By Joy Akinrolayo,
Yetunde Oluwatayo &
Some undergraduates in Nigerian tertiary institutions have cried out over persistent sexual harassment and extortion by their lecturers.
The victims, who are in their first and second year in the universities and polytechnics narrated their ugly experiences to The Hope on various sexual advances, intimidation and vicitmisation by their lecturers.
Recall in 2020, the Senate passed a bill titled: ‘A Bill for an Act to prevent, prohibit and redress sexual harassment of students in tertiary educational institutions and for matters concerned therewith, 2019’.
The bill, with 25 clauses, seeks to promote and protect ethical standards in tertiary institutions. It also seeks to protect students against sexual harassment as well as prevent sexual harassment of students by educators in tertiary institutions.
The bill also proposes up to 14 years jail term for offenders.
Some of the victims shared their experiences with The Hope.
A student of a Polytechnic, who simply identified herself as Ajoke, said a lecturer in her department demanded sexual relationship from her in her first three months at the Polytechnic. She disclosed that the lecturer threatened to fail her if she declined.
“I am a victim and I must say it was a very bad experience for me because I totally lost focus. I am always scared now whenever I am going for the man’s lecture.
“I declined immediately because I couldn’t stand it. He said he won’t force me to accept; that it’s my choice to make, either to be with him or fail. He even made it clear to me that he knows almost all the lecturers on campus.
“He promised me that once I accept I won’t have any problem in school both with exams and tests, but I refused him. I told him I have a boyfriend, but he said he doesn’t care all he wants is me.
“Because I refused him, he threatened to fail me. Because of him, I travelled home every weekend because I was scared.
“At some points, I didn’t know what to do. Anytime I was going to class, I would put on sunshade and when leaving, I would dodge him and take bike home, I don’t pick his calls anymore.
Ajoke told The Hope that she eventually lied to the man she was suffering from a terrible disease, making him to stop talking to her.
Sharing her experience, another student Jumoke revealed that she spent extra year in school because she did not welcome sexual advances from a lecturer.
According to her, the lecturer invited her to his office and started touching her body. Upon refusal, he threatened to fail her and he did, despite being pregnant for her partner.
“When he saw that I was pregnant, he said no problem, saying I will meet him when I want to collect my result.
“When it was time for his examination, I read his handout and note I did the exam very well so that I won’t fail the course but to my surprise, my name was on the carryover list.”
When confronted, the lecturer said, “because I refused to date him; that’s why he put my name among the carryover list, I cried out of his office that day and I was in ND11 by then. So I waited for a year to do the course again,” she explained.
Miss Seyi, a Physical and Health Education student of Federal College of Education, Okene narrated how a lecturer frustrated her because she turned down his sexual advances.
“He wooed me but I told him I can’t because he’s like my father. He told me it doesn’t matter that it is part of school life and if I accepted him, I won’t have any problem with my courses, but I refused.
“This man started picking on anything I do; sometimes, he will have problem with my makeup anytime I do makeup to the class he will ask me to clean it that is prohibited in his class. If I used wig, he will ask me to remove it that it doesn’t even fit me, if I submit an assignment or class work, he will exclude my book from the rest or asked me to do it again in the presence of everybody.”
Seyi revealed that another lecturer had to intervene before she was left alone by the randy lecturer.
Their victims attending various schools in Ondo State and beyond also shared their ugly experiences.
For Nike Baalogun (Not real name), a Mass Communication Student in a Polytechnic, she had to give her body to one of her lecturers to avoid being failed like her friend that turned down the man’s sexual advances.
“He said he will give me mark if I have sexual intercourse with him. I don’t have any choice than to give him my body,” she revealed.
Adenike added that she started ignoring classes since the man was giving her mark and money but he continued to sleep with her in his house or hotels.
“I thought I was living a good life but I did not know it is a bad life,” she regretted
Adeolu Esther of Political Science Department in another state University said one of her darkest moment in school was having an encounter with a randy lecturer.
“He asked me out when I was in 100 level, but I declined. He always tell me I cannot escape him.
“I am in 300 level now and he is still on my ‘case’. Many a time, I found it difficult to concentrate whenever I am in his class,” she revealed.
When asked why she didn’t report, just like others, she replied, “I cannot. Many of the ladies in this school can tell you one or two experiences.
“Almost all the lecturers are the same. Before you ask five students about it, three will tell you their experiences,” she concluded.