Entertainment & SocietyUju Kennedy-Ohanenye And Abuse Of Power

Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye And Abuse Of Power

February 03, (THEWILL) – Controversy seems to be second nature to Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye. Ever since she got sworn in as the Minister of Women Affairs, she has been enmeshed in one controversial issue or the other. First, she had threatened to sue the United Nations over the management of donor funds. She had asked the UN to publish monies collected from donors for the benefit of Nigerians within 30 days or risk a legal action by her ministry. She had claimed that the UN had not been transparent in the manner in which they utilised funds they got from donations for Nigerians. She therefore gave the UN a one-month ultimatum, which ran from 16th of October to November 15. She had announced that she was working on a pre-action notice to be served on the UN. Her remarks were made oblivious to the fact that the UN is immune from domestic or international legal actions. Well, it’s almost three months and three weeks and the minister is yet to carry out her threat. She had promised to make the lawsuit number public. She is still yet to do so. On another occasion, a leaked viral audio recording of her issuing threats and intimidation towards female students who had testified about alleged sexual harassment by Professor Cyril Ndifon of the varsity, who is currently facing a sexual harassment lawsuit, went viral. Law faculty female students had protested against Ndifon, whom they accused of sexual harassment, an allegation he denied. First Kennedy-Ohanenye reportedly took over the case, saying it was under her jurisdiction. The minister had in the audio recording, threatened to punish female law students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), including sending them to jail, over the sexual harassment allegation against the suspended Dean of Faculty of Law of the University. Condemning the minister’s threat, the Vice Chancellor of the University expressed concern regarding what the minister said by emphasizing on the importance of supporting and commending the students for their courage to come forward. Soon after, the minister was forced to issue a public apology after a coalition of over 500 gender rights activists under the aegis of Womanifesto and the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) expressed grave concern about her utterances and its implication. They therefore demanded a retraction of the threat and public apology from her. There are several more instances of the minister roped in controversy but the most recent is a letter inviting her fellow ministers to the birthday celebration of her ‘darling’ husband, Double Chief Kennedy Ohanenye. Besides the fact that the letter was printed using the ministry’s letter headed paper (Office of the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs), the details of the letter shows an apparent lack of co ordination and untidiness and lack of coordination. The letter was dated ‘January 29th, 2023.’ The date and time of the party which will be held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, was written as – ‘4th February, 2024 / 3pm dot.’ She finished it off by appending her signature to it. What is even more worrisome is the fact that like several other Nigerians in positions of authority, they are unable to discern when private and personal matters should end and when public matters begin. Hopefully, others in positions of authority learn a thing or two from this gaffe.

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