Sex-for-grade: Another victim speaks out in Kaduna

Salamatu Bello, a victim of alleged sexual harassment by a university lecturer, on Friday, staged protest round Kaduna metropolis to highlight the plight of female students in the country.

The victim, holding a placard with the inscription, ‘It’s your right NOT to be sexually abused as a student’, later spoke with newsmen on the matter.

Bello was sexually abused while she was a student of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 2010, and the lecturer alleged to have molested her is now with Kaduna State University (KASU).

Although she declined detailed comment on what transpired, Bello said she will appear before the committee set up by Kaduna State University to investigate the lecturer, Mr Bala Umar, popularly known as AB Umar.

According to her, sexual harassment of female students has been going on in tertiary institutions for long, as the victims were always unwilling to speak out.

“We have this going on in our academic institutions for long and we have been covering people, which is the ‘Arewa silent culture’ that we have been practicing.

“If you look at it, what we normalize today, our children are going to pay for it later.

“There are hundreds before me, there will be hundreds after me, the hundreds after me are going to be my children’s children and I will not be there to tell them I am sorry.

“I will not be there to tell them I sat down and did nothing, that I sat down and normalize the whole thing.

“This is something that had happened a long time, people think I am vindictive which I am not, because ABU to KASU is just 70 kilometers.

“If you are doing same there and you left there and come here and continue doing it, somebody has to stop you.

“We always have this notion in our society that if you come out and say it, nobody will marry you, the stigma is not bearable.

“AB Umar was my former lecturer in ABU, that is when and where it happened and there are some things that I can’t just talk about.

“I was a diploma student then in ABU in 2010, now I have been getting random calls threatening me, I just switched off my phones and I want to continue my protest, that is all”, she said.

Bello’s protest earlier, forced authorities of the university to suspend the lecturer and constitute a committee to investigate him.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El’rufai has promised that the allegation would be investigated thoroughly.

The governor stated that the investigation and prosecution would be carried out by the Attorney General of the state.

El’rufai who tweeted the update on his twitter handle said the suspension of the staff by the university was the first step.

According to his Tweet which reads: “The suspension of Mr. Umar by KASU is the first step. He and 15 lecturers sacked by nearby ABU Zaria for sexual harassment will be fully investigated & prosecuted by the Attorney General of Kaduna State. We must face evil & end this scourge in our state,”

The management of Kaduna State University had on Wednesday set up a committee to investigate one of its staff known as A.B. Umar over alleged sex for grade allegation leveled against him.

KASU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Professor Abdullahi Ashafa, who chaired the meeting emphasised that the institution has zero tolerance for such behaviour by its staff.

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