Minister for women affairs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye has apologised for threatening female students who accused a professor at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) Cyril Ndifon of sexual harassment.
In a trending video, the minister threatened the students with dire consequences including imprisonment if they continued to pursue the case of sexual harassment against Ndifon who was suspended from his position as dean of the Faculty of Law.
According to the video, the minister said since the female students had admitted that they were not raped, it meant they were not sexually harassed.
Her comments were immediately greeted with backlash.
In a statement on Sunday, she emphasised her “unwavering dedication to upholding due diligence and the rule of law, recognising that justice and fairness are the fundamental principles upon which equitable societies are built.”
She said, “This declaration comes in response to recent public discussions and reactions by concerned Nigerians regarding the unfolding situation at the University of Calabar, involving the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof Cyril Ndifon, and sexual harassment allegations levelled against him.
“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.”