The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, has tendered an apology to women groups over a series of statements on the alleged sex scandal at the University of Calabar (UNICAL).
Her action followed an open letter from a Woman’s Rights Movement of over 500 activists, practitioners, professionals, and NGOs known as Womanifesto.
They condemned her statements on the matter and demanded a public apology and retraction, else they “will spare no efforts in taking further action that may affect your (Minister’s) position”.
Responding to this letter, the Minister in a press statement on Sunday said “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 actualize the dream of a country where women’s rights are respected and protected, and where our daughters feel safe in institutions of learning.”
The Herald had reported how on August 14, 2023, female students of the law faculty held a peaceful rally against the varsity’s Dean, Faculty of Law, Cyril Ndifon, whom they accused of harassing them, an allegation he denied when he told this newspaper that the protest was sponsored by lecturers in the faculty who did not like his style of leadership, although the varsity suspended him.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Florence Obi said the university management would investigate the allegations but that the students would be required to provide evidence to back up their complaints.
Reacting to this, the Minister in a viral audio threatened to prosecute parties who lie during the ongoing investigation of the alleged sexual assault at the University of Calabar.