The struggles of an undergraduate in a Nigerian University is more than meets the eye. Between the dilapidated infrastructure, incessant strike actions, obsolete lectures that does little to prepare the students for the real world, cranky staff, canceled lectures (Ife Law students can relate), there’s also the dilemma of being the sexual harassment target of lecturers.
This has been a norm in universities and stories abound to support this claim. Students carefully pick subjects, not because of their interest but to avoid certain lecturers. Some students won’t attend lectures to avoid a certain lecturer. Students wear fake wedding rings just because they think it will ward these lecturers off but these measures have been of little assistance.
Less than a week back, Ms. Kiki Mordi (a presenter of BBC Africa) released a video that spurred various reactions from the Nigerian community. This act has been praised by many while some individuals have also condemned her actions. It was a video of a lecturer who has always been in the habit of soliciting sexual favors in exchange for grades or admission.
This lecturer, Dr. Boniface Igbenuhue of the University of Lagos eventually met his waterloo as he was set up by the BBC Reporter who posed as a seventeen-year-old seeking admission. He fell into the trap and has since been suspended. It is rather baffling that after the sex scandal of Prof. Akindele Richard of Obafemi Awolowo University, Dr. Sunkanmi Odubunmi and Dr. Ajani Ogunwande of Lagos State University, these lecturers haven’t learned their lesson yet.
Celebrities like Toke Makinwa, Timi Dakolo, and Seun Kuti have all reacted on social media platforms condemning this barbaric act. Some righteous Nigerians have also preached their gospel that female students should share in the blame given their fashion lifestyle and some female students make advances towards lecturers too. While this is somewhat true, it is also an act that has been condemned by many. However, this issue is not about them but about the lecturers who would choose to abuse their powers.
Prof. Mopelola Omoegun, a lecturer at the University of Lagos, and a former Dean, Faculty of Education in her interview with Vanguard states, “It takes two to tango and any disciplined female student who is willing, can avoid falling victim to randy lectures.
First and foremost, female students should be up and doing in their studies. They should resist the temptation of asking for favors because lecturers with poor self-control see this as an opportunity. The manner in which a student dresses is also important. If you do not make yourself vulnerable, it’s going to be difficult for you to become a victim”.
This is a disappointing speech given by someone who is supposed to be a lecturer; someone who should be enlightening the public. It turns out she is the one who needs to be enlightened. There have been reports of covered Muslim sisters being sexually harassed too and is this because they were indecently or “ostentatiously” dressed?
These acts should be condemned regardless of how ladies are dressed, it is barbaric and is an abuse of public trust. Their tactics have always been approaching female students and withholding their results until these students would be the ones begging to see the lecturer. Then, the lecturers will initiate #SexForGrades.
One tactic female students employ to avoid the eyes of these randy lecturers is wearing fake wedding rings, but this has never worked. May students have had to transfer to other institutions (private universities), many have had to forget their degrees because they wouldn’t sleep with a lecturer and have written the same exam three times over while some had to drop their dignity and pride and succumb to the demands of these lecturers.
There are various reasons why students go to the lecturer’s office. One is trying to arrange for a make-up test because the student couldn’t attend the first test owing to medical reasons, financial reasons, etc. Trying to get a lecturer’s recommendation for an application can also be a reason for visiting a lecturer’s office. This is why a lecturer-student relationship can not be totally discouraged.
The above picture is another sexual predator threatening to sue BBC for uploading his session soliciting for sexual favors in exchange for admission. In his words “I meant no harm by having sexual conversations with her including talking about breasts, sex with her and promising to marry her”. If thinking about sex and promising to marry an admission seeker isn’t enough to harm, I don’t know what is harmful then.
The Federal Government needs to address this barbaric norm beyond the Sexual Harassment Bill passed by the National Assembly. It needs a more proactive approach as the hub for education is fast becoming a den for sexual predators and humping rabbits. The Education sector needs more than the 81bn naira allocated to it.
This is a fight against leaders in public positions who would rather abuse the public trust by sexually harassing, seeking sexual favors in exchange for grades, or even harass male students just to extort them financially. Everyday is for the thief, one day is for the owner, the Day of Reckoning is here for these predators.
This is a challenge for the young generation to fight for their future and country by exposing people who constantly abuse their power and office. If you know anyone who is or has been a victim, kindly encourage them to tell their truths; they’d be saving a generation. To the members of the Sexual Predators Pack (SPP), always remember AfricaEye is always watching. It just might be you tomorrow.