University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, has launched its policy against sexual harassment where amorous hugging between lecturers and female students is now an offence with those found guilty punished severely.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ndowa E. S. Lale at the launch of the policy ceremony, which held at Ebitime Banigo hall said the University decided to raise the bar on sexual harassment to ensure that the young men and women put in the charge of lecturers are protected, especially from antics of sexual predators who use their privileged positions to blackmail or railroad their unwilling students or subordinate staff into granting them sexual favours.

He said the management of the University in the policy document defined the rules of engagement in terms of the acceptable of engagement between lecturers, administrators and students, including visitors to the university. Prof Ndowa vowed that sanctions would be meted to earring members of staff but added that there was a robust in built checks and balances to protect those who are innocently accused.

He also warned that any person so accused would be presumed guilty until he or she could prove otherwise under the established rules of fair hearing. Prof Ndowa also warned that henceforth, lectures and administrators who did not remember to tell their tailors to sew zippers in front of their trousers should be ready to bear the consequences of their amorous liaison with female students.

He warned that the same applied to students who harassed lecturers to award them undeserved grades, saying they should equally be ready to face the music if and when caught in the act of self advertisement to their lecturers.


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The article titled “Nigerian Women Say ‘MeToo.’ Critics Say ‘Prove It.’ by Julie Turkewitz has gone viral, with Nigerians home home and abroad sharing their view on the #Cozagate incident.

This reaction – the need for proof of assault – seems to be a general one, as revealed in the article.

In Julie’s word ” But many women who have come forward in recent months have also experienced a fierce backlash, including attacks on their reputations and accusations that they’ve lied about the assaults. While their critics say they are merely applying appropriate skepticism to unproven allegations, their supporters say that the hostile reaction reveals just how difficult it is for women in the region to speak out about abuse.

Busola, speaking to the New York Times, revealed that the personal cost of coming out to tell her story has been high. “You begin to ask yourself,” she said, “did I do the right thing?” She shared that she’s been harassed on the internet, and has been threatened over the phone. She’s also had to have a very difficult conversation about rape with her three kids.

She spoke about the BBC #SexForGrades investigation, which she was although glad to see receive so much attention, also made her frustrated because Nigerians “seemed to need to see a man caught on video to take an allegation seriously.”

A woman who spoke to the New York Times about Busola’s alleged rape said that, “She was old enough to know to fight back.” The 25-year-old woman revealed that she too was a survivor of sexual assault.

Another man who spoke about the alleged rape seemed to believed that the rape actually happened, but asked that Busola forgive the pastor.

Read the full article on the New York Times.

The interview is a follow-up to BBC Africa Eye #SexForGrades undercover documentary on sexual harassment on female university students in West Africa.

Two lecturers from the University have been indicted of sexual harassment and have since been suspended.

The VC talked about the well-being of one the lecturer who attempted suicide, the “cold room”, and the steps the management are taking to eliminate re-occurrence of such situations. The DVC expressed her disappointment and also talked about steps taken by the school’s management, as well as the “panic button” project.

Watch the full interview below:



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Bisi Fayemi, wife of the Governor of Ekiti State Kayode Fayemi, has narrated how she was sexually harassed in the University, in reaction to BBC’s hour long #sexforgrade documentary which exposed randy lecturers in some Universities in Nigeria and Ghana.

Bisi said she was luckier than some of the victims because hers didn’t go far, but she noted it was an unpleasant experience.

The Ekiti state First Lady who has already opened a register to name and shame sex offenders, stated that watching the video made her realize that it is time to speak up and speak out for sexual abuse victims and not silence them because the culture of silence has endured enough. She added that most lecturers feel they are entitled to the body of their female students.

“I cried because what this young women have experience is the story of many of us who passed through higher institution in this country,” she said.

“I was educated here in Nigeria and I too was a victim of sexual harassment during my university days. I was luckier than these victims. It didn’t go that far but it was extremely unpleasant and of course back in the days when all these things happened you can’t tell anyone because if you do even up till now people ask you to keep shut.

“You know people don’t talk about things like this. I was watching the documentary and there were three words that came to me, one is voice, it is time to speak up and speak out and for those who do we need to stand with them and stand by them and not silence them because the culture of silence has endured enough.

