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Nigeria needs stricter laws to protect girls, women from abuse, says Buhari

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the country needs “stricter laws” to protect girls and women from being abused.

“Nigeria needs stricter laws to protect girls and women from abuse,” Buhari tweeted on Friday.

“I very much welcome the National Assembly’s proposed amendments to our laws, following the recent high-profile revelations of sexual abuse in our institutions of higher learning,” he added.

This comes after BBC Africa Eye exposed academics in two West African Universities, University of Lagos and University Ghana, sexually harassing students in an undercover video.

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The documentary sparked widespread social media comment with a number of high-profile figures, including celebrities and politicians, joining in the conversation about the issues it raised.

Two lecturers, Boniface Igbeneghu and Samuel Oladipo were filmed in UNILAG and they have been subsequently suspended by the Universities.

Igbeneghu, who is also a pastor, has been suspended by his church, Foursquare Gospel Church. The church said in a statement that it does not condone “heinous and unscriptural” acts from ministers.

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Buhari however said the perpetrators of sexual harassment should face the “consequences of their actions”. He encouraged “law enforcement agencies and school administrators to take up such cases with every seriousness.”

“The practice of shaming and silencing victims must also be discouraged by all,” the president added.

The BBC exposé has provoked a large response on social media in the two countries. Social media users condemned the assault and called for a swift response, while others shared their own alleged experiences.

The investigation team led, Kiki Mordi, opened up about her own experience of university harassment which led her to drop out and abandon career ambitions to work in the medical profession.

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