The National Female Students Association of Nigeria (NFSAN) has threatened to sue and jail lecturers apprehended with verifiable evidence of sexual harassment against female students in any of the campuses across the country.
Addressing journalists in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital at the weekend on the occasion commemorating the 2021 International Day for Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, NFSAN President, Mary Modupe Adetiba, said the body was abashed by the increasing cases of sex -for -mark syndrome across the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Adetiba said: “My message to lecturers intimidating and subjecting female students to sex-for-grade is that, whenever we are armed with verifiable evidence of such, we are going to file legal actions against them.
“We are elated that about 14 lecturers had been sacked at the Akwa Ibom State University, two at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) and some at the University of Lagos. We will not accept only sack but we will take it further by filling suit against those lecturers in the court. These would serve as a deterrent to others.”
Adetiba advised female students to speak up and stop dying in silence while being harassed sexually by lecturers.
She maintained that the brutal assault and murder of Uwaila Omozuwa, a student of the University of Benin and Iniobong Umoren, underscored the need for more proactive initiatives and laws in addressing the underlining cause of sexual violence.
“A report of 24 states in Nigeria showed that 346 incidents of sexual violence were reported in March 2020, and within the first two weeks of April, the figures rose by 56 per cent. This development is worrisome and all hands must be on the deck in finding a lasting solution to this growing menace.
“NFSAN as a concerned female student’s body in solidarity with United Nations, condemn and calls for the end of conflict-related sexual violence, like rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, and enforced sterilization. We call for more support to victims, survivors, and those committed to fighting to end these destructive crimes against humanity,” Adetiba said.
Adetiba promised to form a coalition with government, development organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society organisations, and individuals to support the survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in the terror-affected North-East, North-West, and every part of the country.
She said NFSAN will soon begin an ‘End Rape Campaign projects’, in 20 tertiary institutions in the Southern part of the country, to honour the memory of student colleagues who fell victim to rape and sexual violence.
“Conclusively, NFSAN says no to sexual violence in conflicts, as we call on all stakeholders and, policymakers that every violence against Girl Child is everyone’s business and ending sexual violence against women is essential to development and prosperity of our nation,” she added.