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.
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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.”