Babafemi Badejo, a former envoy of the United Nations (UN), has taken a swipe at the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, over the threats she made to file a lawsuit against the global body.
Recall that the minister while speaking at a Press Conference in Abuja on Monday, claimed that the UN has been receiving money from donors on behalf of Nigerians.
Kennedy-Ohanenye further gave the global body an ultimatum to explain itself or face legal action from her ministry.
However, her comment and threat have sparked various reactions from Nigerians, including Badejo, the former Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia.
In a statement on Tuesday, Badejo said the minister’s comment had portrayed the country in a bad light, adding that she should be more coordinated and appropriately socialised in her duties.
The former diplomat said while it is very proper for the minister to ask for accountability and transparency, her approach can “portray Nigeria in a bad light”.
Badejo stated that the minister should have been apprised of the importance of diplomatic and functional immunity that the UN and its officials enjoy.
He called on Kennedy-Ohanenye to “make a big difference” in her ministry by building processes to empower women and “thereby reduce national poverty”.
The statement reads: “Experience shows that some UN officials are corrupt, and some have accordingly been jailed. However, there are laid down arrangements for such requests by a sovereign nation.
“Not following the laid down procedure and embarking on media grandstanding can only portray Nigeria in a bad light. Nigeria is telling the world that it lacks the requisite leadership and structures for appropriate operation in the community of nations.
“The United Nations system’s counterpart in Nigeria is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Even, if the minister of foreign affairs, after exhaustive dialogue within his department of international organisations, has decided on the need to request transparency from the UN, it is expected that he would take the case to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) before articulating, if at all, such a weighty position at a media show.
“In which court is our Minister of Women Affairs intending to embark on her frolic? What would be the charges? What is the expected outcome of such a litigation process?
“The Minister of Women Affairs will do well to address corruption in her ministry by collaborating with the ongoing probe, by at least one of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies.”