Connect with us

OPINION

Time for INEC Chairman, Mahmud Yakubu, to Resign

Published

on

Time for INEC Chairman, Mahmud Yakubu, to Resign
Share
By Femi Aribisala

Having been caught in lies upon lies, Mahmood Yakubu should do the honourable thing for a change. It is not realistic to insist that President Buhari should fire him. That is unlikely to happen since he is working to protect the president’s interests.

But there is one road still open to Yakubu.
He should resign without further delay.
He has done enough damage already.

The logic is simple. The 2019 presidential election in Nigeria cannot be, by all accounts, the worst election in the history of Nigeria without the corresponding chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) being, at the same time, the worst INEC chairman in the history of Nigeria.

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, presided over an atrocious and fraudulent election that is now being fiercely contested in the courts. He can no longer remain as INEC chairman.

INEC is supposed to be an impartial umpire in elections in Nigeria. However, it is now obvious that Mahmood Yakubu’s INEC operated essentially as an arm of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The evidence is overwhelming that Yakubu’s INEC massively rigged the election in favour of the government. If integrity and impartiality is to be restored to INEC, Yakubu must leave immediately. If the confidence of Nigerians is to be restored in INEC, then the country deserves a complete overhaul of the organisation.

INEC Shenanigans

INEC, under Mahmood Yakubu, has lost all credibility. It is now practically impossible to believe anything that comes from the organization. The election results it declared defied commonsense. The figures did not add up. The election was not even rigged intelligently. It was rigged on the presumption of impunity.

In many cases, no voters were accredited, nevertheless fictitious returns were made. In others, total votes cast far exceeded the registered voters. In Borno, for example, only 372,347 votes were cast. However, 919,786 votes were declared; an inflation of 547,439 votes. The printing of election materials was contracted to the company of a member of the APC, who was also one of the party’s senatorial candidates.

Before the election, the use of card readers was declared to be mandatory. It was affirmed that the vote would be declared null and void where the card reader was not used. Nevertheless, in most areas of the North, the card reader was not used. The votes were simply inflated and deflated at INEC’s discretion.

In areas of the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP)’s strength, elections were strategically cancelled and supplementary elections scheduled. This ultimately enabled INEC to declare losers as winner and to convert winners into losers; as it happened, for example, in Kano.

But what has proved to be the most indicting of INEC has been the question of the central server. Having somehow obtained the result posted on the INEC central server, Atiku has demonstrated that it is completely different from the result INEC declared publicly. On the INEC server, Atiku prevailed over Buhari by a plurality of 1.6 million votes, while INEC publicly declared that Buhari won the election by nearly four million votes.

Atiku Must Be Stopped

When the APC discovered, to its dismay, that Atiku had access to the INEC central server and had somehow obtained the real and authentic results of the 2019 presidential election, it went into panic mode. The party’s first knee-jerk response was to petition the police to arrest Atiku for hacking into the INEC server. But if Atiku did in fact hack into the server, what does that mean for the results he found there? The afterthought was to insist that Atiku posted fake results into the server.

However, APC kingpins realized there would be trouble ahead if Atiku went public with his findings. The man had to be stopped; otherwise the victory they were celebrating would be in jeopardy. Therefore, they opted for the anomaly whereby, although Buhari himself lost the presidential election of three previous occasions and took the matter to court every time, they became determined that Atiku must be dissuaded from taking the matter to court.

Emissaries, friends, some members of the National Peace Committee, some Northern elites and powers close to Atiku were sent to dissuade him from challenging the election at the Tribunal, fearful that Buhari’s pyrrhic victory would be scuttled if he did so. When that did not work, Lai Mohammed accused Atiku of treasonable felony and conspiracy against the federal government. So doing, it was felt that Atiku would be forced to plea bargain and part of the deal would be that his petition be cancelled.

It has now come to light that hundreds of fake Facebook pages were created to sell propaganda against Atiku. These were discovered and Facebook has already closed them. They were designed to sell the lie that Atiku is corrupt and that he is a wanted felon in the United States. But all that collapsed when Atiku visited the United States in 2018, demonstrating once and for all that the insinuations that he could not go there without being arrested were all lies.

