Minister apologises for comments over alleged sexual harassment
Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has apologised to all parties offended by her comments, following a leaked audio conversation credited to her over an alleged sexual harassment case at University of Calabar.
A statement released by Director of Press at the ministry, Olujimi Oyetomi, quoted the minister as saying: “I wish to express my sincere apologies to those who were offended by my comments and actions regarding the sexual harassment scandal at the University of Calabar. This is extremely regrettable as my intentions were sincere and aligned with my consistent advocacy for the welfare of Nigerian women and the pursuit of justice.
“I stand for all Nigerian women and I stand for justice; and it is my hope that we can work together to actualise the dream of a country where women’s rights are respected and protected, and where our daughters feel safe in institutions of learning.”
The apology came after civil society organisations, at the weekend, demanded she apologise for the comments, which they described as having grave “implications for the interest and protection of vulnerable women and children”.
Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Florence Bisong, described as disturbing, threats by the minister to female students of the institution who were testifying before a panel investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the Dean, Faculty of Law, Professor Cyril Ndifon.
Also, a coalition of over 500 women’s rights organisations under the aegis of Womanifesto, faulted the minister’s comments, asking her to tender a public apology for allegedly working against the interest of women in Nigeria.
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