Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) has condemned in strong terms the harassment, molestation and bullying of the female Lawmakers of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Ngozi Obiefule and Hon. Uju Onwudiwe representing Isu and Njaba state constituencies respectively by the member for Ahiazu, Samuel Otuibe.
CCIDESOR describes the action of the Lawmaker as one that is very uncivil, un-parliamentary, highly irresponsible and deviation from internationally accepted and acceptable best practice as expected of a Lawmaker, adding that by now the Lawmaker would have exited the Assembly through his resignation following a public apology.
The group disclosed this in a statement it issued through its Executive Director Ogechi Ikeh on Thursday and availed Daily Nigerian Horn.
“This wrong precedence is appalling, scary in the face of campaign for full and active participation of women in governance and leadership. This negative action must be treated with immediate and very strict punitive measures to serve as deterrent to other potential uncultured and muscle-flexing Lawmakers.
“CCIDESOR noted that this uncultured display of rascality in the face of democracy will, if not addressed, shriek the democratic space for women involvement in politics as we look forward to 2023 for increased participatory politics. With less than two percent representation of women at the State Assembly, their protection would have been hundred percent to make up for the shortfalls even support to their views and motions and laws.
“What makes the House of Assembly parliamentary is the freedom of speech and expression even when everyone is not in support, those, we are aware are addressed with votes in a truly democratic settings.
“CCIDESOR calls on the Speaker to make a public statement that punishes throwing of dangerous weapons at the Assembly or meetings that decide the fate of citizenry to cause a regrettable, remorseful and humbled state in the mind of Samuel Otuibe. The citizens will not accept anything less than that as it could be interpreted as conspiracy of silence and re-direction of order amongst the parliamentarians.
“We urge the Governor of Imo State, his Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma to intervene in this anomaly so that Imo State is not recorded in history with this. Let history rather record the reward of punishment of un-civilization among honorable makers.
“We reject the attitude, the gross insensitivity, and the impunity and say this cannot be allowed to sustain in Imo. The female folk of lawmakers cannot be used as guinea pigs for testing of fight and display of fisticuffs in the state and beyond.”