The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godwin Akpabio, has been called on to resign following allegations of sexual harassment, against him, and the widely perceived sexist attacks he launched against Joy Nunieh, the former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This call was made on Tuesday by the Mrs. Nigeria Organization (MNO), a rights group, and convener of ‘Mrs. Nigeria’-non-Bikini pageantry for married women, following Mrs. Nunieh allegation that the minister wanted to ‘come up’ on her at his guest house in Abuja, an incident which she said led her to slap the minister.
MNO’s founder and managing director, Mrs. Sarah Anogwi, in their statement made available to Sunnewsonline, decried the spate of sexual harassment women face at various levels. She further called on Mr. Akpabio to resign his position as the Minister of Niger Delta Affair, or face lawsuit over the sexual harassment allegation that would be slammed on him by the group. ” As a body committed to the welfare and well-being of women and children in the country, MNO, finds Joy Nunieh’s public accusation of sexual harassment against the former Governor of Akwa Ibom too explosive and important to be swept under the carpet, especially, as the country experiences rising cases of rape, domestic violence, and marital-related homicides.
“As a matter of concern, ‘the revelation from Mrs. Nunieh on Arise TV on the 13th of July has further exposed the experiences women especially those in public and private sector go through in the hands of sexual predators in positions of control in Nigeria. It’s a no-brainer why women are scared to aspire for leadership positions because some of their male counterparts see them as sexual objects, and are eager to take advantage.
“Hence, given the magnitude of this crime, as it poses great moral and credibility question on a serving Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we hereby call on the Niger Delta Minister, Senator Godwin Akpabio to resign his appointment with immediate effect. Failure to step aside and avail himself to investigation in other to clear his name, if he is innocent, the organization is ready to go a step further to institute litigation against him in the law court. Currently, our team of lawyers is gathering intelligence and building water-tight defense over the allegation, ” she said.
Mrs. Anogwi also commended the courage of Joy Nunieh for showing strength to fight back to safety, and for speaking up. “There are a lot of women out who are boxed in, and don’t have enough strength to fight free from the hands of their sexual violators. We in MNO, would continue to speak for Nigeria women especially the vulnerable ones, and will not relent in our quest to create awareness of cases like this to reduce exposure for other women not to fall prey. Again we reiterate our call on Senator Akpabio to honourably resign, and give himself up for investigation to clear his name, so that women will begin to have hope on the system.”