Alleged Assault: Nigerian Feminist Forum slams Ortom for shielding Channels’ reporter - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Alleged Assault: Nigerian Feminist Forum slams Ortom for shielding Channels’ reporter

Alleged Assault: Nigerian Feminist Forum slams Ortom for shielding Channels’ reporter


Samuel Ortom 


The prominent women’s group said the governor “went beyond his office to condone grievous bodily harm and domestic violence.”

 

The Nigerian Feminist Forum on Tuesday strongly rebuked Governor Samuel Ortom for making a public show of his purported reconciliation of a resident and his wife.


Pius Angbo of Channels Television was accused of aggravated assault in a social media video posted over the weekend by his wife Ifeyinwa. Mr. Agbo denied the allegations, but said he had apologised to his wife and would be happy to make his marriage work going forward.


Amidst online outrage that greeted the video, Mr. Ortom quickly stepped in to escalate the matter by inviting the journalist and his wife to the Government House, Makurdi. Mr. Angbo, also from Benue, has been based in Makurdi with his family for several years.


The governor said he was intervening because he felt that the physical assault was not unique to the Angbos and also that everyone should be given a second chance in life. He also said he had secured Mr. Angbo’s assurances that there would be no further assault against his medical doctor wife.


“Some of us are not also innocent. As a young couple, we underwent some of these challenges in our (married) life,” Mr. Ortom told reporters shortly after meeting the couple on Monday.


But rights groups have condemned the governor for his action, accusing him of aiding abuse by shielding a reporter with whom he obviously had a longstanding relationship.


The Nigerian Feminist Forum in a statement to Peoples Gazette on Tuesday night said the governor should immediately back out of his bullying tactics and pointedly accused him of being an accessory after the fact in a potentially criminal matter.


The prominent women’s group said the governor “went beyond his office to condone grievous bodily harm and domestic violence in his capacity as the Chief Security Officer of the state.”


Mr. Ortom “clearly does not believe that it is his duty to end insecurity suffered by women at the hands of a murderous husband, like Mr. Angbo,” the NFF said. “Rather, he has chosen to become a major cause and enabler of domestic violence.” 


The forum also laid down its demands in the statement, which include an urgent termination of Mr Pius Angbo’s employment at Channels, Mr. Ortom’s apology and immediate prosecution of Mr. Angbo.


Mrs. Angbo accused her husband of abusing her because she advised him to cease spending lavishly on women and focus instead on nurturing their four children.


Channels management officials condemned violence against citizens and said they would look into the matter.


The crisis comes amidst ongoing #16DaysofActivism campaign against gender-based violence across the globe.


This year, there had been a marked increases in manifestations of violence against women and children due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures all over the world. 


Women and girls had been isolated at home during the lockdown, often with their abusers, rights activists said. Thirty-five percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence, according to the World Bank.


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