Group calls for Akpabio’s resignation over sexual harassment allegation

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.

Organisers of Mrs Nigeria, a non-Bikini pageantry for married women, have called for the resignation of Godwin Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, following allegations of sexual harassment.

Joy Nunieh, the former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), on Monday accused Mr Akpabio of sexually harassing her.

Mrs Nunieh alleged 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.

In a statement on Tuesday, the organisers of the beauty pageantry asked Mr Akpabio to resign his position as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

The group threatened to initiate a lawsuit on sexual harassment allegation if he fails to resign.

Sarah Anogwi, the Managing Director of the group, said the allegation, if eventually proven to be true, vividly depicts a perfect precursor to typical rape incident, as severally reported.

Mrs Nigeria is a non-governmental organisation that seeks to honour outstanding married women with beauty pageantry and champion programmes for vulnerable women and children in the country.

The organisation, through its i-CARE (I Create Awareness to Reduce Exposure) initiative, called for the resignation of the former Governor of Akwa Ibom state.

“While the nation still grapples with the shockwaves from the monumental stealing allegedly ascribed to the country’s supposed corruption czar, Ibrahim Magu, the former boss of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), and the mind-blowing amounts involved in the Nigeria’s Instagram sensation’s international cybercrime, Raymond Abass, the allegation of sexual harassment publicly against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godwin Akpabio, has become too much to bear.

“Given the magnitude of this allegation, and its devastating impact on the nations integrity and moral compass, we hereby call on Senator Akpabio to resign his appointment with immediate effect,” the statement read in part.

The group said it found the allegation too weighty to be swept under the carpet, especially in the light of increasing cases of rape, domestic violence and marital-related homicides in the country.

The organisation called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order a probe into the two allegations, saying the act, if let go, would amount to sexual endangerment of the entire women folk by “a chauvinistic dominant male,” even in the position of power across the country.

The organisation further commended the courage of Mrs Nunieh in speaking up against sexual harassment and encourage other women to fight free from the hands of their sexual violators.


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