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Nigerian poet Chijioke Amu-nnadi is currently trending on social media following allegations of sexual molestation.

A group of young women, including Miracle Adebayo and Mary Ajayi who are both writers, have come forward in the last few days, claiming that Mr. Amu-nnadi made aggressive and unwanted sexual advances.

[Click here if you missed it.]

Given Amu-nnadi’s long-standing relationship with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), people have been wondering whether the leadership of the ANA would make a public statement.

Amu-nnadi is a registered member of the association. His poetry collection, The Fire Within, won the 2002 ANA Gabriel Okara Prize for Literature. In 2013, Through the Window of a Sand Castle won the ANA Poetry Prize. Besides, everyone involved in the scandal are writers and the events took place within the context of their relationship as writers.

A few hours ago, Juliet Kego Ume-Onyido, one of the members of the independent investigative team working on the case, posted a message attributed to, President of the ANA. 

“I as President of ANA have refrained from making any hasty statement on the matter, in spite of calls and messages I have received to come out to say something. I like the clinical, forensic and dispassionate approach Juliet and her organization have taken on the matter. I fully support their method and will be willing to officially get their briefings and reports.

It will help in setting the boundaries in relationships in the literary commune and help people to be on their guards against improper behavior. ANA has a constitution and a code of conduct which has sanctions for such a moral infraction as sexual harassment. ANA as an organization has over 34 years of experience in carrying out outreach programmes to schools and mentoring of both young boys and girls.

Never has it been assailed as a conclave of people assaulting its young members of either sex.This present saga around an individual out of the multitude of members of ANA will not be allowed to bring the Association to disrepute. Rather we will learn from it and become better; and more sensitive to ordinary looking situations that can bend around to become an abuse. Juliet and the group working on this matter have my full support.”

 

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

4 Responses to “Association of Nigerian Authors Breaks Silence on Sexual Molestation Allegations Against Chijioke Amu-nnadi” Subscribe

  1. Hannah 2016/01/21 at 02:13 #

    -“…and more sensitive to ordinary looking situations that can bend around to become an abuse.”

    That right there. To be honest, when I read the post here yesterday and followed the links to Facebook and the posts and comments there, my first reaction was: Okay (heave sigh of relief), it was just a kiss, albeit unwanted. But there’s the danger! Kisses are no small thing, no matter that he didn’t grope body parts–we think. But na from clap them dey take enter dance, abi?

    As a woman, I don’t want to imagine receiving a ‘forceful kiss’ from a man who I had just made my first acquaintance with just minutes before, especially when I had given no signals that I was interested in him. Even if he’s Michael Jackson! If you’re interested in a woman, you would feel the terrain first, guage her feelings for you, allow some time to pass, etc, before making a move like that. And it certainly shouldn’t be forceful. But I’m talking about a ‘normal’ situation.

    Was the man horny after a long trip? Wanting to let off steam? There are ways to do that without grabbing a woman and kissing her. I enjoy his poetry, but all this has made my regard for him drop. His reputation is at stake, and I hope he will be more responsive to the allegations made against him, telling his own side of the story, and not just tapping out an apology where his ‘writer’s excesses’ are mentioned in a self-deprecating, slightly humorous way. To shut people up, obviously. What are “writer’s excesses”? I’m a writer, and I haven’t heard of that before. Do stuff like that help his Muse? Goodness.

  2. Toriola 2016/01/21 at 08:22 #

    “Writer’s excesses” is an arrogant, pretentious excuse. Dude you are not Hemingway. Now if he wants to live the “hard boozing, skirt chasing, burning the candle at both ends” writer fantasy lifestyle that is his prerogative. But it is not a license to violate people’s boundaries. In these instances they were at professional events not dates. He did not see these women as his peers, he saw them as his prey.

  3. Nnamdi 2016/01/23 at 03:12 #

    “Writer’s excesses” is a euphemism and a feeble attempt at saving face. We don’t expect him to hang himself in public. I think he has apologized (it can’t be enough) for what he did. Let’s not cry more than the bereaved.

  4. over here 2016/09/24 at 21:54 #

    hi!,I really like your writing so much! percentage
    we keep up a correspondence extra approximately your post oon AOL?
    I need an expert on thios house to solve
    my problem. May be that’s you! Taking a look ahead to see you.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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