There is no need rehashing line by line the recorded phone convo that circulated a few years ago on WhatsApp Naija and Naija in the diaspora.
We’ve all heard the crass Professor soliciting for sex to upgrade a female student who may eventually have given in or not.
Many of us sat in judgement at the moral council and dished out justice. Smh!
That said, the convo wasn’t shocking to many; this was just about the Prof who got caught; the one who showed us as in a mirror, how decadent our educational system in Nigeria is; even the so-called press release issued by the university after the leaked phone convo is riddled with errors.
But as is typical with us, humans in general, we hate what we look like in the mirror and so we begin to treat the symptoms rather than the disease.
The treatment came in comments both offline and online and some got my back up.
The ‘I support women but she should have studied harder’, comments, the ‘war room’ types, the ‘if you don’t demand for your scripts, it means you deserve it’ types.
If you’ve never been a victim of sexual abuse, nor have a sister or daughter who has been through it, shut your trap, you don’t qualify to talk here!
Years back at the University of Jos, there was a notorious professor in the Faculty of Arts. No matter how hard you studied, if this Prof sets his dick on you…erm, I mean, set his sights on you, (female) you will fail.
His course was difficult enough; he wasn’t the jovial kind who’s lectures were interesting. Female students often had to bribe some of their male counterparts who were friendly with the Prof to ‘talk to’ the Prof on their behalf, some offered money, many bought expensive gifts, just to appease this tin god of the arts. Alas, the prof wasn’t the money type. He wanted sex. Sometimes, he would succumb to pressures from his male students and accept a gift or money but many times he didn’t.
Of the several females he didn’t agree to receive money from, some gave in, as I heard; some changed courses; many failed repeatedly.
Funny thing is, other lecturers were aware of his notoriety and yet nothing was done about it!
There were many victims of this abuse and like millions of sexual victims, they remained silent. Even within the campus, you’d hear people say, ‘just do it and go.’ Meaning, ‘sleep with the lecturer and pass on to the next class’. That was what many students who have nowhere to turn to, did.
It is real!
But when a girl blows the whistle on a randy professor, instead of commending her audacity, we find ways to bring her down with equally crass comments like- ‘Ehen, she must have been lazy and didn’t study hard enough after all her mates are scoring As and Bs…’
Is she the only female in the class?
Like really? Who says you must score A’s and B’s in all courses?
Who says girls who are forced to sleep with lecturers have an association where they can compare notes?
Who says despite her best efforts, the lecturer who wants to have his way, still won’t fail her?
Some commenters accused the girl of being too familiar, blaming her for why the Prof approached her for sex.
In our land, respect is very key to elders but the elder that has dragged himself in the mud before kids only has himself to blame. How can one respect a professor who is asking to ‘do it’ so often you had to lie about your menses to rebuff his advances?
Clearly, Prof has lost all form of respect, that is exactly what we heard playing out.
Professor Akindele, real or not should cover his face in shame and so should the so-called holy congregation online and offline.
He has brought shame to his family; tell me, how is Mrs Akindele expected to raise her head among the comity of church members? (Akindele, I hear, is a pastor)
At the office? Among friends? In the staff quarters?
I can almost hear friends of Mrs Akindele telling her to pray for her husband as it is the handiwork of the devil; they would be advising her to love him more as she is the reason behind his philandering- ‘maybe you are not opening your legs wide enough that is why he is running after small small girls.’
What of the Akindele daughters? His nieces nko?
Now, I don’t know the female student; I wish I did; but her voice is the voice of hundreds of young women who are sexually abused by lecturers for grades and by employers of labour for jobs; the voice that wishes to be heard and not judged or categorised alongside those who gave themselves willingly.
There’s a difference here, people, they shouldn’t be painted with the same brush.
It’s obvious revenge was behind the recording, to shame the Prof for his sexual advances.
So, I’m thinking again, perhaps she gave in and didn’t want to continue living in tortured silence, so she leaked the tape. And even if the convo happened two years back; what the Prof did is still wrong.
Professor Akindele, you were supposed to be the elder here; the teacher, the one who enlightens; the one who holds the moral compass and yet, your rudder ran loose!
Go ask Harvey Weinstein; ask Bill Cosby; ask Bill O’Reilley, ask them to tell what happens to ‘honourable men’ caught pants down.
They thought they would get away with it but the women waited; the women they sexually abused; the ones made to pay for roles with sex; the ones they groped and leered at. They waited and someone came with the #metoo hashtag and before you knew it, the floodgates were opened. One voice spoke out, and that’s all it takes for this kind of ugliness to show its face.