Some Nigerians have condemned the arrest of some women at night clubs and alleged sexual harassment by Policemen in Abuja. For two weeks, men of the Nigeria Police Force and officials of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) have raided clubs in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. Some women were arrested and labelled prostitutes while others were allegedly raped.
A protest organized by some non-governmental organizations at the weekend in Abuja described the incidents as a violation of the fundamental human rights of women. At the FCT Police Command, the protesters met a team of gun-wielding policemen who formed a human barricade thereby denying them access to the premises.
Rebecca Umar, a representative of Stand to End Rape and other NGOs, said the duty of the Police is to protect citizens and not harm them. Another protestant claimed that over 100 women have been arrested by the Police in Abuja and “branded prostitutes” without any evidence.
On her part, Aisha Yesufu, urged the Police to focus on curbing the insecurity problem along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway rather than arresting women on the streets of Nigeria’s capital city.
Ariyo-Dare Atoye described the arrests and detention of the ladies as “an attempt to profile and debase women” in the Nigerian society. While noting that it takes two to tango, the protesters, who questioned why the men are left out and the women arrested said if there is no customer, there won’t be prostitutes.
Addressing the protesters, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Usman Umar, said the Force has begun investigations into the matter. He expressed the commitment of the Force towards “fishing out and punishing perpetrators of the act” to serve as deterrent to others.