Hajia Mariam Salihu, the female leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Kogi State, has pleaded with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and First Lady Oluremi Tinubu to use their influence to put an end to the politically motivated murders of women in the State.
Speaking at a news conference in Lokoja, Salihu said that women in opposition parties were living in dread and that political thugs in Kogi had targeted them.
She brought up the recent murder of another lady in Koton Karfe by political thugs and the instance in 2019 where Mrs. Salome Abuh, the PDP’s female leader, was burned alive in her home.
The SDP leader, who was formerly an APC member in Kogi State, also bemoaned the plight of women in opposition parties who are now too afraid to participate in candidate campaigns for their preferred candidates.
She urged women’s organizations on the national and international levels to support them as well.
She said, “Seeing your folks running wildly without safety is not easy as a wife and mother. I want to take use of this occasion to ask Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president, to assist us in Kogi State. The ladies of Kogi State have not had it easy. This morning, I viewed a video of what transpired in Ejule and Ajaka. I was unable to control my tears.
“I witnessed our female moms fleeing without defense. It is not humorous. We worked with our principal, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and nobody pursued us during the time I served as Director of Women Mobilization for Tinubu in this same office. It was open to everyone. But we are unable to have a campaign event today.
“I also want to take use of this occasion to appeal to all women’s organizations in Nigeria and beyond to support us in Kogi State. We are all aware that violence against women jeopardizes the credibility of the electoral process. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, if you could, please help us. We are in pain. The women are unable to do their duties by going outside any longer.
“When I was a member of the APC, I supported and campaigned for your husband in the 2023 presidential election, our mother Remi Tinubu,” I said. What has changed, is what I’m asking. I haven’t even inquired as to why my name is missing from the ministerial appointment. That is all we are asking for: for Kogi State to be fair to us.
“I genuinely don’t understand why this government is always against women. If you recall, Salome Abuh, the female head of the Peoples Democratic Party, was burned to death in 2019. That makes me sad. We anticipate a repeat of the current circumstance. It happened at Koton Karfe the previous time, and in Ejule and Ajaka yesterday. Who can say where they will go next? We are under attack.
“Everyone has the right to freedom, and Kogi women are no different. We don’t understand why this government is working so hard to deny women the right to vote. We have taken no action. In all honesty, I don’t think any of us would be here without a woman. So, kindly, women’s rights activists and organizations help us out since Kogi State is in disarray due to election-related issues.