NHRC decries increasing obnoxious Widowhood practices, calls for stringent measures on perpetrators

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Tony Ojukwu has frowned at the increasing rate of maltreatment of widows and women in various communities across the country saying the act is alien to human nature.


Dr. Ojukwu who was reacting to recent developments of untold inhuman and degrading treatment meted on widows over matters relating to property and inheritance, noted that such act grossly violates the fundamental human rights and dignity of the victims and as such, must be condemned in all ramifications.


He said perpetrators of the dastardly act who are mostly family members, in-laws or close associates must be brought to book to serve as deterrent to any person nursing the idea of dealing unjustly with women after the death of their husbands.


He made reference to a video which showed a young man at Umuwada Mbaise, Imo State meting out untold inhuman and degrading treatment to his late uncle’s widow over issues involving properties of the late uncle. According to the Executive Secretary the Nigeria Police Force has made an intervention on the matter and has ensured that the perpetrators is brought to book. He said the case is presently before the court while the culprits are remanded in custodial centre while undergoing trial. He further said that theCommission’s lawyer will continue to follow the proceedings until justice is served.


The learned Senior Advocate called on stakeholders, particularly traditional rulers who are heads of communities where some of these violations against widows and women abound, tasked the village heads to ensure that their subjects do not indulge in practices that may lead to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of widows and women or the deprivation of their late husband’s properties.


Dr. Ojukwu further affirmed the Commission’s tireless efforts in the fight against all forms of human right violations and assured Nigerian women and widows that the Commission will continue to come up with rights-based policies geared towards eradicating or reducing to the barest minimum all forms of discrimination and violations against them, including orthodox widowhood practices meant to denigrate their dignity.


” With our presence in all the thirty-six states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, we shall continue to improve our access in the entire country and communities to the best of our ability, we shall also do all that is within our powers to ensure that we stem the tide of all kinds of human rights violation as they are inimical to modern civilization. We use this medium to call on all stakeholders to join us in this fight” Ojukwu stated.


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