The same APC pretending to be holier-than-thou has ended up electing Femi Gbajabiamila as the new speaker of the House of Representatives, in spite of the fact that it is on record that he was convicted for professional misconduct by the Supreme Court of Georgia, U.S.A. for defrauding a client. It has also elected Ovie Omo Agege as deputy Senate president, despite the fact that he was also convicted of a felony while practicing law in the United States.

Servers Don’t Exist

Against all their pleas and arm-twisting, the shoe finally dropped when Atiku filed his petition. He posted for all to see that the result on the INEC server shows he won the election; and he authenticated this by quoting the serial numbers unique to the INEC server.

On this issue, the word from INEC has turned out to be lies upon lies. INEC’s first gambit was to declare to an incredulous public that it has no central electronic servers. Only God knows how it expected to get away with this lie. INEC officials had spent the better part of the campaign season boasting that their central server would make rigging elections obsolete in Nigeria. That, they had set up servers in each of the 36 states of Nigeria and in Abuja.

So, how could INEC now say it does not have a server? Where are the data of the 80 million registered voters stored if not in an electronic server? How does the card reader authenticate a voter’s PVC card without an electronic server? INEC conveniently forgot that it admitted publicly that it used its servers to collate results in the previous Ekiti and Osun elections. So, how did these servers suddenly disappear?

Servers Were Not Used

It soon became apparent that the lie that there are no servers could not be sustained, so INEC tried another gambit. It then said an INEC central server actually exists, but it was not used for the election. It was only used for rehearsals and dummy runs.

So, how are we to explain the situation where INEC collected over N1 billion to upgrade the existing server against the 2019 elections, only to now shamelessly tell Nigerians that it only used it for experiments? What then was the point of the upgrade? Did rehearsals not already take place during the Ekiti and Osun elections.

Why did Mahmood Yakubu boast before the election that: “we are pioneering and deploying in 2019 general elections, a new platform for the electronic collation and transmission of results.”

Clearly, another better lie became necessary again. So INEC tried this one for size. It said it could not have engaged in electronic collation of results because the Electoral Act intended to validate the process was not signed into law by the president. But this is simply not going to wash because INEC does not need the president’s permission in order to engage in the electronic collation of results.

Section 160 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution states categorically that: “in the case of the Independent National Electoral Commission, its powers to make its own rules or otherwise regulate its own procedure shall not be subject to the approval or control of the president”.

Servers Were Used

But now the matter has been taken out of INEC’s hands. INEC has turned on itself. No less than 20 officials deployed during the election as electoral officers have now come forward to say that they transmitted results electronically to a central server, using their smart card readers during the 2019 presidential election. In effect, the cat is now out of the bag. INEC and Mahmood Yakubu need to go back to their factory and manufacture other lies about the server.

The question now is how did INEC think it could get away with all these lies, with so many people involved? Why was it necessary for INEC to tell all these lies? It can only be because it was fraudulent with the election. It can only be because it is trying to hide the truth that the result it declared to Nigerians claiming Buhari won the election is a lie. The true result must be the one in its server, which it is trying to say does not exist.

Servers Out of Bounds

So, INEC had to change its line of defence yet again. Atiku wants the court to give him permission to inspect the INEC server. Even if the results posted there have been deleted, they can still be retrieved by forensic experts. What is INEC’s response to this? It does not want Atiku to see its non-existent server that has now resurrected from the dead. It does not want its server released to Atiku, in spite of saying it was not used to collate the result. If it was not used, why not confidently submit it for inspection, knowing nothing would be found there?

The long and short of this is that Mahmood Yakubu’s INEC can no longer be believed. By the earlier denial of not owning any servers, INEC is already guilty of evidence tampering, whether or not the servers contain the results as claimed by Atiku. Not wanting to release the server for inspection shows INEC has something to hide. It shows there is information in the server which it does not want to reveal to Atiku’s legal team and Nigerians.

What all this conveys is that Atiku actually won the election, but INEC manipulated the results against him.

Having been caught in lies upon lies, Mahmood Yakubu should do the honourable thing for a change. It is not realistic to insist that President Buhari should fire him. That is unlikely to happen since he is working to protect the president’s interests. But there is one road still open to Yakubu. He should resign without further delay. He has done enough damage already.

With regard to the presidency, this is no longer a question of nullifying the election. The only option left is to declare Atiku Abubakar as the elected president of Nigeria outrightly.

