Blog entry by Adeniyi Ige
The recent revelation by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) undercover reporter, “sex for grades,” at my alma mater is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the flesh of some of our tertiary institution’s tutors and requires urgent surgical operation. This is also a global epidemic as the Guardian news in 2017, reported sexual harassment at epidemic levels in the United Kingdom and the United States of America tertiary institutions.
At the University of Lagos (Unilag), male students are also harassed and should be tagged “cash for grades.” It should be recognized that some students are also culpable because they willingly offer cash or sex for grades.
The BBC documentary exposed Boniface Igbeneghu, senior lecturer at the faculty of arts, and head pastor of the local Foursquare Gospel Church. Eedris Abdulkareem, in his 2003 track, “Mr Lecturer,” had mimicked the likes of Boniface. “I go tell your mummy,” can be heard in both clips. Eedris dedicated the track to all those facing such humiliation.
Unilag has issued a press statement suspending Boniface Igbeneghu. Sadly, this action is only as a result of the BBC's reportage. Lack of institutional mechanisms to prosecute “sexual harassment,” at our tertiary institutions has encouraged its growth. What would be the magnitude of revelations if the walls of the “cold room,” could speak?
One solution would be to empower and support Women's rights groups; They should be able to investigate and charge such cases to court whilst ensuring the victims are protected on campus. Erring lecturers would easily be brought to their knees.