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Dr. Martha Emmanuel, wife of Dr. Emmanuel Udom, the Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, on Wednesday led over 3,000 women from different walks of life on a solidarity march to protest the gruesome murder of Miss Iniubong Umoren.
The women took over the state capital, Uyo metropolis, singing dirges and carrying placards with different inscriptions like: “We want justice for Iniubong,” “Justice for one is justice for all,” “No more rape, no more gender-based violence.”
Other inscriptions said: “#Stand in Solidarity with Akwa Ibom State women and demand justiceforIniubongUmoren,” “#Rape is a crime punishable by law,” among others.
The women marched from Ibom Connection down to Nuwana Iba and then moved to Wellington Bassey Way leading to the state’s Government House.
Other dignitaries who accompanied the wife of the Governor on the solidarity walk were: State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, Mrs. Felicia Bassey, the State Chairman of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Barr. Emem Etteh, among others.
Addressing the crowd at Wellington Bassey Way Roundabout, Mrs. Emmanuel assured them of justice for the deceased, including victim of other cases of rape, domestic and gender-based violence in the state.
Said she:: “I am pained about the brutal murder of our daughter, Iniubong Umoren, and all others. We have done everything we could to stop the menace of harassing our children, mothers and sisters, but, it seems we are doing nothing.
“For this singular act, we are saying enough is enough. Iniubong has paid the final price. This will not happen again. And I want to tell you that this monster and all the accomplices will not go unpunished.
The First Lady, who was emotional, lamented that the suspect had committed murder and rape, and the case could not be overlooked, stressing that all others nursing similar dastardly acts must face the full wrath of justice.
She also commended the efforts of the state government and the police for their prompt response on the case.
On her part, the State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Mrs. Felicia Bassey decried the injury done to the family of the late Iniubong Umoren, stressing that the crime must be seriously dealt with.
She urged the women to leverage on the law against gender-based violence and report any act of harassment to the appropriate authorities for swift action.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, lamented that cases of sexual molestation and harassment had taken a high crescendo and must be nipped in the bud, charging women to unite and fight a common cause.
She stressed that they should show some concern especially for people who had suffered gender-based violence.
Speaking also, the Chairperson of FIDA, Barrister Emem Ette, maintained that the organisation would continually defend women, noting that a lot had to be done to re-orientate the males on their duties and roles as defenders of women.