‘I am no slave to anybody’ – Women Affairs minister tells Reps in heated argument

There was a pandemonium on Tuesday when the House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development and Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, the Minister of Women Affairs, engaged in a heated confrontation.

The committee had invited the minister to answer to allegations of corruption, especially the alleged diversion of N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The contractors had petitioned the committee, chaired by Kafilat Ogbara, decrying non-payment for executed contracts.

The session quickly surged into a shouting match, with both sides exchanging accusations.


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The committee chairperson quizzed the minister for clarity, “What was budgeted for 2023 from the accountant-general’s office, was it released to the account of the ministry of women affairs? Yes or no?”

Also, a committee member, Marie Ebikake accused the minister of not including ministry staff.

“Fortunately, I attended the last meeting, and one of the reasons we took you on oath was to get the truth from you, and today you have deviated…” Ebikake said before being interrupted by the Women Affairs minister.

Kennedy-Ohanenye, who replied heatedly, said “I take exception. I don’t like this allegation. I am no slave to anybody.

“She should withdraw that statement she said about me. It is not fair here. It is a trap but I am not going to jump into it. I fear nothing… nothing!!”

Ogbara, however, waded in, cautioning the minister against interrupting an “honourable member.”

In spite of attempts to restore order, the exchange continued for several minutes as guests and journalists watched on.

 

 

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