In view of the recent British Broadcasting Corporation’s documentary which exposed sex-for-marks episodes in Nigerian and Ghanaian universities, FUNMI AREMU spoke with some people on what they really think about the issue.
Boluwatife Adeshina, fashion designer
SEX-FOR-GRADES is something that should not be welcome in our society because I feel lecturers do not only impart knowledge, they also impart morals. Lecturers should not imbibe such. But it is not just the lecturers that are at fault; students are also at fault. Most of these ladies dress indecently to classes and visit lecturers in their offices for the purpose of seducing them. A student should not visit lecturers in their offices for personal reasons above. We also know that some lecturers intentionally fail students who decline their sex-for-grades offer while some students also offer to have sex for good grades and even go to the extent of paying for the expenses. This habit should not be encouraged at all in the universities, including secondary schools. This attitude is wrong both morally and psychologically.
Seun Akinola, ex-corps member
I want to be very fair on this issue. Lecturers try to victimise and assault students in order to have sex with them. Students also seduce lecturers in order to get good grades. Why can’t we just have lecturers who are morally upright? In the university I attended, we have lecturers who engaged in such acts and even victimised male students who are close to the female students they are interested in. Lecturers should be role models and have the interest of students at heart and not try to leverage on the weaknesses of the students, thereby making things difficult for them academically. How did we get here? Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has reminded the Senate that there’s a bill on such act and it should be looked into and passed into law so that offenders will face disciplinary action.
Male lecturers are supposed to be father figures and role models. We also have female lecturers asking for sex in exchange for good grades. We have a number of homosexuals and lesbians, so the victims are both male and female students. I am really impressed with the BBC documentary, because it has given our government and the society an insight into what is happening in our universities and I’m sure the perpetrators will be brought to book as this will serve as a lesson to other offenders.
Mr Ismail Omotosho, IBEDC official
It is embarrassing to an individual who is being harassed or coerced into doing something against his or her wish. Students need to be enlightened on what to do and to always speak out if they find themselves in situations like this. There should be laws in place to punish offenders that are found guilty.
Alexander Alade Abiola, corps member
The Unilag lecturer that was caught on a tape asking for sex from a female student for marks is a big disappointment. With this type of negative development, the future of our nation is quite blurry. However, from what I gathered, I think the whole scenario was a set up. I don’t think the man is actually guilty of the offence he was said to have committed. He may have done it in the past, but that particular one I saw on that video clip looks like an edited video to me. But regardless of that, that act should serve as a deterrent to other lecturers. The popular saying that: “every day for the thief and one day for the owner,” is very true.
Tolu Odedeyi, ex-corps member
Sex-for-grades is not a new thing in most Nigerian universities. Thanks to social media and journalists who are making people aware of it. It is something that has been there for a long time and it’s a very bad thing. I hope the recent exposure will curb the act and serve as a deterrent to the lecturers who engage in it. Most times, female students are not actually victims as some willingly submit themselves to the lecturers in return for grades as a result of laziness, low self esteem or for fear of a carry over. It’s a condemnable act. Institutions and government should put in place more laws to guard against this act and offenders should be punished accordingly as this would serve as a lesson to others.
Ayo Agbeoluwaye Charles, corps member
This is a disturbing issue in Nigerian tertiary institutions because it is regarded as norm in most institutions. Students that are victimized do not have the courage to speak out because of the stigma attached to it. Thankfully, the managements of institutions are doing the right thing in punishing the offenders by looking into the situation and taking the necessary steps to discipline them. I want students who are being victimised to speak out so that we can put a stop to such acts in our society.
Mahmoud Ahmed Baffa, public speaker
From the stories going around in our institutions, it Is clear these lecturers will pounce on anything, anyhow they could. So I think Nigerians have done enough to expose these things, and I hope the appropriate authorities would investigate those involved and punish them accordingly if found guilty.
It is good that people are now coming out to speak against these things and sharing their experiences on the subject. We used to sweep it under the carpet or assume that it happens with mutual consent or that the so called victims must have tempted the offenders.
Olufemi Ifeoluwa, ex corps member
The scenario is in two ways. Some female students go to lecturers without any prompting. Such lecturer can easily give in. Sometimes, some lecturers pick on a particular female student to meet him in his office after lectures/ examination and if the student didn’t yield, she might fail the lecturer’s course.
This may have a negative effect in a victim’s mental and physical health. Such effects include low self-esteem, anger, depression, anxiety and psychological trauma. Sadly, sexual harassment is viewed by some lecturers as just a part of life, the victim tend to live with such pain for a lifetime and the most painful part of this is, it’s not always reported and the perpetrators are allowed to go free.
Lecturers who engage in sex-for-marks must be punished and victims should be encouraged to speak up and take necessary legal action, which will serve as a warning to their fellow perpetrators.