By Fatima Muraina
Some women groups in Ondo state have called on the state government to prosecute Mr Olumide Awolumate for allegedly molesting the State’s commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr Olubunmi Osadahun.
The commissioner was assaulted in Akoko area of the state during the course of distributing palliatives.
This is as the state government assured the women groups that it would ensure that the perpetrator is brought to book.
Speaking to some women group in Akure on Wednesday, the commissioner for Information and Orientation, Chief Mrs. Bamidele Ademola-Olateju assured that the governor will see that justice is served.
She said the state has investigated the matter and issued a statement condemning the act, but cannot say that Mr Olumide Awolumate is guilty until the court pronounces him guilty.
“It is our duty to ensure that he is brought to the court of justice and tried for the alleged crime.”
She charged women to do more in raising boys and enlighten them that their hands are not meant for hitting women.
“So that they do not see it fit to hit women when they grow up because it is inappropriate to hit women under any circumstances.”
She, however, assured them that womens’ interest would always be advocated for and protected under the Akeredolu-led administration.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Olubunmi Osudahun appreciated the women groups for their love but would not want anybody to put their lives at stake since she is still alive to address the matter at the law court.
While debunking the allegation of going with her son to fight the accused, she noted that she was on an official monitoring exercise when she was confronted and the man tore his clothes, saying he will deal with her ruthlessly.
According to her, Awolumate had severally insulted her at party meetings after which he plays the recordings boasting that he has achieved his aim.
“All allegations against me are false, we have completed distribution of palliative without any problem. But I guess he was sent to attack me, and my son was called to the scene not that I went with my son. We have taken the matter to the court.
“I never misrepresented the women, I have ruled as a regent for five years and was never found wanting. I want Nigerians to ask him what I have done to him.,” She said.
The convener of the rally and Coordinator of Womanifesto, a group with over 600 NGO’s and CSO, Mrs Olabisi Omolona said the women organised the protest because they want justice to prevail.
Omolona who reeled out several efforts of the wife of the Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu sid the domestication of the VAPP law and the creation of the OSAGBV which she did should not be in vain.
“We do not want the effort of her excellency to be in vain, we don’t want to be asked questions during our advocacy on violence against women at the communities. We want justice to prevail, we are fighting for the commissioner which is our referer point and if that seat is molested, it means there is no place to refer cases too.
The state chairperson of FIDA, Barr. Catherine Ogunjebi said the group clamoured for the women in governance and that the few who came out are being molested which is not acceptable.
“We demand that the perpetrator be arrested, duly prosecuted and removed from leadership position totally.”
Among women groups in attendance are: FIDA, Iyaloja, iyalode, 100 women lobby, women led, standUp for Women Society, Wowican, FOMWAN, partners for peace, iyaloja Network initiative, she leads Network, NCWS, Community Response Team, The Ressilaice Divine Widows among several others.