In whatever form, shape and mode, we did celebrate. We had no viable choice to do otherwise. They insisted we are now a 59-year-old entity, that we were collectively born on October 1, 1960.
That was the beginning of our albatross, what cruel fate bestowed on us. It is our “born day” all the same. It couldn’t have been our birthday anyway. The reason absurdities and oddities are throwing up at our face unrestrained.
Things are happening speedily and negatively too; always for the wrong reason. We are so comfortable in being unkind to posterity. Worse still, we care less the weird manner we write our ugly history.
When our eerie chronology is read by generations unborn, they would angrily stone our graves. They would wish we were never their forebears. As we age, we degenerate in every department of our life. We are at the very wrong side of history. We are not moved by this abysmal state of ours.
We are brutal and wicked to ourselves at all levels. Our actions, and inactions are damnable and detestable. Yet we carry on as if nothing is amiss. How did we get there? It is a collective irresponsibility, our collective fault.
In all these, our citadels of learning are in the forefront of the despicable acts. Our universities, polytechnics, colleges of technology, et al, are the leading light in this awkward direction. The universities have particularly caved in to decadence.
Dr. Borniface Igbeneghu is the rave of the moment. He is the face of the overwhelming rot in our universities. He is a man of great exploits, but got his fingers burnt in the process.
Igbeneghu prides himself as a lecturer, Department of European Languages and Integrated Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos (UNILAG). He even claims to be spiritual. Can you imagine? Yes, a pastor of the Foursquare Gospel Church.
He messed up big time! He was the leading and main character in the 13-minute BBC video that went viral on Monday. It took the airwaves by storm. It is still raving, ravaging and damaging almost unabated. There is no stopping the beats.
He took centre stage throughout in his show of shame, titled Sex For Grades. He acted the script aptly and succinctly. Of course, he had a female as another character, but the focus was certainly on him. It was all about him, he played to the gallery. He couldn’t have disappointed his film directors and producers.
From the very beginning, he knew what he wanted. He went haywire. He was confident he was in control until the bubble burst. Since then, things have not been the same with him.
He lost out completely in every department of his life. He even destroyed his family. He was overwhelmed from the start to finish in the sex escapade video clip. He displayed his utter tactlessness. He was not clever at all. Not even by a half.
Igbeneghu’s prey is a make-believe 17-year-old applicant, Kiki Mordi. She pretended to be “desperately” looking for admission into his department. The greed in him easily fell for it. Mordi is actually a BBC African Eye undercover reporter. She faked her identity and got Igbeneghu by his jugular. It served him right because he went out of his way to ask for it.
The drama in the sex clip was too true not to believe. Even the blind dared not doubt it. His actions and inactions as well as the body language were his undoing. He went for the questions he believed were relevant to his aims and goals. He invited the “admission seeker” for “tutorials” in his office. He asked her in quick succession:
“How old are you? Don’t you know you are a beautiful girl? Do you know I am a pastor?”
Encouraged and elated, the randy pastor-lecturer invited her for a second session. And this was essentially spiritual. It was his own way of conducting a prayer session. It almost looked real: “Confess the Lord Jesus Christ as you Lord and personal saviour. Say, I accept that you are my Lord and God. Guide me and direct me aright. Thank you Jesus.” And enthusiastically he declared: “Welcome to the kingdom of God.” Deceit, the usual antics of fake pastors. And they are all over us.
All along, Mordi kept the response to herself. To draw her out, Igbeneghu talked about the notorious “cold room” in university’s staff club. There, Igbeneghu and his cruel ilk “slaughter” innocent students in reckless abundance.
He was proud to explain the “cold room” as the secret place where lecturers meet to “touch students’ breasts.” This is what he understands the “cold room” to be: “Do you want me to kiss you? Switch off the light, lock the door and I will kiss you for a minute. That’s what they do in the cold room.”
His final submission: “There is nothing good that is free.” So? If Mordi is truly desperate for admission, she must be obedient. And Igbeneghu thought in his wildest imagination that the case would be swept under the carpet.
Swiftly, UNILAG suspended him and barred him from all academic activities. It went further to shut down the infamous “cold room.” Its Principal Assistant Registrar, Communication Unit, Mrs Taiwo Oloyede, gave useful insight into the “cold room”: “The so-called ‘cold room’ is a functions room that may have been abused, because it is deviation from the purpose for which it was created (meeting, seminars, events, etc).”
Not to be left out, the Foursquare Church applied the sledgehammer on its lewd and libidinous pastor. Its National Secretary, Rev. Ikechukwu Ugbaja, did the needful: “We totally dissociate ourselves from the purported conduct of Dr. Igbeneghu and promise to take appropriate measures as soon as the ongoing investigation is concluded. Meanwhile, the pastor in question has been asked to step down from all ministerial assignments.”
Certainly, Igbeneghu is not alone in the sordid sexual escapade. It is a legion of wayward lecturers. He has willing siblings, cousins, uncles, brothers, fathers and grandfathers. They are dotted all over our higher institutions and in the Diaspora.
It is not today. Sex-for-grades is as old and has been with us for very long. That should not prevent us from halting the drift.
If this searchlight is beamed outside UNILAG, almost every classroom in some universities are chilly cold rooms. These felons have a way of escaping justice. Members of investigation panels must be thoroughly screened, scrutinised and investigated.
We have all the collective responsibility to apply a huge spanner in the evil works of these malefactors. We all have major roles to play.
I sincerely believe we can do it. It is doable. Let us move away from being on the wrong side of history.
After all, it takes two to tango.