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Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is a former World Bank Analyst/Consultant. He is a senior key resource person on Information systems, E-business Development, Youth Programs, and Africa Initiatives for many international agencies, and governments. He is the author of several best-selling publications. His writings in very simple language inspire many young readers around the world

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Is Rape Official In Nigerian Universities And Colleges?

 By: Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu

 Published March 5, 2007

 An Institution of higher learning (college, university, polytechnic, etc) is supposed to be a center for excellence. In most cases, they boast the highest single collection of intellectuals and informed people. Parents, therefore, send their wards to these institutions to acquire necessary skills to improve their chances of success in life. Recently, I am not sure if that same objective is born by higher institutions in Nigeria.

I once traveled to Nigeria to recruit workers for an international project sponsored by a multilateral agency. We doted all i’s and crossed all t’s to ensure that the job description and minimum qualifications were clearly stated in simple English language.  I guess the mistake we made was requesting a ‘handwritten application letter’ by the applicants. But we wanted to make sure that the applicants could write, at least, a basic English language, which is currently Nigeria’s lingua franca. However, what we got was shocking. Initially, I thought we were getting applications from elementary school students, so I took a second look at the advertisements. Apparently, in recent times, Nigeria’s higher institutions are producing graduates who cannot construct basic formal letter, in simple English language. How did they expect these students to be competitive in the job market?

I am not sure, where things went wrong. But on a close examination we can blame the abysmal performance of recent Nigerian graduates on myriads of forces. The main culprit is the frequent industrial actions by the academic staff for any minor and unjustifiable reason. Lecturers in all Nigerian higher institutions, at one time, went on a solidarity ‘strike’ (as it is popularly called) over expulsion of some lecturers from another institution over inappropriate behavior.

Talking about inappropriate behaviors, there is a popular one called ‘sorting’, where students pay their way through examinations. The price to pass examinations could range from cash, gifts or sexual gratifications. Students now fondly divide their lectures between ‘sortable ones’ (those who demand for gratifications) and ‘unsortable ones’ (those who don’t).

Demand for sexual favor from female students in order to pass examinations has reached alarming proportions. Female students in Nigeria mince no words in recounting their ordeals in the hands of lectures that have turned their offices into brothels. These heinous crimes against women happen in broad daylight even in shared offices. Definitely, these are not consensual sexual activities between two adults. Most of the stories resemble outright rape of innocent girls by sexually pervert individuals.

 A young 24 year old student once recounted how her English lecturer failed her in an examination she knew she performed well. She went to his office to complain, but the lecturer told her bluntly “You are the only girl in my class that’s proving stubborn. If you want to graduate you know what to do”. The girl went on to recount how the lecturer forcefully bent her over his office table and raped her in broad daylight despite her crying and pleas that she was getting married.

If you ask the students why they do not complain to the school authorities, you will get the same excuse that makes corruption a sacred crime in Nigeria. Everyone is involved, from the top to the bottom rank. You even risk more victimization if you complain, the students will tell you.

Sexual harassment in Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning is a popular practice that most lecturers in Nigeria proudly call ‘inconveniency allowance’. They are not ready to loose   this important unofficial ‘benefit’ of their pay-package. Shameful! Most lectures will claim that students involved are normally ‘dumb’ students who cannot pass any examination. Again that is not true! There are accounts from very bright students of same humiliating treatments. As a matter of fact, one student revealed that popular targets for the lecturers are the bright, religious, female students. Those are the ones labeled ‘stubborn’.

Nigeria requires students to; at least, attain an adult age of eighteen before seeking admission into institutions of higher learning. Therefore, one could be tempted to dismiss these, as sexual relationships between two consenting adults, so one should not bother. But it’s not, that’s why one should bother. Moreover, it is undermining certificates obtained from Nigerian Universities and colleges. It is shameful indeed!!



Publications By This Mentor

'Preparing For Life After School' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is a very popular career counseling booklet for Nigerian  youths


'Guide To Micro, Small, & Medium Business Development' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is an award-winning publication that teaches how to prepare business plans for  Micro, Small, & Medium Enterprises


'Microsoft Office, A Student Hands-on Manual' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is a hand-on computer training manual for African schools

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