OPINION

Oronsaye Report and Tinubu`s Bold Step in Belling the Cat

Published

on

Share

Analysis by Okon Okon

 The trajectory of implementing the Stephen Oronsaye-led committee report on federal civil service reform on learner government can be likened to the popular idiom and fable of belling the cat.

Simply put, “Who will bell the cat?”, the idiom translates to being brave enough to do something that will be for the good and benefit of all, but it is considered, dangerous or difficult to achieve.

According to Wikipedia, the fable that gives rise to the idiom “concerns a group of mice who debate plans to nullify the threat of a marauding cat.

“One of them proposes placing a bell around its neck, so that they are warned of its approach.

“The plan is applauded by the others, until one mouse asks, who will volunteer to place the bell on the cat. All of them make excuses.”

Everybody seems to agree that we’ve got to bell the cat, but no one wants to step forward and volunteer to lead.

The Federal Government during former President Goodluck Jonathan, took a wise decision to run the nation`s governance in such a way to ease some of the financial burden in the country.

To achieve this, Jonathan’s government formed a committee headed by Mr Steven Oronsaye, who was a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

The committee came up with the idea of merging some of the parastatal agencies in Ministry Departments and Agencies so as to reduce the costs of governance in the country.

The idea was to scrap, merge 220 out of the then existing 541 government agencies.

The committee was seen, not only as a palliative measure that serves as the foundation for reducing the cost of governance but to also ensure the effective means of reforming the nation`s civil service.

The report which was first issued in 2012 received the Federal Executive Council`s approval for review, restructure and recommendations for the implementation of the White Paper for rationalisation of some agencies.

But unfortunately, Jonathan`s government could not go beyond the stage of presentation of the White Paper until the administration came to an end.

Again, coming on board, former President Muhammadu Buhari`s administration set up another committee to look into the significance of Oronsaye report, still aiming at restructuring/rationalising the agencies.

Buhari set up another three sub-committees headed by former Heads of Service of the Federation – Bukar Aji, Amal Pepple and Ebele Okeke.

He promised to implement the report, citing dwindling resources, rising costs of governance as major reasons to merge some of the agencies.

The committees were given different tasks to review Oronsaye report led by Goni Aji, review of agencies established from 2014 to 2021 led by Amal Pepple and publish the White Paper on the reports of the first two committees, chaired by Ebele Okeke.

Inaugurating the committees, Buhari who was represented by Mr Boss Mustapha, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation said:

“I have directed that the Orosanye White Paper Report be subjected to immediate review to enable the government take the most appropriate decision on its general recommendation.

“I am aware that the review is about to be completed. While some may complain about the length of time it has taken thus far.

“The outcome of the various review teams would lead to some fundamental changes in the structure of our civil service and as such it must be subjected to rigorous review and scrutiny before presentation and implementation.’’

He assured that his administration remained focused on strengthening the service and ensuring it helps the government fulfill its objectives.

Meanwhile, Ebele Okeke in her response noted that it was pertinent to liaise with the leadership of the National Assembly to achieve the desired result, adding that most of the agencies created were products of bills from them.

Coming on board, President Bola Tinubu also put into consideration the significance of the reports so as to achieve part of his administration`s agenda in reforming the civil service sector.

It will be recalled that the President on Feb. 26 ordered the full implementation of the Oronsaye report.⁣

On March 7, He inaugurated an 11-member committee to implement the approved recommendations of the report.

The president was represented at the inaugural ceremony by Sen. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Tinubu explained that the implementation of the White Paper on the report would involve the merger, relocation, subsuming or scrapping of some of the parastatals, agencies, and commissions.

He said that the exercise was meant to reduce cost of governance and streamline efficiency across the governance value chain.

Tinubu said the committee would review the current mandates of the affected parastatals, agencies and commissions to understand their existing functions, responsibilities and objectives.

The committee was given 12 weeks within which to submit its report.

“The committee would also identify redundancies and overlaps or conflicting objectives among the mandates of different organisational units.

“Other guidelines are to define strategic objectives to ensure the revised mandates align with the strategic objectives and priorities of the government.

“It is also expected to engage key stakeholders and gather inputs and feedback on the proposed revisions to the mandates, among others.”

Approval for the implementation of the Oronsaye report is coming 12 years after the panel submitted its report and multiple attempts made at implementing its recommendations.

Commenting, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the move was meant, not only to reduce the cost of governance, but to free up monies for reinvestment into developmental projects.

