Following BBC documentary that exposed lecturers’ sex scandals in a Nigerian and Ghanaian university, Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, has urged Nigerians to support bills that will put an end to the act, saying nobody’s daughter deserves to be treated as fringe benefits by lecturers.
In a statement by his Special Adviser Media and Publicity, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, the senator on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, said Nigerians' support for the bills would aid its success in becoming an effective law against sexual harassment in the country.
Omo-Agege, who praised everyone who has spoken against the sexual harassment allegation levied against Boniface Igbeneghu of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) vowed that the Senate would stop the problem in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
The statement reads: “It is a problem that has caused academic injustice, depression and countless other negative effects on individuals and the society in various parts of the world.
“But the key to lasting change is for us to begin it within our own environment.
“I applaud the First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari; the First Lady of Ekiti, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; the Academic Staff Union of Universities and all those who stoutly rose in support of the BBC’s commendable journalistic endeavour that is effectively beaming light on a hidden menace.
“I am wholly convinced that the unique student-educator relationship of authority, dependency and trust should never be violated. By the maxim of loco parentis, educators are like parents.
“They owe a special fiduciary duty of care to students under their authority — students who trust and depend on them to shape their future career paths.
“It must therefore be extremely offensive to a reasonable mind where an educator treats students as ‘perquisites’ of his office.
“As a father, it is an issue that I cannot just accept. It is a shame on our conscience as a people. We will stop it.
“In 2016, with the support of several colleagues in the Senate, I tabled the Bill on the Prohibition of Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions, which provides for a five-year jail term or a fine of N5m for any lecturer convicted of sexually harassing male or female students.”
The senator went on to say that the bills will criminalise any act of neglect or failure by management of tertiary institutions in Nigeria that fail to address sexual harassment case within a specified period.
He added that the bills will also punish anyone found to have levelled false allegations of harassment against lecturers and educators.