Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday, condemned the assault on his Commissioner for Women Affairs, Olubunmi Osadahun, by the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ward 1, Akoko South West Council of the state, Olumide Awolumate.
While describing the assault on Osadahun as an affront to his government, Akeredolu emphasised that such acts of violence would not be tolerated under his administration.
The embattled ward chairman, popularly known as ‘Cuba’, was seen in a video that has gone viral in a brawl with the commissioner during palliatives distribution in Arigidi Akoko at the weekend.
The governor, in a statement by his Commissioner for Information, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, vowed to use the full force of the law to bring the culprit to justice through the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law.
The statement reads: “The state government condemns in unequivocal terms the assault and bodily injury inflicted on the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr. Adebunmi Osadahun, by a man said to be a politician from Iye Akoko, in the course of palliative distribution in Akoko North Council. An investigation into the incident has begun, and the full weight of the law will be applied to the assailant if found guilty.”
Meanwhile, the state chairman of APC, Ade Adetimehin, has expressed bitterness over the alleged attack on the commissioner and stated: “We don’t tolerate indiscipline in our party. The erring chairman would be suspended for involving himself in such a public, embarrassing act.”
Similarly, the Deputy Majority Leader of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Princess Oluwatosin Ajirotutu, has condemned the alleged assault. She called on the state police command to arrest and prosecute the APC chieftain.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Abiodun Asabi, disclosed that the command has launched an investigation into the assault case.
Meanwhile, women groups, under the auspice of Womanifesto, have condemned the assault.
A statement signed by the co-convener Womanisfesto, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, on behalf of over 150 women groups, reads, “This situation is a microcosm and replica of the varying degrees of violence against women across Nigeria. The deepest disregard for women in Nigeria was displayed in public without any form of reservation or remorse. If a commissioner can be so assaulted, we can only imagine the gruesome forms of violence meted out to women around Mr. Awolumate.
“We demand that he must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Nigerian women must be assured that we can be safe in our country. Our girls and children need to know that violence against women is abhorrent and intolerable. We will not accept anything less than adequate punishment for Mr. Awolumate.”
Similarly, a non-profit civil society organization, focused on inclusive governance and advocacy against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), Sustainable Gender Action Initiative (SGAI), has expressed displeasure and condemned the physical violence against Osadahun.
The Executive Director of the group, Mufuliat Fijabi, in a statement, condemned the violence by Awolumate. Fijabi, describing the attack as totally unacceptable, added that women and girls deserve respect and dignity.
The attacks, she observed, take place despite all international and regional commitments that Nigeria has made and the adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in 2015.