A non-profit, advocacy group, SOFADONDO (SDD) has announced its readiness to campaign against sex for grades and grades for sex in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
A maiden press statement entitled: 'The Scourge of Sex for Grades/Grades for Sex Must Stop' signed by its convener, Dr Albert Obiozo to announce the existence of the group, noted that members of SDD comprising Nigerian professionals, are concerned about the increasing wave of sex for grades/grades for sex in tertiary institutions and its corresponding effect on decline in education standards.
The statement described SDD as a duly registered group determined to ensure all legitimate steps enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution are taken to expose purveyors of sex for grades/grades for sex in tertiary institutions.
The statement read: “Sofadondo is a registered organisation with a commitment to be the voice of the voiceless, the vulnerable, the oppressed and the downtrodden against all forms of sexual harassment. Our goal is to advocate for justice, fairness and engender a safer society. We are also committed to sensitise the society on the dangers of molestation, intimidation and sexual harassment and stand against same in our institutions of learning and society at large.
"We would also advocate against the abuse of power, authority and intimidation of citizens by anyone in authority especially against the innocent, oppressed and indigent members of the society. Sofadondo would bring to the public sphere cases of such intimidation and harassment and help find lasting solutions. We urge those that have cases to report to visit our website at www.sofadondo.org, our Facebook page and @sofadondo on Twitter.”
While promising to treat cases with the diligence they deserve, Obiozo allayed fears of witch-hunting, noting that it would ensure fairness for all parties. He commended authorities of tertiary institutions that have taken steps to investigate cases brought to its attention and solicited for cooperation from management of tertiary institutions to stamp out the ugly trend from Nigerian schools.
The statement continued: “In SDD, we shall treat cases with all the seriousness and diligence required. We are not out to witch-hunt anybody or destroy careers. We shall pursue all cases by being fair to all parties. We are aware that lecturers are also victims from female students. We condemn in its entirety reported behaviours of some female students who rather than study hard to pass exams prefer to offer sex for grades to join the crowd of uneducated graduates in the society. Affected lecturers owe it a duty to the school and the society at large to retain the trust vested in them to expose such students so that they can be punished in line with relevant laws of the school. We shall work closely with management of tertiary institutions to create the needed awareness to stop sex for grades/grades for sex."
On the recent cases of sex for grades in some tertiary institutions, Obiozo said SDD is following the cases to ensure that none is swept under the carpet. According to him, SDD would work with all relevant law enforcement agencies for prompt prosecution of indicted persons to serve as deterrent to others.
He said: “SDD is aware of recent published incidents of sex for grades in three Nigerian universities. In one of the cases, the indicted lecturer has been dismissed from the university, but that should not be the end of the case. SDD is following the case and we would expect he is prosecuted by relevant authorities (for justice to be served). The other two cases are still being investigated. We shall keep the public abreast on these and others that would come to our attention. SDD is poised to lead the fight against sex for grades. We are serious in our mission and we call on relevant law enforcement agencies, other non-governmental organisations and groups to see us as worthy partners to join us in this battle to stem the tide of sex predators in our tertiary institutions."