Toyin Saraki, wife of Bukola Saraki, former senate president, has sought justice for Vera Omozuwa and Tina Ezekwe, two Nigerian ladies, saying that “their lives will not be lost in vain.”
Tina was last week hit by a stray bullet after a police officer fired shots in a bid to apprehend a bus driver at the Iyana-Oworo area of Lagos.
At about the same time, Uwa, a microbiology student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Edo, died after she was attacked and raped while studying in a church in Benin.
Their deaths have triggered a wave of outrage and protests on social media platforms in the past days.
Joining public figures who have pressured both the federal government and security agencies to arrest the situation, Toyin, in a blog post on Monday, also lamented that Nigeria is failing its “women and girls”.
Re-echoing the country’s resolution in the international community, the former senate president’s wife charged the federal government to make systemic changes towards protecting young girls.
“This year marked the start of the United Nations’ Decade of Delivery, where we were promised that things would change for the empowerment of women and girls,” she wrote.
“Armed with research to prove how much better off our world would be with the rights of women and girls realised, we declared that it is well past time to start living in a gender-equal reality.
“But instead of keeping our promise, in Nigeria in 2020, we are still burying them. Uwa was a 22-year-old student who went to her church to read in a quiet space when she was brutally raped.
“The viral photos of her bludgeoned body have reverberated around the world, adding fire to the flames of the conversation about brutality, violence, and lack of a framework for social justice.
“In Lagos, 16-year-old Tina Ezekwe was trying to get on a bus when a drunken, corrupt police officer attempted to bribe the driver, leading to a sloppy confrontation and shots fired.”
Toyin also listed Nigeria’s yet-to-be-realised commitments to the girl child.
“In 2018, promising young girls Anita Akapson and Linda Angela Agwetu were murdered in similar, senseless fashion, again by trigger-happy officers around their own homes,” she added.
“These cases spotlight what has been blindingly evident since the forced abductions of the Chibok and Dapchi Schoolgirls: we are failing our women and girls.
“But when globally, only 1% of gender equality funding is going to women’s groups, we have failed to invest in women.
“In the name of all our global and national commitments to women and girls, Nigeria must make systemic changes to protect our young girls. Uwa and Tina’s lives will not be lost in vain.”
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