According to him, the Nigerian government could save over N241b if the report is duly implemented.

“The goal is to fine-tune and to restructure government operations as a whole and to reduce the cost of governance because some of these agencies are performing very similar functions.

“So the government thought it wise that there is the need – since this committee had already been set up, white paper has already been produced, to take a bold decision to revisit that.”

In reaction to the move, some Nigerians workers and stakeholders from other sectors lauded Tinubu`s concern to finally make a decision to implement the report 12 years after.

They appealed to the Federal Government to be fair in the implementation of the report so as to protect workers from losing their jobs.

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, a civil servant, said the implementation of the report, aimed at restructuring the federal government’s departments and agencies, was a step in the right direction.

According to Ahmed, the implementation of the report will save the country billions of Naira in budget allocations to some agencies with overlapping functions.

“It is a right step at reducing the cost of governance. The downsizing of the departments and agencies is expected to save Nigeria a lot of money.

“But, my appeal to the government is to ensure that workers in the affected agencies are not thrown into the labour market,” she said.

Similarly, Nigeria Civil Service Union (NSCU), through its President Mr Asogwa Gupada, also appealed to the Federal Government to handle the process of the implementation of the report to ensure that it would not lead to job loss.

The stakeholders emphasised that while the decision by the president came at the right time the country was grappling with a biting economy, it must not be used to inflict pains on workers by relieving them of their jobs.

No doubt, with the submissions by stakeholders, implementing the Oronsaye report is desirable for the country, even with its possible attendant implications and effects.

They all agreed that decreasing the cost of governance and enhancing efficiency throughout the governance value chain is inevitable.

Meanwhile, the 12 weeks given to the implementation committee inaugurated by President Tinubu on March 7, will be due on May 30.Therefore, with just a few days to the conclusion of work by the implementation committee, the subsequent steps by President Tinubu will determine whether he will not give excuses, but be “the bold mice to bell the cat”.

Continue Reading

OPINION

Taming the Festering Insecurity: Good Governance as Magic Wand

Published

on

Share

By Chidi Omeje

There is a community of people who believe that the only way out of the raging internal security challenges assailing this country is to deploy our troops to shoot their way out of our problems. For believers in such ‘militarist approach to internal security management’ (and they are found mostly among our political elites), the Nigerian military possesses the magic wand with which it can figuratively wave at the multifaceted internal security challenges and they will vanish.

If you want to understand the predilection of our political elites for military deployment to deal with any security infraction, cast your mind back to when these current Service Chiefs were newly appointed and how state governors were trooping to the Armed Forces Complex in downtown Garki Abuja for courtesy visits to the new military czars.

To them (the governors), outsourcing the headache of the security challenge in their respective domains to the military was such an elixir that took away the pain of having to think outside the box. I mean, why worry about coming up with smart governance ideas that could tame rising insecurity when there are willing, able and ready troops with magic bullets available to shoot down the security challenges?

The curious irony, though, is that it is the same political elite who rely mostly on the ready-availability of soldiers who are usually the harshest in thumbing down the troops whenever there is a slip up in operations and also the loudest in amplifying such missteps using the instrumentality of the media. Very often, you see disgruntled or attention-seeking politicians pick on the military with the illusion that by attacking them, they are getting at the Federal Government.

And so, the deployment of military troops for various internal security purposes has become so commonplace that it is now a reflex action for governments (federal and states) and even citizens to look up to soldiers to take care of any reported security infraction. Even more telling is the fact that, owing to the Nigerian military’s subordination to civil authorities and its vaunted readiness to be deployed to flashpoints, some other security agencies have conveniently abdicated their responsibilities and are currently more interested in ‘comfort zones’ like VIP protection!

The systematic bastardisation of the architecture of our internal security operations, to the point that the last line of defence in internal security operations (Nigerian military) is now the first responders, while the otherwise designated lead agency (Nigeria Police) takes the back seat, is a topic for another day, but nothing really disproves the grandiose expectations from the Nigerian military more than the unsavoury reality on the ground.

The reality staring us in the face is that despite the indefatigable efforts of troops of the Nigerian military, who are currently deployed in 36 out of 36 states to combat security challenges, insecurity is not only rising across the regions and states, it is appearing to be intractable.

