AS I was preparing to write this week’s essay, the muse reminds me of Festus Iyayi’s novel “Violence”. In the novel, the indigent Idemudia is sick and hospitalized. His wife, Adisa, after exhausting all avenues to raise money for hospital bills, approaches Obofun, a rich businessman in the city for help. Obofun agrees to give Adisa the money in exchange for sex and she helplessly submits her body in a debasing sexual experience.
After the romp, Obofun gives her the money but before she could arrive at the hospital, Idemudia’s friends had paid the bills. Therefore, Adisa’s depraving act with Obofun becomes inconsequential. The muse also reminds me of Isidore Ok- pewho’s novel “The Last Duty”. In a war situation, Oshevire is arrested and taken to Iddu after Toje, his business rival, im- plicated him as a saboteur. Oshevire leaves his wife Aku and only son Oghe- novo behind. Faced with starvation, Toje comes to their rescue, providing food and sundry items of survival. Toje inevi- tably demands regular sex from Aku in exchange for a continued supply of food items.
From the above exegesis, sex exchange bears an indelible mark of dishonour on our society, especially where the man is in a position of power and authority. Following a documentary by BBC Africa Eye through an undercover journalist at the University of Lagos and the Univer- sity of Ghana, some lecturers were implicated in the immoral act of vile sexual indulgence. Expectedly, there is general angst across the country in condemnation of the immoral act. It is indefensible for a male lecturer to subject a female student to the humiliation of submitting her body for sex in exchange for marks. However, besides what happens in the universities, ladies are always asked for sex in exchange for one favour or an- other. It could be for financial assistance, it could be for employment, it could be for a role in a movie, it could even be for a house-help to retain her job. The ar- gument that ladies are complicit in the matter and sometimes lure men into the act does not cut ice with objective reality. The philandering demon is not inflicted on men, it is acquired.
Once again, let me reiterate that sex exchange is immoral and those found guilty should be made to face the law. I commend Nigerians for standing up against sex exchange but also, I beseech Nigerians to stand up against all forms of immorality in the country. It is reprobate to ignore one immorality and shout to the high heavens against another immorality. We must stand up in unison to con- demn any kind of immoral act no matter whose ox is gored, even if our parents, relations, godfathers or political avatars are involved.
It is immoral for anybody to delude Nigerians with fake or nonexistent academic qualifications. How many Nigerians who occupy public and private offices have requisite qualifications? A good number of people who bear all kinds of bloated accolades have no qualifications to be in the offices they occupy. Many people who pretend to have university degrees do not have them.
Many people who pretend to have O’Level results do not have them. Many people who parade first degrees, Masters degrees, PhD degrees, and all manner of degrees do not have them, yet they lied, committed perjury, and rose to lofty posi- tions riding at the back of immoral provenance. Let BBC Africa Eye beam their searchlight on educational qualifications of highly placed people in this country. The result will shock the whole world. Many politicians in Nigeria, those who want to be seen as our moral and integrity incarnate do not have basic qualifications to occupy the offices they occupy. This is the height of immorality and Nigerians must rise with the same vigour with which they condemned university sexual immorality.
It is extended immorality which grates on our consciences for the Nige- rian government to pardon Boko Ha- ram members and integrate them into the society while we call for the head of university sexual predators. This is sick- ening. Boko Haram members killed in thousands, wiped away many families, killed many soldiers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, turning their children into orphans, decimated the population, sexually abused and degraded little girls and even married women, buried people alive and committed all kinds of atrocities.
Now, they deserve pardon and in fact, a certain governor in the North, in a moment of psychosis, said that repentant Boko Haram members are qualified to aspire to the office of the president. It defies cognitive process to pardon someone who has raped, killed, robbed, defiled minors, committed all manner of heinous atrocities, and then, bring down the sledgehammer on the head of another who has committed a fraction of what his bestial counterpart has committed. To pardon Boko Haram members with VIP treatment while people who commit lesser crimes are hounded is an illustration of justice in parody and we must all rise against this kind of blatant perversion. Every captured Boko Haram member should be charged with robbery, rape, sodomy, mass murder and treason.
It is immoral for Abia State University, South East of Nigeria to ask prospec- tive students to pay a whopping one hundred and fifty thousand naira as admission acceptance fee. Why is nobody
talking about this daylight robbery in Nigeria? Why should a university charge so much money for just acceptance fee, not inclusive of school fees and other hidden charges? Shamefully, amenities in the university are a crying necropolis which does not justify such a huge amount of money paid by prospective students. Where does the money go to, what is it used for? Nigerians must be total in their protest against all acts of immorality in the country.
It is immoral for some members of the Nigerian police force to arrest young men who carry laptops and other IT gadgets. When these boys are arrested, they are threatened with death, taken to the stations and detained. In exchange for their release, they are asked to pay several sums of money ranging from five figures to six figures. This is official robbery and professional misconduct at the highest level. Nigerians, while shouting at the rooftop against sex for grades in tertiary institutions must also stand up against daylight robbery of Nigerian citizens by the police.
It is immoral for any public officer, politi- cian, or civil servant to travel abroad for Medicare while our general hospitals and teaching hospitals are in composite decay. Nigerians must rise with one voice to condemn this kind of mindless sabotage. Same also for public officers who send their children abroad for education while our educational system depreciates daily. Why should a governor who oversees a state university send his chil- dren abroad for education? Why should a minister, a senator or house of representative member send his children abroad to study? Nigerians must rise in unison against this kind of untold immorality. The underlining message is to fight immorality in whatever guise. To rise against one form of immorality and ignore another kind of immorality is in itself an immoral behaviour.
Dr Adiele writes from Lagos via [email protected]