The National Female Students Association of Nigeria, the umbrella of female students in Nigeria, has expressed its desire for the passage of the sexual harassment bill into law.
National president of the association, Comrade Idongesit Micah, who spoke at a public hearing of the sexual harassment bill organised by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, on Monday in Abuja, lamented the spate of harassment of female students by lecturers.
Comrade Micah, in a memorandum submitted to the committee, called on the Senate to immediately pass the bill into law, explaining that it would arrest prevalence of sexual harassment in educational institutions.
According to her, “Let me be very clear on our position on this bill. This is a bill that must be passed into law.
“It is either we enact this law and send sexual predator lecturers to prison for correction or we provoke helpless parents, husband or guardian to someday pick a loaded gun and deal with this problem in a barbaric manner.”
However, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), was not in support of the Sexual harassment Bill pending in the Senate.
Speaking at the hearing, President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the Sexual Harassment Bill, 2016 violated the autonomy of the university, adding that sexual harassment was not peculiar to academic environment but in every walk of life.
He said, “The bill is discriminatory, selective, spiteful, and impulsive and lacks logic and any intellectual base by attacking the character and persons of those in tertiary institutions rather than addressing the issue holistically.”
The Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institutions Prohibition Bill, 2016’ provides a compulsory five-year jail term for lecturers who sexually harass students if passed into law.