Sexual harassment: CSOs commend polytechnic for dismissing two lecturers in Bauchi

Some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Bauchi state, on Sunday, commended the Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, for dismissing two lecturers who were allegedly involved in sexually assaulting their female students.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Governing Council of the institution approved the dismissal of the lecturers, Malam Abubakar Baba of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Mr Adebusoye Sunday from the Department of General Studies, on October, 23, at the end of the 98th meeting of the council.

Announcing their dismissal, the Rector of the institution, Mr Sunusi Gumau, said that the decision was reached after a thorough investigation of the matter by a committee set up by the institution, which found the two lecturers guilty of the offence.

Reacting to the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi, Mr Jinjiri Garba, Chairman, Bauchi State Network of Civil Society (BASNEC), backed the decision of the Governing Council of the institution.

Garba said the decision as welcomed as a good development to all the civil society organizations in the state.

He called on other higher institutions in the country to follow suit by dismissing any staff found guilty of sexually harassing his students.

“By taking this step, they are going to sanitize the school and people will have confidence in sending their children to the school.

“That is why we are in support of what they did and we want other schools to emulate the institution.

“The school authority has done the right thing and we are going to see what the societies are going to do because the lecturers can not be left to go scot free.

“We are expecting the bigger organizations like Al-Muhibbah Foundation to shoulder the responsibility of taking them to court, we are trying to see what we can do to hear from them.

“We are going to make sure that they are punished for what they did,” he said.

The chairman, who lamented that the images of the victims had been tarnished and their fundamental human rights tampered with, said that something legally needed to be done in order to restore more confidence in the institution.

Garba, however, advised students in all higher institutions to be decent and try to concentrate effectively on their academic endeavours.

“This is because some of the lecturers receive offers from the lazy students who would not read but say they will use what they have to get what they want and that is why the innocent ones are likewise victimized.

“Lecturers should make sure that they are there to mould characters and God is going to ask them whatever they have done.

“They should remember that they have daughters too. What you do to somebody’s daughter, is still going to come back to you,” said the chairman.

Mbami Iliya Sabka, President of Prison Inmate Development Initiative (PIDI-Nigeria), Bauchi State chapter, also commended the institution for the bold step in sacking the lecturers, adding that the organization had been following up the case ever since it happened.

Sabka told NAN that PIDI-Nigeria works with groups of networks within and outside Nigeria to promote access to justice and to serve as wrong finders, whistle blowers and agents of change in the society.

He said “We heartily commend the Council and Management of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, in acting over our observation of the alleged state offence and thereby dismissing the rape culprits”.

In her reaction, Mrs Comfort Attah, Executive Director, Attah Sisters Helping Hands Foundation (ASHHF), Bauchi, referred to the decision of the institution as an excellent and bold move.

She said it would serve as a deterrent to other staff of the institution and all other institutions in the country, adding that the institution was leading a good example to other higher institutions in Nigeria.

“I want to commend the management of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi state, for being objective and being able to separate itself from the culprits.

“The decision taken was an excellent decision, the leadership of the school management and the leadership of the Senate Committee that sat to take that decision did well.

“It will serve as a deterrent to others and with that now, everybody in the school is aware that if you mess up, you will be messed as well,” she said.