#SexForGrades: Buhari urges victims to report cases of abuse
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the cases of sexual violence in tertiary institutions in the country.
He faulted such incidents and appealed to victims not to cover up cases of abuse but report same to relevant agencies.
“Survivors and their families must avoid cover-up,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.
He added, “They should be encouraged to come forth and report cases of abuses wherever and whenever they occur.”
President Buhari was reacting to the recent high profile revelation of sexual abuse cases in institutions of higher learning in the country.
He stressed the need for stricter laws to prevent girls from being abused in schools, noting the incidents at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) which were exposed through an undercover news reporting.
The President stated he was happy that the revelation has spurred an amendment to the nation’s laws regarding the issue in the National Assembly.
He gave assurance that such proposed amendments passed by the Legislature would get his support as long as they conform to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
President Buhari said, “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, therefore, urged law enforcement agencies and school administrators to take up such cases with every seriousness and ensure that perpetrators face the consequences of their actions.
Following the emergence of the report, UNILAG authorities had suspended two of their senior lecturers indicted in the 53-minute long video filmed by BBC.
Dr Boniface Igbeneghu of the Department of European Languages and Integrated Studies, Faculty of Arts was suspended on Monday while Dr Samuel Oladipo of the Department of Economics was suspended two days later.
Both lecturers were suspended over allegations of sexual harassment, actions the university said contravened the policy of the institution.
UNILAG authorities have also called on members of staff and students with relevant information concerning the incidents to come forward.