, they further stated that Annual August Meeting is not a partisan gathering as it cuts across party lines and even involves women who never belonged to any political party, adding Governor Umahi knowing the importance of this annual gathering for the women and the society at large, facilitated this dehumanizing attack on this year’s August Meeting that has the approval of all relevant security agencies.
Recalled that Ebonyi State Government led by Governor David Umahi has over the time maintained an enviable streak of antagonism against the womenfolk ranging from the manhunt for the Ebonyi South APC senatorial aspirant, Princess Ann Agom-Eze who is currently on exile outside for aspiring to serve her senatorial district; two previous disruptions and harassment of Ebonyi women’s lawful gatherings and today disrupted Ebonyi Women’s Annual General August Meeting 2022
They disclosed that Some women were abducted by Governor Umahi’s Ebubeagu Security militia and taken to Ebonyi State Government House, beaten up and stripped naked, while delegates from Afikpo were forced back by another detachment of Governor Umahi’s Ebubeagu militia who fired sporadically at the hapless women.
Arising from the unwarranted disruption of this year August meeting, our position are as follows
“That these attacks are unreasonable and unwarranted infringements on the constitutional rights of the women of Ebonyi State which must not be tolerated”
“That as mothers, we will speak to our sons and husbands to be in solidarity by standing with us in this protest against dictatorship”
“That despite the hardship meted on the women of Ebonyi State through his unproductive leadership, he further attacked our women on this auspicious day, thereby subjecting us to further suffering”
“That he has infringed on the rights of the entire Ebonyi Women and should be liable”
“That for unjustifiably attacking and humiliating our women in this sacrilegious manner, Ebonyi women hereby call on the Inspector-general of Police and civil rights groups to come to our aid by ensuring that Governor Umahi’s agents whom he used to perpetrate these crimes are brought to book while Umahi’s militia known as Ebubeagu Security Network should be disbanded by the federal government”
“Ebonyi women want to remind Governor Umahi that he once galvanised support through this usual Annual August gathering event, when he needed votes to ascend; and that he should refrain from actions that will pitch Ebonyi women against his political party which Governor Umahi is angry with because of his disgrace in the APC presidential primary”
“Finally, Ebonyi women are encouraged that he should know that only votes count now and that THUGS will not count and may not vote” they concluded