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Tackling The Problem Of Sex For Grades In Nigerian Universities

Yet again is the clash of interest with the discourse of sexual abuse. #SexForGradeshas the internet, social media and the world walking on eggshells. Recent findings revealing what goes on in West African universities; the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana, have brought to light an expose on girls suffering in silence while smiling as they ponder on how to move ahead in life carrying their baggage along with them. It reveals the ordeals they have to face even as far as dropping out because they cannot give the sex these men ask them for. The voice of the voiceless seems to have found bravery in the not so long Busola Dakolo’s revelation on rape.

Monica Osagie

Monica Osagie exposed Prof Akindele |. Photo Mirror

Victims therein drawing strength from victims to speak more on the matter, with the intent to bring to an end this high rising misogynistic culture of rape and sexual abuse, consequently killing it before it gets deeper than we can reach. This act of drawing strength from a fellow victim to speak their truth; saying no to rape and sexual abuse. This is an issue that usually has all riled up that it throws the world and society in disarray with a different outlook to the matter. Hence a divide is created having those who question the authenticity of the story and evidence, then having the rape apologist who comes up with views as the ladies having provoked these men with their way of life or dressing and also those who vehemently are seeking justice for the victims.

With the rising increase of victims coming out to share their pain and experiences, they equally want justice to be meted out to their abusers calling on institutions, religious bodies and solely the government to come to their plight to defend more women like them. Their call for action has seen to universities and religious bodies rising and taking bold steps to handle the information brought to their knowledge. Surprisingly,the most effective institution that can take a giant step that changes the whole power dynamics in play seems to be having a long sleep.

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki for one and on several occasions, has called his colleagues to take swift action on the issue, but for some reason they stall. If the universities and religious bodies can conclusively decide on rising to action, how much more the ‘big guys’ that can put out this fire once and for all. Bukola Saraki has again called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to act on the novel discovery brought to light on sexual harassment in Nigerian universities by lecturers. He writes, “as a father, I’m appalled by the actions of lecturers captured in the #SexForGrades expose we cannot allow this sort of deplorable behaviour to fester” asserting that the ‘Sexual Harassment Bill in Tertiary Education Institution Bill’ passed in 2016 that gives 5 years to lecturers found guilty of misconduct to be revisited.

One would also wonder is the reluctance of the judiciary to act quickly based on the constant brawl between the government and ASUU? If so we then see a case of two elephants fighting while the grass pays for it. Whatever the case may be sentiments must put aside.It is affirmative that individualsand public figures will take to their social media platforms to express their viewpoint on the troubling issue. Don Jazzy known for being indeed vocal writes, “we need to address the institutionalized subjugation of women in all facets of our society.” He goes on to add, “there can’t be too many opportunities for ladies to contribute their quota to governance and nation-building.” As the struggle goes on to deal with this menace, the internet has gone wild on the search for Falz who is known for his radical approach of taking the bull by the horn. Some are disappointed about his silence on #SexForGrades as fans know his stand on transactional sex. But these are not the people thatwe want to hear from. They are only lending their voice to the sex scandal and their effort may not give the immediate change we need because more often than not, it ends there.

Eedris Abdulkareem

Eedris Abdulkareem popularized SexForGrades with his song Mr Lecturer

The sway in one direction by the public is doubtless from the hardcore evidence that cannot be refuted or disputed.As such,other forms of perceptions have come up sinceone can argue with the incriminating facts out.

Nonetheless, the bone of contention lies in those who are compelled and victimized, whose number usually outweighs those who offer sex out of desperation and reasons guiding their actions. Someare caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, thus finding them either giving up or giving in.

The misogynistic idea of conquest also further fuels and sparks the rape culture.This forced sex furthermore highlights such scandalous happenings in other sectors and not just the universities, hence calling for better care and protection for the female folk. One thing is clear that rape has taken a new face in our institutions.The world is simply asking individuals and the government to do better by getting their acts right and generally the reaction seems to have ceased from shaming the victims, rather asking the ‘predators’ to be held responsible for the actions. Hopefully, #SexForGrades is a step in the right direction acting as the checks and balances in our institutions.

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