The authorities at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have been challenged to make investigations into alleged sexual harassment by its lecturers public.
The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in Lagos State made the appeal to commemorate the 2019 International Day of the Girl Child.
UNILAG earlier said it has begun investigations into allegations of sexual harassment against two of its suspended lecturers featured in a recent BBC documentary.
In the statement on Thursday, President of the MSSNLagos, Saheed Ashafa, expressed concern over abuses of female students.
He urged authorities of the institution to ensure justice prevails in the allegation made against the lecturers.
“On the specific matter of ‘sex for grades’, we posit that all extant and emerging cases must be duly and justly prosecuted without any form of fear or favour to all parties involved. Investigation of pending cases must be made public when concluded. Higher authorities must supervise and ensure justice prevail,” he added.
He noted that no sanction was too harsh for the indicted lecturers.
Ashafa described the continuous bullying of females in schools and higher institutions as worrisome.
According to him, many students are still denied their fundamental human rights in schools.
He said, “We are deeply disturbed about the plethora of abuses to which our girls are being subjected especially in Nigeria. We wish to emphasise that no sanction is too harsh for teachers or lecturers who coerce students into sexual ‘contract’.
“Violation of their rights to education, freedom of religion, thought and expression has become worrisome and highly depressing.
“It is pertinent to note that many of our girls are bullied by apparently more powerful teachers across the levels of our educational institutions in the country. The perception that restrict sexual abuses of girls to only higher institutions of learning is half-truth.
“It is equally compelling to alert the world that many self-imposing educators still infringe upon the religious rights of Muslim girls by denying them the use of hijab in schools despite its approval by law and re-affirmation of same by the Court of competent jurisdiction. The recent suspension of a student for wearing hijab by the management of the University of Ibadan International School is discriminatory, unjust and highly condemnable.
“Government and its agencies must protect all girls from various forms of oppression they go through in the process of being educated. All avoidable emotional traumas being inflicted on our girls must be stopped forthwith.”
The Muslim students’ leader hailed the theme of the 2019 International Day of the Girl, “Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable”.
“We join the rest of the world to recognise the sensitive place of the Girl child as a vulnerable specie of humankind. We equally acknowledge the theme for this year as worthy and timely,” he added.