“Another word that came to me was accountability, we need to be accountable whether there are parents, guidance or teachers or leaders in any form through out the different section of society. We have to be accountable for the well being and health of the young people in our care, from when our children come to say mummy, uncle so so and so touched me and instead of asking further to find out what’s its all about, we should act.

“There has to be accountability and the third thing that came to mind was justice, justice for victim or I choose to call them survivors and so those of us who have worked in the women’s whether at international level or Africa or national air in Nigeria, we know that we have many law and policies in place that are supposed to guard against things such as this but this law sometimes means very little because there is inadequate political” she said.



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First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has called for urgent action to address sexual harassment against students.

Mrs Buhari made the call during the exclusive screening of the BBC Africa Eye ‘Sex for Grades’ documentary on Monday night in Lagos.

The First Lady lamented that the issue of sexual harassment against women was not unique to universities, but has become prevalent in the society, including religious settings.

Mrs Buhari, represented by Aisha Rimi, a lawyer, condemned sexual harassment against students, saying it was unacceptable as the nation’s educational system had suffered many setbacks that had hindered its development.

“This simply has to change. It is no longer enough to sweep allegations under the carpet or force victims to withdraw their allegations, victimise or stigmatise them,” she said.

Mrs Buhari stressed that there are laws to protect victims of sexual harassment and abuse, but such laws cannot operate except victims speak out to get justice.

Mrs Buhari advised women that their dignity and self respect should outweigh whatever challenge they face, stating her support to ensure a sexual abuse free society for women.

She commended the BBC team for their hard work, bravery and tenacity to expose the ills facing students in the country’s tertiary institutions.

Also, Bisi Fayemi, Wife of Ekiti Governor, said it was time to speak up, speak out and stand by victims of sexual abuse, saying the culture of silence must end.

According to her, universities should have clear sexual and violence policies that will protect students and the sanctity of the educational system.

Mrs Fayemi called for a sexual offence register that would contain list of indicted lecturers, thus preventing them from moving to another university if sacked from one, to commit similar atrocity in another institution.

She stressed the need to be accountable for the well being and care of the young ones, ensure justice for survivor of sexual abuse and the political will to prosecute and punish offenders.

Mrs Fayemi urged the society to desist from shaming survivors of sexual abuse, rather name, shame and punish offenders to serve as deterrents to others.

Toun Sonaiya, Chief Executive Officer, WFM Radio, said everyone should collectively amplify their voices against issues of sexual harassment and abuse against girls and women.

She advocated a safe environment that would enable women share their experiences without fear, and ensure diligent investigation and prosecution of offenders of such allegations.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that “Sex for Grades” is a 53 minutes documentary that exposes alleged sexual harassment against students by lecturers in the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and University of Ghana, Legon.

The documentary features the personal story of Kiki Mordi, an investigative journalist with WFM Radio, who worked with the BBC Africa Eye team to expose the ills in the Universities, based on her personal experience of sexual harassment by lecturers.

During the year-long investigation, journalists posing as students made secret recordings of male academics who harass and abuse young women.

The investigation was conducted by BBC Africa Eye to expose the problem of sex for grades faced by students in many higher institutions. (NAN)


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Kiki Mordi revealed she is not bothered by those threats as the project was inspired by her personal experience which led to her dropping out of the University and becoming a graduate.

In an exclusive interview with Sahara Reporters, she said,

I have received subtle threats since this work was completed but I am not bothered because the BBC takes the security of employees seriously.

Before embarking on this project, the team prayed a lot and also sang because it helped to calm the nerves. But I had to go through the training I received over and over again because I wanted to get it right.

The biggest goal of this work was to be louder than the aggressor because sexual harassment is very loud. I wanted it to be silenced.

I am happy that a lot is changing already since the documentary was release and I can confirm to you that one of the lecturers at the University of Lagos caught sexually harassing a prospective student has been dismissed by the institution.

I believe it doesn’t stop there until there is a conviction. We have to break that culture of impunity.

Since the video went viral, the exposed UNILAG lecturer has been suspended and barred by the Management of the University. The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria also announced the suspension of Boniface Igbeneghu on Monday.



Credit: Bella Naija