Nigeria: Swiss Newspaper Apologises to Okonjo-Iweala Over 'Grand Mother' Tag

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

As Nigeria's former minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resumes office yesterday as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) she thanked all her "sisters" and "UN Women Leaders" and ambassadors that called out Aargauer Zeitung, a Swiss newspaper that called her "Grandmother" when she was confirmed as the WTO DG in February. This is even as the said newspaper has apologised for its editorial misadventure.

This is contained in a tweet Okonjo-Iweala published through her verified Tweeter handle, yesterday, where she also acknowledged the apology by the newspaper and attached the letter of apology by the newspaper to her tweet. She wrote, "I'm thankful to all my sisters, UN Women Leaders and the 124 Ambassadors in Geneva who signed the petition on calling out the racist & sexist remarks in this newspaper. It is important & timely that they've apologized."

In the apology letter signed by Samuel Schumacher, Foreign Editor-In-Chief of Aargauer Zeitung, the newspaper wrote: "In our print edition of Tuesday 9 February 2021 we ran an article on the new head of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The article also appeared in our online edition and in other newspapers, Luz erner Zeitung und St. Galler Tagblatt and their online editions.

"In our editorial office, we gave the article about the new head of the world trade organisation the heading 'This grandmother will be the new chief of the World Trade Organisation.' This headline was inappropriate and unsuitable. The title sparked angry reactions from readers. We apologise for this editorial mistake.

"The author of the article, Jan Dirk Herbermann, did not write this headline. We did not inform Mr Herbermann about this headline.

Therefore Mr Herbermann is not in any way responsible for this headline.

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