What does that tell us? It tells us that a military (kinetic) approach to internal security operations is not the cure-all solution to security problems. Relying solely on the military is akin to treating just the symptoms of an ailment, while ignoring the root cause.

Unless the disease that is the root cause of the symptom is treated, the illness will persist, despite the efforts committed to addressing it. So are the internal security challenges confronting our country; if we don’t tackle the root cause, merely shooting at its manifestations is just scratching the surface, and that root cause is bad governance!

Bad governance, especially at the sub-national level, is the chief predisposing factor to crime and criminality across Nigeria. Who doesn’t know that there is a correlation between bad governance (which breeds poverty) and the spike in crimes and criminality? Who doesn’t know that inept and corrupt leadership breeds poverty, hunger, misery, despondency, frustration, irritability, desperation, and, ultimately, criminality in society?

Of course, nothing is more axiomatic than the saying that a hungry man is an angry man, and that such a person will listen more to the rumblings in his empty stomach than any sanctimonious preaching of patriotism or good behaviour.

In fact, the hungry man gets angrier and more fatalistic seeing how those entrusted with the common patrimony are abusing the state treasury, living large and in mindless opulence with their families and cronies, at his expense. He becomes irritable and petulant as he is further deprived of social amenities and denied social justice; he turns desperate, daring and deviant, as his the limit of his endurance wanes.

It actually takes exceptional self-discipline and the grace of God for anyone in such a perennial bracket of poverty to escape the above trajectory. Therein lies the correlation between bad governance and the spike in crimes and criminality in society.

A caveat, though: The above scenario is not an attempt to criminalise poverty but to draw attention to how bad governance predisposes citizens to anti-social behaviour.

It is bad governance (corruption, ineptitude and resultant malfeasance) that bred the army of hungry, restless unemployed youths across the country today; it is bad governance that manufactured 18.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria; it is bad governance that ensures the lack of institutional capacities, which, in turn, deny citizens of social and economic rights.

All these negatives, which are orchestrated by inept and corrupt governance, are what have ensured a steady stream of prospective conscripts into crimes and criminalities in our country. It is no brainer, therefore, that the only way out is a change of heart by our political elite, who symbolise inept and corrupt leadership. But will they?

Sadly, our dear country has never been in short supply of corrupt leaders who bequeath nothing but bad governance and dashed hopes. Not long ago, a bemused world was treated to the sickening paradox of how a federal ministry created for poverty alleviation and humanitarian initiatives was turned into a paragon of corruption and the mindless looting of public funds.

 It was also in this country that, despite widespread public outcry, federal lawmakers went ahead to spend scarce public resources on insanely expensive exotic cars for members, at a time when the masses are dying of hunger.

An ex-governor of one of the states is currently having a running battle with the anti-corruption agency over the allegation that he looted more than N80 billion belonging to his poor state. Another former governor of a state considered the epicentre of banditry in the North is accused of misappropriating N70 billion; another one allegedly diverted N10 billion for a non-existent airport; a former federal minister was accused of stealing billions to float an ‘audio’ airline; and the list from recent memory goes on. So, the indisputable truth really is that for Nigeria to decisively surmount the various internal security challenges across the country, we must begin to pay attention to the quality of governance at all the tiers of government.

With over 130 million Nigerians living in multidimensional poverty — in a country so blessed with both natural and human resources but blighted by bad leaders — it is only expected that it will be weighed down by its own internal contradictions.

The military does not possess any magic wand to wave away insecurity, and in any case the military option alone has never stamped out terrorism and banditry anywhere in the world. Security is not only the responsibility of the security forces. Security is everybody’s business, which is why the all-of-society approach is often recommended.

No less a person than Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, aptly captured the scenario when he addressed members of the House of Representatives late last year, and said: “We have realised that the magic wand in addressing insecurity is good governance. Anywhere you have good governance, insecurity goes down.

 The security forces can only produce 30 per cent. We can only provide an enabling environment. If other aspects are not addressed, it is a problem. People can’t eat. People are hungry. No matter how you tell them to keep the peace, they will not because they have to eat, otherwise they will be predisposed to criminality.” Incontrovertible!

Yes, it is imperative for the Armed Forces of Nigeria to have enough boots on the ground, steel in the waters, and eyes in the sky in order to defend our country from external aggression or internal insurrection, but the incontrovertible truth is that no country shoots its way into law and order. Law and order, peace and security are dividends of good governance and credible leadership.

