As Group Kicks against Abuse of Women, Melaye Accuses Tinubu of Funding Protest with N75m
Scores of women under the aegis of Concern Group on Monday staged a peaceful protest in Lagos where they condemned in strong terms the verbal attack launched on Senator representing Lagos Central at the upper legislative chamber, Senator Oluremi Tinubu by her colleague from Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye.
The women, drawn from the three senatorial districts in Lagos State, said they were shocked and saddened by the derogatory attack of Melaye against Tinubu during the closed door session of the Senate on July 12 where he (Melaye) allegedly threatened to beat up and impregnate Senator Tinubu.
The protesters, who displayed placards of various inscription such as "Melaye, Senate is not your father's house; Dino, leave Tinubu alone; We say no to violence against women; Women folks stand up against Dino, among others, said Melaye's action was not only highly condemnable and disgraceful but also disgusting, irritating, shameful and most embarrassing to the collective psyche of not only the women folks but to the entire nation.
They added that the obvious avalanche reactions to the disgraceful action of the Kogi Senator was a testament to the fact that such action was unbecoming of a distinguished Senator of the federal republic.
While delivering a protest letter to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House in Alausa for onward transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari, leader of the group, Mrs. Anike Adekanye said with the development, Melaye had exhibited convincingly that he lacked the "poise, panache, fitness and minimum character to occupy a seat among sane, revered and distinguished men and women in the hallowed chamber of the sacrosanct Nigeria Senate."
According to Adekanye, "Dino Melaye's uncouth and unguarded vituperation so towards Senator Oluremi Tinubu have not only brought unquantifiable shame to himself and Kogi West, but also to the Senate and the entire country.
"On this note, we the Concern Group condemned in very strong term Dino Melaye's assault on Senator Oluremi Tinubu and therefore call on him to tender unreserved public apology to the hallowed chamber of the Senate and more importantly to the person of Senator Oluremi Tinubu and the entire Nigerians which he has brought into great disrepute."
The group urged President Buhari to direct relevant security agencies to institute criminal action against Melaye should he fail to Apologise within an acceptable time frame to serve as deterrent to others as well as send strong signal to young people who may have erroneously viewed Melaye's "disgraceful action" as an ideal conduct in a sane and civilized society.
While receiving the protesters on behalf of Governor Ambode, the State's Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Lola Akande assured the women that the letter would be delivered to the President and that necessary action would be taken on the request.
She commended the women for coming out to defend one of their own, saying that the cause was worth coming out for, as the action of Melaye was totally condemnable and unexpected from a Senator of the federal republic.
Akande said: "I want to commend all of you for coming out to condemn the assault on a ranking Senator by Melaye. This is a cause worth coming out for and we condemn his action in all it's totally. We say no to women abuse and we are of the strong view that Melaye should be recalled by the people of Kogi West if he fails to apologise for his shameful conduct.
"If we don't resist it now, they will continue to treat all of us in that manner and that is why we must stand against such behavior now," Akande said.
While at the Lagos State House of Assembly, the protesters were received by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni Eshilokun and about twenty lawmakers, who all condemned Melaye's action and promised to transmit the letter to the President.
While also commending the women, Eshilokun said: "This is what should happen in any decent democracy rather than resorting to self help. Let me say that we will deliver your message to Mr. Speaker and let me also tell you that we are not unaware of the verbal diarrhea and vituperation of that irrational rabble rouser.
"I also want to assure you that we will treat this letter on the floor of the House and we will do all that is needful and deliver your message to the appropriate authorities," he assured.
Meanwhile, Melaye has accused Tinubu of paying N75m to the Concern Group to organise a similar protest against him in Abuja on Wednesday.
Melaye, in a circulated statement, alleged that the women have been booked into fewer than 300 rooms within Abuja metropolis ahead of the Wednesday protest.
According to him, this revelation was made to him by the President of the Committee for the Defence of women's Rights (CDWR), Prof. Taibat Majekodunmi, that the sum of N75m was released to a notable Lagos-based female politician.