I will strongly condemn any person, anywhere, who uses his position to seek sexual gratification.
I say anywhere because sex-for-favour is a fact of life. It is prevalent not only in educational institutions but in businesses, banks, entertainment industry, religious institutions, ministries, departments and agencies, indeed, anywhere there are human beings of both sexes working together. I say any person because it is not only men that harass females for sex, women/girls, as a matter of fact, do equally harass males. Any discussion or probe bordering on sexual harassment should, therefore, be treated with pathological caution to avoid punishing innocent souls.
I would have been virulent in commenting, if the explosive “sex-for-grade” allegation leveled against one Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu and Dr. Samuel Oladipo of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) was real. By real, I mean if the girl involved was a student of UNILAG. But she was not. The BBC agent, Kiki Mordi, is not a student of UNILAG. She is an outsider engaged by the BBC to seduce unsuspecting lecturers. I chose to view her story critically and not swallow it like that as many people have done.
What we are dealing with is a devious plot by the “BBC Africa Eye” service to drag the image of the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG), Nigeria and Africa to the mud. We should not help them achieve their reprehensible desire against us. We should resist their evil machinations and maneuvering.
The BBC, without first obtaining permission from UNILAG authorities to conduct an interview, literally invaded the institution and nobody is talking about that. Can any researcher from UNILAG go to BBC’s offices in London to conduct interview/research without first obtaining permission? If that is the case, why should our case be different? Why should BBC look down on us? UNILAG should feel offended by the invasion and take necessary legal measures to redeem its image.
Arguably, the worst sexual offenses in universities around the world are not found in Nigeria but in UK comparatively. According to The Guardian UK, “Sexual harassment, misconduct and gender violence by university staff are at “epidemic levels” in the UK. Reports indicate that there is evidence to suggest that the actual figures in the UK will be staggering. Oxford University, from research, reportedly has the highest number of allegations followed by Nottingham and Edinburgh universities!
The Guardian says, “Freedom of Information (FoI) requests sent to 120 universities found that students made at least 169 such allegations against academic and non-academic staff from 2011-12 to 2016-17. At least another 127 allegations about staff were made by colleagues.” In all of these institutions, I am not sure if panels were set up or if any lecturer has been suspended. The stories were always covered up to save the image of the universities. I mean real live stories and not set up like what we have in UNILAG.
If that be the case, why then should the BBC leave the log in their eye to seek the speck in Africa eye? This is sheer hypocrisy that should not be tolerated. The “BBC Africa Eye” should be condemned for its unfriendly disposition; its grand design to paint UNILAG, Nigeria and Africa black. Our university authorities should not allow our people and institutions to be used for commercial purposes by the BBC.
Suspending the UNILAG lecturers, just like that, is unjustified in a matter that was clearly a set up. It amounts to buying into BBC’s cunning plot to mess us up, which is what they want. BBC wants to denigrate our universities. We should resist it. We should not swallow their cooked stories hook, line and sinker.
Fortunately, the dramatis personae in the plot at UNILAG was not a real student of the institution but a so-called undercover reporter, otherwise, a “spy”, who is trained to set traps for unsuspecting lecturers by luring them into sexual conversation against their wish. How do we recognise such a deceitful encounter of a fake student in a lecturer’s office? Everything the fake student did or said with the lecturers was ill-motivated and condemnable.
What then can we say when such undercover agents are unleashed on Nigerian universities to lure lecturers? Anybody could fall into the trap. The Vice Chancellor, registrar, professors, lecturers, non-academic staff and indeed, anybody could be set up. The aim is to tarnish Nigeria’s image.
As it were, henceforth, every person should be wary. If you are a man, be wary of any “student” who comes into your office to seek admission or ask for favour. Also, the senior female lecturers/officials in our universities should be wary of any “male student” that comes into their offices to ask for anything. They maybe BBC’s “Africa Eye” undercover agents. Today, it is Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu; tomorrow, it may be another person. You never can tell who next would be trapped and the circumstance.
It is ill-advised and wrong for UNILAG to set up a panel to investigate two of its lecturers accused of sexually harassing “undercover reporters” purportedly seeking admission or change of course of study in the institution.
The so-called undercover reporters are not real students of UNILAG for goodness sake. Why should UNILAG set up a panel to satisfy BBC’s unfriendly plot? The panel would be justified if real students of the University were involved and the whole thing would be internal. The University does not set up panel when a lecturer has sexual dealings with an outsider. The BBC’s Kiki Mordi is an outsider, who came on a dreadful mission. Setting up a panel on this matter is senseless.
The panel’s mission, from the outset, puts a lie to the whole narrative. An undercover reporter cannot be seeking for admission because she is a mercenary. She also cannot be asking to change her course of study. She cannot be asking for better grade all because she is not a student. The whole thing is a stage-managed drama designed to achieve a pre-determined evil purpose against us.
If the lady were a student, then the panel would bring her and the lecturer before it to say what happened. Then, we would get a graphic picture of their discussion – what the girl requested for, how the lecturer responded, who first introduced sex into the discussion and so on. We would get none of these from this panel because the “victim” is a mercenary and UNILAG can’t afford to probe only the lecturers. That would be one-sided and unjustifiable.
That effectively nullifies the investigation. Investigate who or what? A “ghost,” an agent doing her work? Any investigation, as things stand, will give the BBC the undeserved upper hand to tarnish UNILAG’s image.
On that basis, there is no need for any investigation that is prejudicial. We know the lecturers but we don’t know Kiki Mordi. She has no locus standi, as lawyers would say.
In fact, she is like an enemy who infiltrated the campus to cause havoc. Is the panel going to summon the lecturers and an external unknown person to come and testify in what ordinarily should be an internal affair of UNILAG? For me, the panel should be disbanded forthwith and all the lecturers recalled and cautioned.
Rather than punishing the lecturers who were set up, UNILAG should join forces with them to sue the BBC for defamation. You don’t give leeway to an “enemy” who came into your house to mess you up.
University of Lagos should not be swayed by the mob in social media to please the BBC. There should be reasoning into it. The University, I know, has internal mechanisms to check misconduct by staff and students. Those mechanisms should be applied whenever necessary. As an alumnus of UNILAG, I know that the integrity of UNILAG is not in doubt. I am not saying that saints populate the place.
The aim of the BBC reporter was to lure the lecturers into amorous discussion while taping and videoing the encounters. Why then should we support their nefarious plot?
Anyone who has been listening to “BBC Africa Eye” would agree that it does not say anything good about Nigeria/Africa. Their aim is always to paint us black; to portray us as sub-human and bad.
Some of BBC’s previous broadcasts, for instance, include, “Sex for Grades”: Undercover in West African universities; The hidden lives of “house girls”; The children sent to work for the gods; Nigeria’s deadly cough syrup epidemic; Inside Nigeria’s kidnap crisis, etc. There is nothing good or edifying in all of these stories by the BBC. It is unfortunate that many people, even authorities, swallow the BBC’s stories and promptly act on them against our own people.
The question is why does the BBC not broadcast any good story about Nigeria/Africa? Are their eyes blind to all the good things happening here like Nigeria’s great scientists and achievers making waves around the world, etc? Why is it bad news all the time?