The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye says she regrets the comment credited to her in a viral video concerning the sexual harassment scandal at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) in Cross River.
The declaration comes as a response to recent public discussions and reactions by concerned Nigerians regarding the unfolding situation at the institution involving Prof. Cyril Ndifon, Dean of the Faculty of Law and the sexual harassment allegations levelled against him.
Kennedy-Ohanenye, in a statement issued to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, reiterated her commitment to justice, safeguarding and advancing the rights and welfare of Nigerian women, including the pursuit of justice whenever their rights were violated.
She emphasised her unwavering dedication to upholding due diligence and the rule of law, recognising that justice and fairness were the fundamental principles upon which equitable societies were built.
“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,” she said.
Her reaction came 24 hours after a retraction and public apology demanded by a coalition of over 500 gender rights activists under the aegis of Womanifesto convened by the Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi.
The organisation said it was gravely concerned about her utterances on the UNICAL sexual harassment case and their implications for the interest and protection of vulnerable women and children in Nigeria.
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