Nationwide Outcry as 30 Women Remain Jailed in Nasarawa State

In a disturbing turn of events, the arrest and continued detention of 30 women in Nasarawa State have sparked widespread outrage both nationally and internationally.

Recall that the women were detained for participating in peaceful protests against what they perceive as electoral injustice in the 2023 Nasarawa gubernatorial election.

The protests, which were a response to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the election results despite allegations of misconduct, saw the women express their grievances peacefully. However, they were met with undue aggression from security forces, leading to their arrest, prosecution, and subsequent incarceration.

Dr. Eki Yemisi Omorogbe, representing the International Law and Policy in Africa Network in a press Release on Tuesday, condemned the actions taken against the women, stating: “The prosecution of these 30 women shows the failure of the Nigerian Police Force and the Government of Nasarawa State to uphold the right of citizens under the 1999 Constitution to protest, assemble and freely express themselves.”

The women, who were demonstrating peacefully and unarmed, were subjected to violence and assault by security personnel, a blatant violation of their constitutional rights. Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Co-Convener of Womenifesto, emphasized.

“Locking them up in indefinite pre-trial detention at the instance of those whom they were protesting against constitutes political persecution.”

Project – Free Nasarawa 30, a coalition of civil rights activists, citizens’ journalists, and international advocacy groups, has called for the immediate release of the detained women. Chidi Anselm Odinkalu of Atrocities Watch Africa (AWA) asserted: “An attack on the Nasarawa 30 is an attack on all women across the globe.”

The coalition demands an end to the abusive use of state power and the review of bail conditions for the women. They reject the tactics employed against the women and urge for their unconditional release.

As the plight of the Nasarawa 30 continues to draw international attention, pressure mounts on the Nasarawa State government to address the issue and uphold the principles of justice and human rights.


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