Activist and convener of the civil society organization, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, has lent his voice to demand justice for Ayanwole Bamise, who was found dead after boarding a BRT bus in Lagos State.
Adeyanju’s timely call is coming as the world marks International Women’s Day (March 8), a global day for celebrating women, however, for ill-fated Bamise, sympathizers have declared to hold a protest today at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, Lagos.
Addressing Bamise’s gruesome murder, Adeyanju in a statement he personally signed and issued to newsmen urged the National Assembly to revisit the women-oriented constitutional amendment bills it recently voted against, stressing that Nigeria must join the world in moving away from the patriarchal system that has kept women oppressed for several generations.
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“We add our voice to all well-meaning Nigerians and people of good conscience across the world to seek for justice for Ms. Bamise, an innocent Nigerian citizen who was gruesomely murdered inside a Lagos State BRT bus, on her way home, and her private parts removed, apparently for ritual purposes.
“In recent years, the life of an average Nigeria citizen has become almost worthless in the hands of those whose primary duty is the protection of life and property. Nigerians are unable to commute interstate or intra state without nursing the morbid fear of being kidnapped, raped or killed. The situation is particularly bad for our women who are often left defenceless in the face of marauding get rich quick ritualists now littered all over our society.
“Almost every other day, there is one news or the other of women being killed or kidnapped in the course of their daily routine. We remember vividly the case of Miss. Iniobong Umoren was brutally murdered while she was seeking for employment. We also note that for every story that gets to the limelight, there are at least ten other women whose death or kidnap has gone unreported. We must change the narrative. Our women should no longer be left at the mercy of kidnappers, ritualists, murderers, bandits, etc. Every Nigerian woman deserves to live her life to the fullest and pursue her God-given potentials.
“We, therefore, call on the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government to immediately unravel the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate demise of Ms. Bamise, and prosecute everyone involved in this gruesome murder, no matter how highly placed. In addition to the above, the Lagos State Government must, as a matter of urgency, install CCTC or dashboard cameras on all the BRT buses and the recently introduced Lagos taxi cars. We also demand a proactive investigation into the ritual killings in Lagos State and the entire South-Western Nigeria. The government must not wait for the next unfortunate victim to die before it will initiate investigations into this unwholesome practice that has taken us back to the dark days of human rituals.
“We also use this opportunity to call on the National Assembly to revisit the women-oriented constitutional amendment bills it recently voted against. All over the world, women are increasingly being giving more recognition, and this has translated to more economic power for women. Nigeria must join the world in moving away from the patriarchal system that has kept women oppressed for several generations. Bills like citizenship rights to the husband of a woman, diaspora voting and affirmation rights for women are all geared towards giving our women a sense of fairness and justice. There are no reasons why these bills should be rejected. Nigeria must do better and treat our women as equals, not subservient.”