Friday, 2nd December 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

OXFAM condemns dehumanisation, brutalisation of widow in Abia

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
30 August 2022   |   3:45 am
A global international organisation, Oxfam, has condemned the dehumanisation and brutalisation of a widow identified as Mrs. Amarachi Okechi of Umueghu in Amaegbuato autonomous community, Nkpa, Bende Local Council of Abia State.

•Demands justice from government
A global international organisation, Oxfam, has condemned the dehumanisation and brutalisation of a widow identified as Mrs. Amarachi Okechi of Umueghu in Amaegbuato autonomous community, Nkpa, Bende Local Council of Abia State.

In a statement, yesterday, signed by the Country Director, Oxfam International, Dr. Vincent Ahonsi, Okechi had her hands tied behind her back, her feet tied together and meant to sit on bare floor in a public space, and publicly flogged in turns by young men in the community, led by her brother-in-law.

It was alleged that her brother-in-law’s wife accused her of witchcraft.

Ahonsi said: “While the humiliation and assault was going on, bystanders cheered, jeered and were seen filming the appalling spectacle.

“Sadly, it is a double jeopardy to be a woman and a widow in many communities in Nigeria where women are accused of being witches that caused their husbands’ death, get their hair forcefully shaved, forced to drink dirty and contaminated water used to wash their husbands’ corpses to prove their innocence, forced to wear black clothes with their shaved heads uncovered, forced to sit and sleep on bare floors, get sent out of their matrimonial homes with their under-aged children, banished from participating in communal socio-economic activities, and get their husbands belongings forcefully taken away from them.

“We are disturbed that such unfair, harmful and dehumanising traditional practices are still in existence, and are tolerable in some communities, and in a democratic Nigeria with women and girls having their freedom and rights disrespected and abused.”

He noted that Oxfam is committed to working to ensure that Nigerian women and girls are able to realise their rights and potentials, and be free from all forms of violence. We will collaborate with partners and government agencies to ensure that justice is served in Okechi’s case.

Ahonsi said Oxfam would continue to work with relevant authorities, partners, stakeholders and communities to challenge culturally accepted practices that treat women and girls as second-class citizens.

In this article