A peaceful protest was carried out by the Gbaramatu Kingdom women in Warri West Local Government Area, Delta State, calling for the release of the 10 students arrested and detained over 47 days ago by soldiers, when they invaded Oporoza on grounds that they were militants. The women joined by the National Association of Gbaramatu Students, NAGS, gave the Federal Government a one – week ultimatum to release the students, threatening to march on the Presidency in Abuja if the students were not released.
The protest came as the Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI and Ijaw Human Rights Monitor, IHRM, decried the continued detention of the students without trial. Placard-carrying Gbaramatu women led by Chief Vero Tangnowei chanted solidarity songs, calling for the release of the students. Some of the placards read, “ This is pure oppression, stop labeling them as members of NDA,” “This is wickedness taken too far,” “This is nothing but high level impunity,” “46 days on nowhere to be found,” “Mr. President, free our sons now,” “Free our sons”, “ Mr. President, where are my brothers,” “ We need them back in school,” among others. The protesters accused the military of arresting, framing and taking the 10 students into custody under the guise of being militants for over one and half months. Tangbowei stated that the Gbaramatu Kingdom has no knowledge of the whereabouts of the 10 students, adding: “Let me take this medium to tell Buhari and his group that we are giving them only one week to bring back our children , if they do not want to bring our children, as their mothers, we will march to Abuja so that he can kill all of us.” She denied the claim that the 10 arrested students were members of Niger Delta Avengers, saying that they were students of Gbaramatu Grammar School, Oporoza as well as stewards to the Gbaramatu Traditional Council.
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