There was outrage weekend over the alleged dehumanization of a widow in Agunese Affam-Mmaku Community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The 57 year-old widow was stripped on Friday and paraded round the village without clothes for daring to pick snails from a forest regarded as sacred in the village.
In a viral video of the woman on the social media, a mob beat her up and stripped her, tied palm fronts round her naked waste and neck before parading her round the village.
Her abusers, who were mostly youths of the village, also forced the widow to carry the basket of snails on her head while parading the entire community naked.
The incident has expectedly drawn condemnation from the members of the public, particularly women groups in Enugu State, who described the act as dehumanizing.
In a joint statement, the women groups said it was inhuman to strip a woman of her pride which is her covering for mere pieces of snails.
“It hurts further to know that these snails are not lab-manufactured or already offered to the god’s but termed sacred on the basis of archaic laws.
“We raise our voices in the loudest to condemn this impunity, this shame called protecting a supposed sacred site. We outrightly lend our voices and actions to declare to the world that this is totally unacceptable. This act is wild and desperately annoying.
“How do we preserve this woman’s nudity after parading her nakedness to the world. The swiftness and virality of the social media is not one to be joked with as we can shamefully agree that half of the world must have seen this by now .
“We condemn every part of this and say that the culprits must be brought to book. They must apologize to the women folk nationwide and pay a huge sum to this woman after packing bags of snails to plead with her.
“As we write this, we wish it never took place, how much longer will the women continue to be a societal ridicule and thrash. This is totally unacceptable and devastating. We condemn every spot of chauvinistic decision taken on this woman. Would they have done this to a man ? Yes!! Maybe if he was caught as a high-way thief or a killer absolutely not for picking snails.
“God have mercy on the future of women in our society. No single man said hold on, not even one. It’s totally regrettable and no amount of plea can cover our minds eye from remembering her nakedness.
“We condemn this with all of our hearts as women, human rights activist, organizations for women and all humans.”