Deejay Abass, a reader of AML, sent me a video link a couple of weeks ago on the torture of a few women out of Ejigbo. Well, I was raised in Ejigbo and it was the last place I spent my childhood before returning to the USA. So it immediately caught my attention. I clicked on the link, it was a dead link. I told him. He ultimately sent me a video file but warned me it was quite graphic. I told him I would brace myself for it.
I began watching a few seconds of it and that was enough. I decided I was better off following the story closely to just get a sense of what the real facts were to see how I could lend my platform to sharing the news. As reported, some women were caught stealing pepper and what followed was jungle justice were they were beaten, pepper thrust into their private parts and even worse, they were also sodomized.
As I stayed on the news, reports on credible sites indicated the incident occurred over nine months ago, law enforcement had stepped in, the culprits were captured and the local law enforcement was making sure it never occurred again. I was relieved to see all of these. However, this week Ejigbo is back in the news and the same incident is at issue but this time, clearer facts and more advocacy efforts have ensued. Also, contrary to what was shared online, the suspects are still at large.
These kinds of situations should not be tolerated. Growing up, I saw a similar incident not as graphic but equally as traumatic delivered on a young man who stole from my compound. As a child, it was my first exposure of seeing an adult sane man stripped naked and beaten to almost a pulp. The thief came into my compound and stole the clothes in the backyard that belonged to our neighbors. The neighbors caught him and what proceeded was a beating and stripping the young man naked that I will never forget.
It was pretty traumatic to watch. He pleaded and begged for mercy, it all fell on deaf ears. Luckily, the local police had been called onto the scene and they were able to force the angry citizens off the man. That was over twenty years ago. Today, nothing has changed. We still see and hear of the ALUU 4, the Ejigbo Women and many more.
Needless to say, AML is established so we can all contribute our quota to changing the deeply rooted jungle justice mentality in our society, seen both off and online. Please be a part of changing this status quo by sharing this story so the perpetrators of this crime may be brought to justice.
Women Arise Petition:
Attention: Mr. Ikuforiji Adeyemi,
Lagos State House of Assembly,
Mr Speaker Sir,
PETITION ON THE DEHUMANIZATION OF TWO WOMEN IN EJIGBO, LAGOS STATE
The above Subject refers:
We are Women Arise for Change Initiative and we herein petition your good offices on behalf of two Nigerian women and Lagos State Residents in Ejigbo, hereafter referred to as “The Victims,” who sometimes this year were subjected to one of the most vicious forms of human rights abuses and the unspeakable horrors of brutality by certain depraved and savage men.
Indeed, there was outrage across the nation and around the world when video shots of the victims stripped naked, and being mercilessly beaten with pepper and sodomised with strange objects went viral (Attached is a Video CD of the sordid scenes).
As Nigerians and fellow citizens of the world watched the horrific scenes, they wondered if these were shots taken in the dark ages of savagery and primitivism.
Strangely enough, a Statement this month by the Chairman of Ejigbo LCDA, Kehinde Bamigbetan at the height of the furore, acknowledged that this unimaginable horror took place in his domain in February this year, and that the victims were a mother and step daughter accused of stealing pepper, and that the husband and father was a palm-wine tapper; but Bamigbetan’s Statement sadly to say, failed to outline the measures his office had taken since then to assure justice for the victims and ensure that the perpetrators are punished. Ironically, it is the same Bamigbetan whose gruesome kidnap few months back elicited genuine emotions and public goodwill, and the Lagos State Government and concerned Nigerians spared nothing to guarantee his release, and bring the kidnappers to book. Why did he appear to have turned a blind eye over the ordeal of the victims, and why is he just acknowledging to the public these atrocities after ten good months? Or is that the victims lives are of no value to him because they are pepper sellers from the household of Mr. Palm-wine tapper?
Women Arise for Change Initiative hold the belief that all peoples, including women are created equal by the Almighty, and they are therefore equal before the law; women’s rights are human rights.
To this end, we request and urge you to kindly use your good offices to set up an inquiry into this shameful incident and compel the Ejigbo LCDA Chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan to share his knowledge of the crime and what he has done in tracking down the purveyors of these bestialities so that they can be brought to justice; adequate provisions must also be made to rehabilitate the victims, peradventure they survived these cruelties.
We strongly believe that there is a redemptive value for Lagos State in fishing out these criminals for punishment so that the State is not seen as a haven for atrocious human rights abuses, where barbaric and savage acts are tolerated by government officials; that is surely not a good face to present to potential investors and tourists to the commercial hub of the nation.
This is certainly one issue that will not die until justice is done, and we trust that you will act quickly and ably, and use your good offices to ensure that justice is done, for justice too long delayed is justice denied.
Thank you in anticipation of your prompt action.
Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin
Women Arise for Change Initiative
26, Adebowale Street,
VERY GRAPHIC AND BRUTAL