The Federal Government declared on Tuesday it had been embarrassed by allegations of sexual harassment in the nation’ s universities and other tertiary institutions.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, made the declaration at the University of Port Harcourt during the unveiling of a policy document against sexual harassment in the institution.
Adamu, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Tertiary Department of the ministry, Mrs. Ijeoma Duru, also expressed the need for female students to study and defend their certificates.
The minister said, “ The Federal Ministry of Education is embarrassed with the allegations of sexual harassment in Nigerian higher institutions. Girls should read their books and be able to defend their certificates.
“ They (female students) should stop going to lecturers unnecessarily and should not harass their lecturers. We are recommending UNIPORT ’ s Sexual Harassment Policy to other higher institutions in Nigeria. ”
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ndowa Lale, lamented that sexual harassment had taken over public discourse and space in Nigerian universities.
He said, “ Some victims of unwanted sexual advances, assault or rape are known to have dropped out of school to stay away from the maddening crowd. In extreme cases, some victims have even contemplated or actually committed suicide as a coping mechanism.
“ Some male lecturers are known to publicly boast among their circle of friends outside the university that their females are a form of ‘ bush allowance ’ awarded to them by benevolent Cupid to argument their poor pay. It is now time for such randy Romeos to wake up from their dream state and face reality. ’’
The vice-chancellor warned lecturers and administrators in the university against sexual harassment.
He also cautioned students harassing lecturers to award them undeserved grades to desist from such or be ready to face serious sanctions when caught harassing their lecturers.
“ Any Juliet, who blackmails vulnerable male students or their colleagues into amorous sexual liaisons, should be ready for the long arm of the Policy on Sexual,” Lale added.
In her lecture as the keynote speaker, Prof. Nwadiuto Akani listed some of the actions that constituted sexual harassment as unwanted sexual teasing, telling targets sexual stories, and calling someone babe, honey or darling.
Others, according to Akani , are unwanted touching of a target’s s body, making kissing sounds, unwanted hugging, sending of unsolicited amorous text messages and creating a hostile environment to get an undue advantage against a target.