More than 200 naked women from Afikpo South Council area of Ebonyi State, caused serious commotion in Nkwegu community close to Abakaliki, the state capital, on Monday, 9th May, as they took to the street of the town to protest the alleged continued detention of Ndubuisi Ekumankama, the President General of the community, by the police.
The detained Ekumankama was said to have destroyed a house belonging to a widow in Amangwu Edda community of Ebonyi State. The naked women had planned to storm the Ebonyi State Government House in Abakaliki but were blocked by policemen at the Nkwegu close to a military cantonment after they resisted the first set of policemen who were repelled by the sight of angry naked women.
The women were reported to have been naked on the upper part of their body, baring their breasts and as a result, throwing many people into confusion, including the policemen. It was gathered that some policemen fled from the protest scene as a result of the superstitious belief that policemen who attempt to stop naked protesters would die.
However, the Police Commissioner, CP Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, quickly intervened by mobilising another team of policewomen led by the Officer in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, who led other policewomen to the scene. It was these policewomen that brought the protest under control.
Speaking on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ebonyi State Command, ASP George Okafor, said the action of the naked women as shameful and a desecration of the Igbo culture.
Mr. Okafor said the women had arranged to stage the protest last week but were advised to follow the legal way of registering their complaints since the suspect who was arrested by the police, had already been charged to court. He said:
“Last week, a group of women numbering about 20 stormed the state headquarters to protest over the arrest and detention of a suspect who was being held for demolishing a widow’s house in Amangwu-Edda. After we spoke to them, they even saw the suspect and he spoke to them which showed that he is alive.
They went back and today again, we got information that the same women had gone and mobilised over 200 other women to storm the government house to protest and we also got information that they were coming into the town naked so we tried to halt them from gaining entrance into the city.
“Our men who earlier got to the scene were repelled because of the sight of the nakedness of these women and we had to mobilise our police women led by woman ACP in charge of CID. They went there as women, who understood each other. And they had more access to them unlike the men who were being careful because these women were naked. Their actions were unfortunate and shameful.
They have desecrated the Igbo culture by protesting naked over a politically motivated issue. If there were reasons to protest naked, these women should have known that it must be a serious issue”.