As the late literary icon Chinua Achebe rightly identified in his little book, The Trouble with Nigeria, Nigeria’s problem is rooted in leadership, and unless we get our leadership right, we will keep groping in darkness.

President Tinubu must lead the way in engendering good governance, and hopefully it will be replicated in the states and local governments. That is the best place to start if we must tame the monster of insecurity in our dear country.

Continue Reading

OPINION

Of Randy Lecturers and Their Students

Published

on

Share

By Zayd Ibn Isah

One of the worst things to happen to a country’s educational institution is to have teachers and lecturers who cannot tame their sexual urges around students. Surely, such a country’s educational system will end up breeding students who are not only vulnerable, but possibly dysfunctional and likely to continue the heritage of abuse and mediocrity.

And why wouldn’t this be so, when such students were deprived of the safe and conducive learning environment which is the basic right of any student seeking enlightenment.

Normally, schools and other educational institutions, whether at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels, are supposed to be hallowed citadels of learning.

Within them, students are trained and equipped with the tools needed for them to become leaders, critical thinkers, and agents of positive change in society. This ensures that beyond the walls of the school, students would have imbibed enough moral instruction to contribute to national development.

However, when these institutions are infiltrated by predatory lecturers who sexualize students for their depraved gains, campuses become jungles where only those who are ready to play by the rules survive, establishing a hierarchical sense of predatory dominance over helpless prey. As such, those who are not ready to submit to the whims and caprices of randy lecturers are frustrated, and their dreams of acquiring knowledge to better their lives quickly turn to ashes. When these things happen, the very essence of education is tarnished, trust in academic institutions is shattered, and the potential for meaningful learning and personal growth is gravely compromised.

Recent events unfolding in our tertiary institutions call for grave concern. Last month, a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), was caught in the act of trying to sexually molest a female student at the university. The predatory lecturer’s victim is even married, but this was of no concern to the lecturer, Mr. Mfonobong Udoudom. Although his act is no less severe regardless of the victim’s marital status, one would have expected the man to act more like a professional and shun the act altogether. But apparently, such reasoning and logic must have eluded Mr. Mfonobong Udoudom at the level of depravity he no doubt felt comfortably assured within.

The irony of the whole situation is that the lecturer works at the General Studies Programme (GSP) Unit of the university, where he teaches Peace and Conflict Resolution and Nigerian People’s and Culture. I wonder if he thought anything at all about what his actions could mean to the outside world, especially about the Nigerian people and our culture, by threatening to fail his student if she fails to yield to his sexual advances. Did he ever think on how, by pushing ahead with his evil agenda, he would have been implying that in Nigeria, part of the educational culture maintains that students must sleep with their lecturers in order to pass exams?

According to reports, the lecturer is notorious for sleeping with his students to pass exams. In fact, once he sets his interest in you, it doesn’t matter how many hours you spend reading his courses and attending his lectures; as long as you have not followed him to the other room for practicals, you are on your own. But as the saying goes, every day for the thief, one day for the owner.

Even the king of the jungle runs out of luck eventually. And so it went for Mr. Mfonobong. It appears his alleged victim arranged with her husband and others to get the man into a trap, and part of the strategy was for her to play along. This is why, just when the lecturer thought his food was ready, the tables were turned against him and everything came crashing down hard.

“You can see. We have been following this case from day one. We have all the tracks, all the voice notes and everything,” a voice said in the background of the viral clip that was posted on social media to document Mr. Udoudomʼs disgrace.

This was the same strategy that was used for another predatory lecturer desecrating our citadel of learning. Mr. Theodore Shey, a lecturer at the Department of English and Literary Studies, Federal University, Lokoja, was caught in his house while trying to sleep with a female student. According to reports, the lecturer had been on his victim’s neck for sex, but the lady failed to yield. He failed her as a result. She reported the matter to her father, and she was told to play along. And that was how the cookie crumbled for Mr. Theodore.

There is a popular adage that if the hunter learns how to shoot without aiming first, the bird will also learn how to fly without perching. While it may seem that these predatory lecturers are beginning to get their comeuppance, it is quite unfortunate that we are still talking about sex for grades in our schools and that this is happening at a time when parents are encouraged to educate their girl-child to foster an environment of safety and respect. Our campuses are supposed to be a sanctuary for female students, not a jungle where predatory lecturers prey on their bodies.

