BBC's Kiki Mordi's expose on the nefarious activities of some randy lecturers in a couple of our higher institution of learning
in West Africa is a most welcomed development. This sex for grades scandal is an open secret that has existed for decades.
Almost everyone knows it exists in our ivory towers except you have never been to the university, don’t have a ward that
are undergraduates or have graduated or lived in the university community.
Hardly will you see female students who have not been sexually molested or know someone who has been harassed by an
academic. So it is incredibly heartwarming to see another focus on sexual harassment coming at the heel of Busola Dakolo’s
revelation on COZA Senior Pastor, Abiodun Fatoyinbo, who she alleged raped her when she was 17 year old. The accused has
since refuted the allegations and the case is in court at the moment.
If we are going to ever be able to get rid of this malaise in our higher institutions of learning, this is the way to go!
We need to keep the conversation going. The fire and outrage that these cases have generated should not be allowed to go
out. That is the only way we can stand a chance of leashing sexual predators in our midst.
There are still hundreds of Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu, Dr. Oladipo, Dr. Butakor and Professor Gyampo on the prowl in all our
universities across Nigeria and all over West Africa. We will be deceiving ourselves if we think otherwise. The BBC hour-
long documentary has just scratched the surface. There are still more sordid cases beneath that must be unraveled to
protect our women.
The era where we wring our hands helplessly while these predators have a free rein should be over forever. All hands must
be on deck as we need concerted efforts from both public and private hands to tame these sexual predators roaring and
strutting about seeking whom to devour. As we have seen in the BBC documentary, some of them are in clothing of angels -
wolves in sheep clothing, which makes it easier to lure in young girls and women into their lair.
‘Oh, he’s a pastor’ and they relax around them till it is too late and the demon strikes.
Sex for Grades Did Not Start Today
I remember the then popular artiste Eedris Abdulkareem released a song a couple of decade back graphically x-raying this
malaise. The song titled ‘Mr Lecturer’ went viral like wildfire as it aptly captured this social ill. That goes to show it
is not entirely new. It has been going on for a long time while people who should do something had bliss either turning a
blind eye and deaf ear.
If you are Been Sexually Harassed; Protect Yourself!
Our traditional media are indispensable in this drive of ridding our society of sexual predators. They have done a lot in
this regard already, doing undercover reporting to expose this sinister act like Kiki Mordi of BBC just did. Journalistic
efforts like this are commendable and should be sustained and even revved up the more if we are to have any headway with
overcoming this evil.
However, they cannot be where the sexual abuse is happening when it is happening. That is where the victims come into
play. You are in the best position to protect yourselves from randy lecturers and every other authority predators. You
must summon the courage of Ms. Monica Osagie who recorded an incriminating conversation between her and a predator
lecturer Professor Richard Akindele of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who demanded sex in order to help her improve
She later released the audio over the internet which triggered a chain of events that culminated in the dismissal of
Professor Akindele from the University.
The era of timidity and culture of silence is over. In fact, be docile in the face of sexual harassment at your own risk.
It messes up one’s emotional and mental balance that if not stemmed early may result to low self-esteem, depression and
suicidal thoughts. One of the Dr. Boniface’s victims testified to having suicidal thoughts and low esteem of self.
Our Universities Have Crucial Role to Play
Obafemi Awolowo University has taken steps to further ensure the total elimination of Sexual Harassment within the
university community; that is commendable. This should serve as a wake-up call to all our universities and spur them to
being more proactive by setting up an independent disciplinary board where students can freely report acts of sexual
harassment by any lecturer.
This disciplinary body should be so empowered and must be menacing enough that whoever gets tempted to toe the path of
ignominy would have a rethink when he considers the grave consequences of doing so. The wheel of justice cannot grind
slowly in this case; justice must be promptly dispensed.
Parents and Guardians Need To Be Attentive
Kiki Mordi’s narration in the documentary is heart rending. She had to drop out when a lecturer started molesting her
relentlessly. He refused to release her examination results for two semesters unless she sleeps with him.
She spoke of her dad with fondness. They must have been very close, and there is a high possibility that she would have
reported the randy goat to her daddy. Maybe things would have turned out differently and she would have graduated. She was
plain too young and vulnerable to be able to come up with any strong defense against the onslaught.
Parents, more than ever, you need to pay more attention to their children. You must be a listening parent; one your
children can be free to share and raise any concern with. Your children must be confident of having a listening ear in you
at all times. The fact that they are now in the higher institution does not mean they are no longer your children. You do
not have to be always around them, but you have to be present always.
Then we will be on our way to effectively putting an end to this evil that has grown deep roots in our institutions of
learning. We can begin to dislodge it from its very root and protect our women from sexual predators.