#BringBackOurGirls Group Blasts Dino Melaye Over Threat To Beat Up Remi Tinubu

#BringBackOurGirls Group Blasts Dino Melaye Over Threat To Beat Up Remi Tinubu

Bukky Shonibare (2nd row, left) one of the leaders of #BringBackOurGirls campaigners protest the abducted in the remote village of Chibok of 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram, during a protest at Unity Park in Abuja May 11, 2014. | Reuters/Joe Penney

The Lagos chapter of #BringBackOurGirls, BBOG Movement has reacted with anger over reports that Dino Melaye, a Nigerian senator threatened to physically assault Remi Tinubu, a woman senator and wife of a founder of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu.

The Bring Back Our Girls Movement, BBOG emerged in 2014 following the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls from Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by the Boko Haram terrorist group. The group was founded Hadiza Bala Usman, a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and used to push a negative media narrative against the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a statement signed by members of the Lagos wing of the BBOG organisation, Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, Aisha Oyebode, Ayo Obe, Habiba Balogun, Yemi Adamolekun, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Ngozi Iwere, Olalere Babasola, and Adwoa Edun said that “it is pertinent to put an end to the recurring act of violence against women”.

The group of political activists also expressed disappointment that the leadership of the Nigerian senate had not thought the allegations serious enough to refer it to the upper chamber’s committee on ethics and privileges. They called Melaye a misogynist and described the alleged act as disgusting.

According to some reports, Senator Melaye, in a fit of anger, told Senator Tinubu, “Look this is not Bourdillon (in reference to the Ikoyi residence of APC national leader, Bola Tinubu), I will beat you up, impregnate you and nothing will happen!”

But according to SaharaReporters, from where the report originated, quoted Melaye as saying, “I will beat you up on this floor and nothing will happen”.

Senator Dino Melaye
Senator Dino Melaye

“Mr. Melaye’s action sent the country back to the dark ages the national assembly must stop tolerating misogynist like Melaye in their ranks” the BBOG said.

“How can we encourage women to take elective positions without fear when the senate, which has only seven female members out of the 109 members, has men like Senator Dino Melaye threatening the few that have dared the odds to get into politics?

“How can we put an end to violence against girls and women when those who lead [and] make these laws are guilty of the same acts? Are there no rules and code of conduct in The senate? Are there no penalties for irresponsible behavior?

“Our future and that of our children depend on the actions we take now and we must put an end to this recurring act of violence, abuse and threats.”

Senator Remi Tinubu, wife of APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu as she sits on seat reserved for the Deputy Senate President in the Senate Chambers at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja on Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Senator Remi Tinubu, wife of APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu as she sits on seat reserved for the Deputy Senate President in the Senate Chambers at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The group called for punitive action to be taken against Senator Malaye and cautioned that the Nigerian Senate “should not aid and abet him this time”

“If we, as BBOG Group, are asking the state to protect our girls, then such statements in our hallowed chambers should most definitely be strongly condemned and properly dealt with.” the statement concluded.

In the meantime, Senator Melaye issued a statement early in the morning of Wednesday, July 13, 2016, denying being involved in a plot to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari. The statement was however silent on the other matter of a threat to physically assault Remi Tinubu, a woman leader in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

Bola Tinubu, through a spokesperson, Sunday Dare has threatened Melaye back saying, “things will happen” if he dared touch his wife. Remi Tinubu is a woman leader in the Nigerian senate.

Hadiza Usman (2nd left), an active member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Oby Ezekwesili founders of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Hadiza Usman (2nd left), an active member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Oby Ezekwesili founders of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign (Photo Credit: Reuters)
The APC Member Who Founded Bring Back Our Girls Group

Hadiza Bala Usman, 40, is leaving her position as chief of staff to Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State following her appointment, Tuesday, July 12, 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari as the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.

This NPA appointment is her third from President Buhari since he was declared winner of the 2015 presidential elections.

Ms. Bala Usman was first appointed into General Buhari’s transition committee. Immediately, she was appointed chief of staff of Governor El Rufai, she disengaged from the #BringBackOurGirls campaign which she co-founded along with Oby Ezekwesili, a former minister of education.

Following backlash over her political appointments, so soon after the 2015 elections, Ms. Hadiza Usman told journalists that she never denied being a member of the then, opposition APC party and was always a member even when starting the BBOG organisation which created “a strong emotional campaign in mobilising public sentiment against the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan”.

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