By Williams Anuku, Abuja
FOLLOWING repeated allegations of ‘sex-for-grades’ across Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, President Muhammadu Buhari may have started mulling the idea of reviewing the constitutional provisions against such offenses.
The president’s intentions came to the fore on Friday, where he bemoaned abuses meted out on female children and the need to protect their rights from being infringed upon.
Buhari who was obviously reacting to a BBC Africa Eye report which recently exposed Boniface Igbeneghu, a lecturer at the University of Lagos, caught on camera making sexual advances to an undercover reporter, said he believed that if such amendment comes before the National Assembly, it will receive speedy attention.
According to the president, there was a moral burden on the law enforcement agencies and school administrators to take up such cases with every seriousness and ensure that perpetrators face the consequences of their actions.
“By all standard, stricter laws are needed to prevent girls from being abused in our schools,” he stated.
Reacting to the development UNILAG incident, he said, “I am glad that the incident, exposed through under-cover news reporting at the University of Lagos, has spurred an amendment to our laws regarding the issue in the National Assembly.
“I have no doubt that such proposed amendments passed by the Legislature will get my support as long as they conform to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The country must do more to address incidents of sexual violence, sexual abuses in our schools, discrimination, human trafficking and cultural practices that violate women’s rights”.
He charged victims not to be naive whenever their rights are abused, noting that they must speak to elicit the needed changes.
“Survivors and their families must avoid cover up. They should be encouraged to come forth and report cases of abuses wherever and whenever they occur,” the President demanded.
Recall that before the BBC Africa Eye report was unveiled, a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. Richard Akindele had been facing trial for demanding sex to pass one of his students, Monica Osagie.
The former lecturer who lost his job with the university, following the embarrassing incident, was recently sentenced to two years in prison.