University of Ilorin: In this institution, female students who suffer sexual harassment are the haunted!
A lecturer reported to have sexually harassed a female student refused to appear before a panel set up to investigate the case.
Sexual harassment, a menace that has plagued Nigeria’s tertiary education system for decades is unfortunately still getting quite a lot of patronage despite widespread activism to curb it.
Many helpless female students who have fallen victims to this wither proof worm have been left to rue their university experiences based on the resulting trauma which must have scarred them for life.
Faith, a female 300 level undergraduate studying English language in the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, is one of several women who have tasted the bitter experience of unsolicited advances from randy male lecturers.
After luckily surmounting the hurdle associated with the endless wait of getting an admission into a tertiary institution, what laid ahead of her proved to be another bout with sorrow.
At 20, she had already started getting exposed to the gender related hardship suffered by young girls in the hands of promiscuous instructors.
Dr. Muhammad Sani Idiagbon, formerly a prominent lecturer in the English department, who was also its head until around June 2016, reportedly harassed the subject sexually in a bid to initiate a romantic relationship with her.
His attempts however met several reproach from Faith who could not comprehend with the idea of engaging her instructor in an illicit affair.
This was the prelude that birthed one of the most shocking lecturer-student scandals recorded at the institution in recent times.
At a loss and not knowing what to do, Faith resorted into pursuing the only bright idea that came to her during the 2016 Sexual harassment incident.
She opted to make a recording of one of the conversations she had with Idiagbon in his office following an invitation by the latter.
More pressure from the lecturer soon prompted the release of the audio file which went viral and appeared on most prominent Nigerian news platforms including Pulse News.
An investigation was quickly launched into the matter, but Idiagbon reportedly failed to respond to an invitation made by the university’s Staff Disciplinary Committee in its bid to make formal findings on the case.
This is according to Kunle Akogun, the university’s Director of Corporate Affairs in a chat with Sahara Reporters shortly after the scandal came to light.
Idiagbon, who is rumoured to be a relation of the Vice-Chancellor, Abdul Ganiyu Ambali has allegedly taken up a new role as a professor at a tertiary school in Gombe State.
Faith on the other hand is facing a possibility of expulsion from the University of Ilorin based on claims that she falsely registered Asa Local Government Area of Kwara state as her local government of origin.
The victim, who reportedly lost her father 20 years ago is originally from Ondo State.
Abdulraheem Garuba, a close friend of her late father became her foster parent following an adoption that has seen him assume the role of a progenitor in Faith’s life.
Some camps have perceived the focus on such trivial matter as a desperate means employed by the university to punish her for exposing Idiagbon, when she should be in fact protected and praised for her bravery.
Other experiences reportedly encountered by Faith since the sexual harassment issue became public knowledge include alienation by her colleagues for fear of unforeseen consequences, hostile treatment by members of the university, and undue attention from stalkers.
Despite the vigorous activities of women rights groups and other partners aimed at putting an end to some of the maltreatment suffered by the female gender, many of these socially unacceptable behaviour found in work places, among associations and even religions organizations still continues in full throttle.
It is quite appalling, that a university, expected to be a home for building intellectual minds and innovation, has nested questionable characters who have failed to live up to the dictates of their position.