Sex and Our Universities

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t’s a sad moment for me to be reminded as a father of two daughters that female undergraduates are still not protected from sexual assault on our university campuses.

Conversely, we are so used to the story of sexual assaults on our campuses and communities that a lot of people who heard about the Unilag saga two weeks ago didn’t do anything to raise the debate.

Nigerian twitter activists have tweeted more about the corruption probe and Bishop Mathew Kukah’s statement than given some thought to a cesspool of corruption that our ivory towers have become, when it comes to sexual assaults. The two issues are of significance to the progress of our country. That’s my sentiment.

The intransigence of university authorities to making our universities a safe place of learning for female students is something that must be addressed by the government as a matter of urgency to bring sanity to the ivory towers.

It is particularly shameful that most Vice -Chancellors are not doing so much to reverse the trend on campuses, where male lecturers lusting after their female students continue to be persistent. I can say with a benefit of hindsight that there is no reasonable evidence on the side of university authorities to addressing sexual assault on our campuses.  Indeed, you will be shocked to know that most of our universities don’t have policies on sexual assault. That leaves us with one thing: in most tertiary institutions, the mentors have become tormentors.

The most recent incident at the University of Lagos brought tears to my eyes. I thought universities suppose to be a kind of sacred place for such act, where moral should be at the top of every action. But I was dead wrong. How do you explain it when a lecturer’s office suddenly turns to a brothel and no one is raising the alarm?  Are there no other lecturers around who should know such act is at variance with what is expected of a university teacher?

I know that Dr. Akin Baruwa who allegedly raped an 18-year-old admission seeker inside the Unilag campus has been disowned by the Unilag authorities, but the institution has not been able to tell anyone how he had access into one of the offices at Faculty of Business Administration. That is where Unilag seems to be fallen short and playing game with a serious matter that has brought ridicule to everyone with connection to Unilag.

And though, the university authorities there said, “the said Dr. Baruwa is a not a member of staff of the university, whether teaching or non-teaching. He also does not belong to the part-time or full-time teaching staff of the school. His name is not on the master list of workers of the university. I have checked the staff list using his full name and initials and could not come up with any such name as of Friday, August 6, 2015,” there are more evidences that showed that Baruwa had been working in Unilag for some time. For instance, some students in the Faculty of Business Administration claimed that Baruwa was a part-time lecturer in the accounting department at the university. One other student had even come out to share her own horrible experience with Baruwa, who was then her course supervisor.

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