Ever since news of the #SexForGrades documentary broke, tearing social media apart and abruptly ending the philandering careers of a number of high profile professors in the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana, Nigerians have been waiting from an official response from the authorities in whose hands the lives of the students harassed were placed. ASUU, the country’s premiere academic union has remained largely quiet about the accusations and the minister of education has asked that girls stop ‘harassing lecturers’. Things are bleak on the accountability front.
This is why it is refreshing to hear that the Akwa Ibom State University has distinguished itself as the first state owned university to take a stand on the Sex For Grades scandal. It recently announced that its board had approved the termination of employment for 8 lecturers who had engaged in acts of harassment. It is even better that the address came directly from the university’s Vice Chancellor Eno Ibanga, and that the lecturers who were terminated had crimes that were being investigated long before Ms. Mordi’s documentary was released.
“Some of the cases are still in court. I swore to run an institution that can stand the test of time. We are doing the best to bring sanity to the institution.”
Professor Ibanga says the university is also pursuing the cases in court to get criminal convictions that will see these lecturers serve time for their misdeeds. Karmic justice doesn’t get better than this.
Akwa Ibom State University is the kind of example ASUU needs on how to decisively deal with issues affecting students. Swift response will a consideration for the mental and physical well being of the student, the reason the school exist in the first place is paramount. Other universities would do well to take lessons.