News

June 22, 2016

Saraki raises alarm over spate of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions

Saraki raises alarm over spate of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions

Saraki

By Immanuel Jannah

ABUJA—Senate President, Bukola Saraki has raised alarm over the rise in sexual harassment complaints in tertiary institutions across the country.

Saraki

Saraki

He made the disclosure while declaring open the public hearing on the bill to provide for the prohibition of incidences of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions.

Saraki said sexual harassment incidences were becoming too frequent that it could no longer be ignored.

He described the menace as a special challenge that required specific and more direct attention, calling on the executive arm of government to pay attention to the right issues affecting the lives of the people, including those with direct impact on their enjoyment of liberty, freedom and aspirations.

Saraki said: “Complaints of sexual harassment in our places of learning are on the rise and this dangerous trend has quite a significant impact on the quality of learning, life and dignity of our children as a whole.”

‘’Sexual harassment incidences are beginning to factor dangerously in our higher institutions in such a manner that we can no longer ignore, otherwise we will be abdicating our responsibility to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the federation.

“This menace has the potential of hindering academic excellence among our students, especially the female students.

‘’One of the greatest achievements African women have made in their quest for empowerment has been in the area of education. And this bill when passed into law, will further make the academic environment more accommodating for all who seek excellence.

“Yes, we have laws dealing with sexual offences in general, just like we have for many other offences. But in this regards, we are paying significant attention and treating this matter as a special challenge that requires specific and more deterring direct attention. ‘’This is in recognition of the many dimensions of its impact. We are also doing this to further send a message to all those who have utilized the seeming gaps in our body of laws to perpetrate this evil and destroy the hope of our children.

“This bill must also be seen as a message to our children that we hear their cries and we cannot seat idly by and watch. Let this also sound as a matching order to our law enforcement agencies to develop and adopt greater attention to deal with the growing menace and nip it in the bud. Making law is not enough.

“The executive must begin to pay attention to the right issues affecting our lives as a people, including those with direct impact on our peoples’ enjoyment of liberty, freedom and aspirations.

‘’We cannot continue to focus on less impact areas of our lives while people suffer on the streets and the quality of individual lives continue to dwindle due to lack of government attention.

‘’It is time for our children to feel safe again in schools and worry more about their learning than of their safety and protection. This is what government is about.”