Worried by the viral video currently trending on various social media handles in which a Nigerian Army female personnel named Ruth Ogunleye came out with serious allegations of sexual harassment by her superiors, the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy Ohanenye has vowed to step into the matter.
This was contained in a press statement signed by Ohaeri Osondu Joseph, Special Assistant, Media to the minister and made available to journalists in Abuja.
The statement partly reads, “The Lady alleged that she has been subjected to all forms of unfair treatment and stigmatization by her superiors; Col IB Abdulkareem, Col GS Ogor and Brig. Gen. IB Solebo who according to her, stopped her salary last year, drugged her and ejected her from her apartment.
“According to the Minister, the contents of the video are so disturbing and should not be allowed to be swept under the carpet as women remain weaker vessels and should not be subjected to any form of maltreatment, dehumanization or harassment, especially in an egalitarian society where gender balance and fairness should be upheld by all and sundry.
“I need to reiterate my Ministry’s displeasure over situations where Nigerian women hold the short end of the stick even as the present administration is working assiduously to stamp out all forms of gender inequality and harmful treatments against the female gender”
“As the Minister of Women Affairs, I remain resolute in my resolve to protect the interest of Nigerian women and strongly condemn the contents of the online video if verified to be true”
While commending the Nigerian Army for its pedigree in discipline, decorum and comportment, she has also initiated communication with the Nigerian Army High Command to ensure that the allegations of sexual harassment are thoroughly investigated and culprits sanctioned accordingly.
The Minister also requests the Army High Command to verify some of the lady’s claims about being deprived of proceeding on PASS and the Army Medical School after gaining admission and for her to be deployed to a safer and neutral working environment while the investigation is carried out to guarantee her safety and also save her from further depression.
“Am glad to note the assurances from the Director of Army Public Relations, Maj. Gen. Nwachukwu Onyema that the Army will commence an investigation into the matter and that it is highly commendable, I, therefore, urge the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja to institute a Board of Inquiry to undertake thorough investigations on this matter with objective outcomes”.
Meanwhile, the Minister has concluded plans to visit the Lady and Chief of Army Staff even as she urges the Army High Command to update her Office on the fallout of the proposed investigation in the interest of Nigerian women.