Although there have been concerted efforts to tackle the menace of sex for grades by the government, at the wake of the BBC Eye undercover investigations into the activities of lecturers in both Nigerian and Ghanaian universities in 2020, The National Assembly passed a bill for the prohibition and punishment of sexual harassment by teachers/lecturers in tertiary institutions.

Unfortunately, this law, like every other law criminalizing crimes in Nigeria, does not deter some lecturers from sexually harassing their students. According to a recent report conducted by Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, the rate of sexual harassment in our schools remains high, and it is not just a case of lecturers to students; it is even more prevalent among students, likewise non-academic staff.

The report observed that, “There are different manifestations and prevalence of SGBV among different categories of people in the university community. All forms of SGBV are present on campus and with unacceptable frequency. The most prevalent forms are sexual harassment followed by rape. The main perpetrators of SGBV are predominantly students and academic staff, although it is also common for non-academic staff to sexually harass students during the admissions process and when securing accommodation. There is also grossly under-reported sex for promotion and other SGBV amongst staff.”

What this suggests is that a lot needs to be done to stem the tide of all forms of sexual harassment in our schools. There should be an avenue for victims to report incidents of sexual harassment without the fear of victimization. Those caught in the act of sexual harassment should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.

Only through punitive measures can we maintain the sanctity of our educational institutions. And these recent incidents should not serve as an avenue for people to surface and blame the scourge of sexual harassment in schools as consequences of indecent dressing. Even if female students were to be restricted to the hijab in terms of dressing on campuses, corrupt minds would still fantasize, lust and scheme to perpetrate dastardly acts.

As much as students are expected to dress decently as a reflection of their duties within the school environment, staff should be held up to much higher standards of professionalism, morality and duty. If we must get things right and eliminate the malaise afflicting our learning spaces, everyone must be held to the highest standards and expectations. By doing this, excellence will thrive and mediocrity, along with inane depravity, will become a thing of the past in our educational institutions.

Zayd Ibn Isah can be reached via lawcadet1@gmail.com

Continue Reading

Read Our ePaper

Top Stories

CRIME17 hours ago

Emirship: Kano Police Command Assures Adequate Security

Share The Police Command in Kano State on Monday assured the people of Kano State of adequate security in the...

Education1 day ago

UniAbuja Internal Council Voices Concern Over VC’s Election Plans

ShareThe University of Abuja’s internal governing council has expressed concern over an alleged plan by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rasheed...

NEWS1 day ago

FG Postpones Inauguration of Vasities’ Governing Council 

ShareThe Federal Governmanet has  announced the postponement of the inauguration and retreat for Pro-Chancellors, Chairmen and Members of Governing Councils...

NEWS1 day ago

Binance Executive, Gambaryan, May Die of Malaria in Kuje Correctional Centre-Lawyer

Share Aluko & Oyebode, the law firm handling the case of Binance Holdings Limited, says Mr Tigran Gambaryan, the cryptocurrency...

Nigeria Army Nigeria Army
NEWS1 day ago

Kano Emirship Tussle: Soldiers not Involved – Army

Share The Nigerian Army has dismissed as “false”, the claim by the Kano chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, that...

Education1 day ago

1.2m Students to Benefit from First Phase of Education Loan – First Lady

Share The First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu says no fewer than 1.2 million students will benefit from the first phase...

NEWS1 day ago

3 Dead, 7 Casualties at Collapsed Papa Ajao Mosque — LASEMA

Share A total of three persons lost their lives and seven persons with various degrees of injuries were rescued at...

NEWS1 day ago

Access Bank Ranked Nigeria’s Most Valuable Brand

ShareAccess Bank Plc.  has again been ranked Nigeria’s most valuable brand by Brand Finance, a leading brand valuation consultancy. Mr...

NEWS1 day ago

Bandits kill 11 in Katsina Communities – Police

Share The Police Command in Katsina State has confirmed the killing of 11 persons by bandits that invaded three villages...

OPINION1 day ago

Oronsaye Report and Tinubu`s Bold Step in Belling the Cat

ShareAnalysis by Okon Okon  The trajectory of implementing the Stephen Oronsaye-led committee report on federal civil service reform on learner...

Copyright © 2021 Daily Asset Limited | Powered by ObajeSoft Inc