Usually, when state governments recognise a person as the traditional ruler of a community, the governor presents a staff of office to the new monarch, as the symbol of his authority to lead the community.
Again, in Yoruba land, when an Oba is unable, in some circumstances to attend an event in person, he would send his trusted senior aide with his staff of office, escorted by very senior chiefs to represent him. The presence of the Oba’s staff of office is recognized as the physical presence of the Oba at the event. So important is the staff of office that it is not trifled with and handled anyhow. Imagine a legislative house in session without its mace. The mace is the symbol of authority of the legislature.
In the university system, lecturers who handle specific courses, particularly compulsory courses, which a student must pass to qualify for a degree, in essence also have a staff of office. In other words, lecturers have a near divine and onerous responsibility to impart knowledge and guide their students to achieve academic success.
Unfortunately, our nation has for long witnessed a dereliction of this duty, resulting in a deep decay in academic standards, such that male lecturers have now come to see female students as fringe benefits and want to have carnal knowledge of them. It does not matter that such female students are brilliant enough to pass the prescribed exams. Rather, irresponsible, lecherous lecturers openly and boldly demand to sleep with female students or they are failed in the course taught by such lecturers. For such lecturers their demented reproductive organ has become their staff of office, albeit an illegal one. They proudly and recklessly brandish it to threaten any female student, while carefully hiding their own daughters. Now, their day of reckoning has come as a sting operation, Africa Eye, carefully arranged and executed by the BBC West Africa Bureau of the British Broadcasting Corporation, has caught some of them. And the nation has since been abuzz with the sex-for-marks scandal exposed by the BBC undercover report in which the University of Lagos featured prominently.
There is no better time than now to stop the heinous sin of ‘sorting’ lecturers out in tertiary institutions. This evil has become so entrenched, to the extent that it has become what the Bible refers to as “a principality” sustained by intricate network of lecturers, university administrators and campus cultists. For lecturers involved in it, sorting is such a pleasant sin.
Of course, sorting started as an aberration, whereby some unqualified female students secured admission into the university through illegal means and must necessarily find a way to pass the courses and roll along to get a degree. So, they offer themselves and or money to willing lecturers, get awarded good grades in return and they move on into paid employment and set up private business and continue with that crooked mindset. Give the devil an inch and he takes a mile. Having tasted the “apple” of extra-marital sex freely offered by dullard female students, it suddenly dawned on the lecturers that they could equally demand sex from other female students irrespective of whether they are hardworking or not. Rapidly, the virus of this sin grew among lecturers as they ravished female students in their offices and hotel rooms. And at the University of Lagos, they even created a special place dubbed ‘the Cold Room,’ in a section of the senior lecturers recreation centre, where their organ and ‘staff of office’ delivered special ‘lectures’ to the female victims. Students finding no way to get justice succumbed while enduring months of shame and psychological trauma. Some of them, associated with campus cultists, took the option of having their boyfriends deal with the particular lecturer. Unfortunately, some lecturers themselves were once cultists as students, and continued to maintain their cult links.
Quite saddening is the fact that a number of the randy lecturers are intelligent intellectuals that should symbolize the best in the tertiary education system and be academic role models for the future generation to emulate.
In tertiary institutions across the country, the story is the same, irrespective of religious faith. As it is among nominal Christians so it is among Muslim lecturers. Sadly, the nation is gripped by a vicious circle of what amount to sexual abduction of female students perpetrated by male lecturers. Yet these same sex predators pontificate about the menace of kidnappers who prey on travellers on the highways and Fulani herdsmen who rape hapless women they meet in the farms as they move about to graze their cattle.
The more troubling reality is that as some predatory sex lecturers are caught and exposed, younger ones take their place and ‘the beat goes on,’ Whispers, an African American musical group, sang in their popular song in the early 80s.
But really, one wonders what goes on in the minds of these promiscuous men who carnally devour female students young enough to be the age mates of their own daughters. Sometime ago, all because of the painful experience of sexual harassment and abuse that a lady passed through, she planned evil for the daughter of a lecturer in a certain university. The lady was ravishingly beautiful in her teens as an undergraduate; this randy lecturer was hell-bent on “tasting” her oil well. He made life unbearable for the lady by awarding her poor marks. Realising that she might not graduate within time, and unable to speak-out about her trauma, she agonizingly succumbed to the lecturer’s persistent evil demand and nursed the excruciating psychological pain for years even after she had become married. Meanwhile she kept eagle eyes fixed on lecturer’s daughter as she grew up. As soon as the innocent girl gained admission into the same university where her father was a lecturer, she made her move and sponsored some boys to rape the innocent girl. When the job was done, she told the girl: “Go and tell your father that I sponsored boys to rape you the same way your father raped me when I was your age.” Not satisfied, she left a note on the car of her abuser where he parked it in front of a bank, which carried this heart rending message: “I sponsored boys to rape your daughter like you did to me in my undergraduate days.” The family crumbled and daughter hated her father with her blood and breath. She ran away and never returned home. Sins of the fathers! William Shakespeare said: “The evil men do lives after them.”
It is to be noted that sex is not the only currency for sorting lecturers. The big boys in school also sort out lecturers with monetary rewards and expensive gifts, ranging from designer shoes, wristwatches, perfumes, shirts, expensive phones, among others. Lecturers need to be careful, because hidden cameras can capture the presentation of the gift, and the recording can then be used by the male student to blackmail the lecturer, to award undeserved marks to the gift-giver or his girlfriend.
The word from the grapevine is that some notorious randy male lecturers have been branded ‘Double Decker’ which means that they would sleep with a female student and also collect money from her, to award her good marks. There are also rumours of homosexual relationships between lecturers and male students.
The other side of the sorting menace is about male and female students who just want a degree they never want to work hard to earn. They simply secure admission, matriculate and register for courses they would never attend. They simply take off to run their local and international businesses. Some times they show up in class and sort out the lecturers with sex, cash and gifts.
Lecturers, who claim that they were seduced by students, should bear in mind the words of the late Dr Adelumola Oguade who taught in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. He said: “Obscenity has no definition, but when you see it, you know it.”
Dear Nigerian lecturers, close your eyes to seduction, naked bodies and obscenity. Do your lecturing job and allow innocent girls to read their books.