Let me start by saying that I am the butt of attack from my very good friends because of a broadcast I sent out following the breaking of this story. So I watched the BBC documentary about the sexual harassment that has by this video confirmed the epidemic that has spread like uncontrolled ebola throughout society not only the universities.
My position as always was misconstrued. I had railed against the growing penchant of resorting to self help as a result of our seeming lack of faith in the institutions saddled with the responsibility of ensuring sanity and law and order in the system. Today, the judicial process is painfully slow, expensive and habitually not there for majority of the people. Seeking justice in our society is worse than getting the proverbial camel to pass through the eye of that needle. So as a result, people would rather go through these kinds of routes to seek justice.
Now for me, I am looking at the long-term effect of all of these on society and not just the immediate glorification of a shortened route to success. We stare very clearly at anarchy with the attendant destruction of societal values as we grope ourselves towards instantaneous justice.
That systems and institutions have collapsed leading to a huge lack of confidence in their ability to serve and protect cannot be debated. But in search of the same fortitude, our jump into the jungles of arbitrariness would only lead to a worse consequence. Today we are now a country of short cuts. So, we cannot stop smuggling, we close the border. We cannot effectively address the xenophobic attacks, we say ‘when in Rome….. we cannot get justice from statutory rape, we rush to social media. We cannot get an errant tenant out of the house, we remove the roof.
This case in particular grates at the collective sensibility of all. Lecturers are now considered a major grouping that should be in the sex pervert register. We have been told that this wahala is prevalent across all campuses and as if this is not enough, a cabal of protection has been built around violators to protect them from justice. I have even been reliably informed that the Chairman of the Committee in one of these universities saddled with the task of addressing sexual harassment issues is a pervert himself. Well, so does this justify the self help measures of getting journalists and actresses to risk their sanity through dangerous ‘sting jobs’ in throwing up these issue before the establishment can react.
The fault is in all of us. The apparent destruction of our value and institutions lies in our own very hands. We all think that since we are not sexual predators, we are innocent. If you have ever driven ‘one way’, bribed to have your child who did not get cut off mark gain admission, bribe to change NYSC service station, jump queue and even vote Big Brother where all sort of lascivious sexual acts are condoned and encouraged, then you are also a big part of the problem.
It is very easy for us to jump on the platform of piety and shout, Pastorrrrrrrrrrr – he raped lynch him on social media. So, the lecturer she harassed should commit suicide forgetting that in our own way we are as ‘useless’ as they are. In Nigeria its now a case of every dog eating ‘shit’ but only the one caught is the culprit.
So, the First Lady who is always very quick to jump at issues like this to curry public adulation has come out that she was sexually harassed at Unilag when she was a student but felt that it was brilliant to keep quiet until this scandal. Why didn’t she use her powers and authority to fight for the cleansing of this malaise long after she left and had acquired the enviable status of the First lady. Instead, fresh from her scandal with the university students in her enclave she too has jumped on the moral high ground and shouted through her owambe gele that she was harassed. Big lie.
My people, let us work together in building a virile society. This one is not Buhari. Everybody must be ready to do the right things at all times. Let’s build a nation where rules and laws are respected and where everybody is equal in the eye of the law and where justice can be procured efficiently and at ease because you will not want to fathom the alternative. For now it’s a jungle.