Sexual Harassment; Group Calls for Kogi Commissioner, Director’s Suspension

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Association of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Nigeria (AONN), Kogi state chapter, has called on Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Bolanle Amupitan and the State Director of Child Welfare, Mr Omoyele Fatoye over allegation of sexual misconduct against the family member of an abandoned child found at Otokiti village, Lokoja.

In a press statement issued by the state coordinator of AONN, Abaniwo Nathaniel said the episode surrounding the allegations and the conduct exhibited by both the Ministry officials and the individuals involved has fallen short of acceptable standard.

He called for the immediate suspension of the commissioner director of child welfare to pave way for an unbiased and transparent investigation into the allegation of sexual harassment.

“We are particular about the conduct or perceived conduct of all stakeholders, both public officers and civil society, in the interventions around children, especially vulnerable children.

“The Director, as a result of his behaviour, has called to question the professionalism often associated with the staffs of the Ministry, such actions has no place in the intervention environment for children and Vulnerable persons.

“We condemn this behaviour in its entirety and call on relevant authorities to investigate the actions of the Director, the leadership of the Ministry and everyone involved in this sad episode.

“AONN has always been against the appointment of a male to the position of Director Child Welfare as we feel this position is best suited for a female due to the sensitivity of issues and vulnerability associated with the activities around the department. We feel saddened that the Ministry failure to consult widely before the recent appointments that brought in the present leadership in the department of child welfare.

“There is no place for exploitation of vulnerable persons, especially women and children in our society. Public office holder must be held to the highest accountability especially when working with the most vulnerable of our society,” the statement read.

Abaniwo vowed to follow the case to its logical conclusion to ensure that justice is served and appropriate sanctions are meted out to serve as deterrent to others.

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