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Akpabio denies sexual harassment allegation, calls it ‘litany of lies’

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The Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio has described sexual harassment allegations against him by Ms. Gbene Joi Nunieh, the erstwhile Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) as litany of lies.

Ms Nunieh in an interview she granted recently accused the Minister of corruption, sexual and workplace harassments, pipelines bombings, secret cult activities, abuse of office, amongst other.

The Minister in a statement issued Wednesday in Abuja by Anietie Ekong, his SA on Media, said there is no scintilla of truth in all the allegations peddled around by Ms. Nbnieh. “They are simply false! The Honourable Minister did not at any time, place or circumstance make any form of sexual advances to Ms. Nunieh, not even to put himself in a position or posture suggestive of sexual advances towards Ms. Nunieh, or any female staff of his Ministry or the NDDC.

“For the records, the Honourable Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON is happily married and contented with his wife. Together they are blessed with children, four (4) of whom are young women. The Minister is an avid believer of the Affirmative Action and that was visible in the appointments he made as a two (2) term Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015.

“Under his watch, he appointed several women into various high level positions as
Chairpersons of Local Government Councils, Magistrates, Judges, Heads of Parastatals, Directors, Permanent Secretaries, and Commissioners.”

The statement added that Akpabio is the first Governor in Akwa Ibom State to have a female Deputy Governor, and was also the first to appoint female Chief Justices of the High Court.

“He recommended women for ministerial appointments one of whom was the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, and supported for appointment the first female Vice Chancellor of the only Federal University in the State etc. He has always championed and still champions the cause of women and young children.

The statement added that Akpabio also stopped modern day slavery in his state, where young women and children were ferried away from the State to other states in Nigeria to be used for all sorts of menial chores as house maids and most suffered unimaginable unethical trade malpractices and maltreatments.

“He ensured that anyone caught in that trade was severely punished. He signed the Child Rights Law to protect children, especially the girl child from stigmatization and punishment by ordeal where some were executed or banished on allegation of witchcraft. The Child Rights Law also made primary and secondary education in Akwa Ibom State free and compulsory; educating the girl child was his topmost priority.

“The Honourable Minister has never tfden his admiration and respect for his wife, Mrs. Ekaete Akpabio, Children and sisters, he therefore felt compelled to react to the malicious attack on his person by Ms. Nunieh bothering on allegations of sexual harassment. The Honourable Minister therefore finds the said allegation nauseating and a very cheap blackmail, for Ms. Nunieh to suggest or insinuate that he sexually harassed her, while she was the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC.

“The Honourable Minister also finds it appalling that, Ms. Nunieh, never deemed it fit to report the alleged incident to the police at the earliest opportunity she had, before, during or after her tenor as the Acting Managing Director on 17th February, 2020, if indeed the allegation was true. Waiting till July 10th and 13th 2020 when the National Assembly appears to be probing some of her actions as the Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee (“IMC”) exposes her motive, especially at a time when the momentum for the Forensic Audit Investigation of the NDDC is heating up and the truth is about to be unveiled for all to see? The critical question is who is afraid of the Forensic Audit at the NDDC? Who is Afraid of the Truth?

The Minister said Ms. Nunieh’s attacks are both personal and sponsored, saying those afraid of the truth, and who wish to bury it from seeing the light of the day, are strenuously behind Ms. Nunieh’s vicious campaign of calumny.

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Stone Gay Couples, Burundian President Advocates

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Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye launched a virulent anti-gay tirade on Friday, saying same-sex couples should be publicly stoned.

He also lashed out at Western countries that press other nations to allow gay rights or risk losing aid.

Homosexuality in Burundi, a conservative Christian country in East Africa, has been criminalised since 2009 with prison terms of up to two years for consensual same-sex acts.

Évariste Ndayishimiye-Burundi President

Ndayishimiye, a Catholic, described marriage between same-sex couples as an “abominable practice”.

“Personally, I think if we see these kind of individuals in Burundi we should put them in a stadium and stone them. And it would not be a sin for those who do,” Ndayishimiye said in response to a question at a public event in the east of the country that was broadcast by Burundian media.

He also criticised Western countries that urge smaller nations to allow gay marriage or risk losing aid, saying: “Let them keep their help, let them keep it.”

Burundians living abroad who have “chosen the devil” and practise homosexuality should “not come back”, he added.

Homosexuality is illegal in many East African countries, which have a history of repression and stigmas against gay people, often encouraged by conservative Muslims and Christians.

Uganda in May adopted what has been described as one of the world’s harshest laws against homosexuality, prompting outrage among rights groups and Western powers.

In response, Washington has said it would remove Uganda from a key trade deal and has imposed visa restrictions on some officials, while the World Bank suspended new loans to the country.

The legislation is currently being challenged at Uganda’s constitutional court.

In March this year, Burundi charged 24 people with “homosexual practices” in a crackdown on same-sex relationships.

The move followed a call by Ndayishimiye for citizens to root out homosexuality and treat gay people as “pariahs”.

Ndayishimiye took power in June 2020 after the death of president Pierre Nkurunziza and has been lauded by the international community for slowly ending years of Burundi’s isolation under his predecessor’s chaotic and bloody rule.

But he has failed to improve a wretched human rights record and the country of 12 million people remains one of the poorest on the planet.

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Rashford and Lingard Apologise for Taking Photo with Disgraced Rapper Wiley

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Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have issued apologies after a photo emerged of the Manchester United duo with rapper Wiley, who has been all but banished from the UK music scene due to multiple antisemitic tirades.

Wiley performed at Club Blu Dubai on Sunday before posting the photo to his Instagram saying: “Thank you @officialdjironik for getting me a booking and big up these dons”

Both Lingard and Rashford have since apologised for the photo, insisting that they do not support the rapper or his beliefs.

Who is Wiley?

Wiley is a UK Grime artist that rose to prominence in 2020 due to controversy stemming from an antisemitic tirade online.

The rapper, known for songs like “Wearing My Rolex”, “Never Be Your Woman”, and his UK number-one hit “Heatwave”, accused Jewish people of being “racists”, “snakes” and “cowards” before going on to say that “black people” should go to “war” with Jewish people.

The 43-year-old, who was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2018 for services to music, has struggled to find bookings ever since and was banned by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram while being dumped by his record label.

What was said?

“This picture has been brought to my attention which I understand now, given context, could easily be misconstrued,” Rashford, who has been one of world football’s most vocal anti-racism advocates, tweeted.

“I would like to reinforce that I do not and will not condone discriminative language or behaviour of any kind aimed at the Jewish community or any other community.

“I truly believe that tackling antisemitism in and outside of the game requires a greater level of attention and should very much form part of the game’s anti-racism stance.”

 

 

 

His team-mate, Lingard, who has previously taken part in a campaign to raise awareness about antisemitism, also took to Twitter to address the photo.
“I’ve been made aware of a photo circulating currently, that can easily be misconstrued,” he said. “I want to make it clear that I do not condone any form of racism whatsoever!”

 

 

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FG Approves 14-Day Paternity Leave

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the right to 14-day paternity leave for male Federal civil servants to allow them to bond with their infants.

This was disclosed to State House Correspondents on Wednesday by the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, after the week’s virtual FEC meeting presided over by Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

She said this is to enable for proper bonding between the father and a newborn, either natural-born or adopted, especially at the early stages of the child’s life.

Mrs. Yemi -Esan further explained that fathers of adopted babies of less than four months will also enjoy this gesture

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