Saturday, 26 October 2019
SEX-FOR-GRADES: FORMER UNIBEN STUDENTS WRITE PETITION AGAINST LECTURERS
A petition by aggrieved female ex-students of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Benin will be submitted next Friday to the authorities of the tertiary institution, The Nation has learnt.
Mr. Aoiri Obaigbo, the convener of the petition drive, is a 1987 graduate of the Department of English and Literary Studies of the university.
Obaigbo said the petition is aimed at unmasking some lecturers in the department notorious for sexually harassing students.
Obaigbo said the petition drive became necessary to ‘investigate inter-generational allegations of sexual harassment of female students by male lecturers at the Department of English and Literature, University of Benin.
He said the petition drive has been on in the last three years.
According to Obaigbo, the objective of the petition is to resist the oppression of current students who are too scared to fight the errant lecturers
He said some female victims (names withheld) had sent petitions to the panel indicting eight lecturers of the department involved in brazen demands for sex from them.
Also a male student made allegations against some of the lecturers, pointing out areas where female students were taken advantage of or denied their grades because they refused to succumb.
The Nation gathered that some of the victims who had earlier testified withdrew their testimonies.
Obaigbo said the wishes of two victims, who for various reasons withdrew their petition, will be respected.
According to him, two of the victims cited different reasons for their withdrawal.
While one said her husband did not grant her permission to be part of the petition, the other stated that her family was concerned about the “diabolical” powers of the lecturer who was alleged to have sexually harassed her.
In Kaduna, a former student of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, who claimed she was a victim of sex-for-grade embarked on lone protest on the streets of the Kaduna State capital yesterday.
The lone protester, Salamatu Bello, had earlier in October taken her case to Twitter, alleging that a lecturer with Kaduna State University identified as Umar once sexually molested her as his student at ABU.
In the said post, Bello is seen carrying placard with the inscription: “All sexual predators from ABU are now working in KASU!!!
The development forced the management of Kaduna State University to on Wednesday suspend the lecturer after it had set up two committees to investigate the allegation.
In a related development, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai on Thursday tweeted that the accused lecturer and 15 others dismissed by ABU would be prosecuted by the Attorney General of Kaduna State.
The tweet reads: “The suspension of Mr. Umar by KASU is the first step. He and 15 lecturers sacked by nearby ABUý Zaria for sexual harassment will be fully investigated and prosecuted by the Attorney General of Kaduna State. We must face evil and end this scourge in our state.”
The Nation gathered that the said lecturer was sacked by ABU’s management over alleged misconduct bordering on sexual harassment and extortion of students in July 2013.
Bello during her one-man protest on the streets of Kaduna was accosted by newsmen and she said her protest was meant to safe the coming generations of students against sex for grade.
Bello, who carried another placard that reads “It’s your right NOT to be sexually abused as a student!” told newsmen that she was sexually abused by the said lecturer while doing her diploma between 2009 and 2010 at ABU, Zaria.
She however said, due to her protest, she has been getting text messages and calls threatening her life but that would not deter her as she is no longer scared of anything.
She said: “One thing with morality is that if you don’t checkmate it, we are as good as immoral.
“This sex for grade thing has been going on for ages in our academic institutions, but we have been covering up the people because of the Arewa (northern) silence culture that we have been practising.
“But what we have normalised today, our children and grandchildren will pay for it. There were hundreds before me and there are going to be hundreds after me. But the hundreds after me are going to be my children’s children, and I am not going to be there to say I am sorry for doing nothing to correct this immorality.
“People think I am vindictive, but I am not vindictive. This thing that happened between me and Umar has been long, but ABU to Kaduna State University (KASU) is just 70 kilometres. If you were doing something in ABU and you leave and come to continue what you were doing, somebody has to stop you.
“It took me this long to embark on this protest because of the stigma. We always had this belief that if you come out like this, nobody will marry you. But this thing has to stop.”