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CATALYSIS

Sex rot and ‘enemy… two-leg’ in our campuses

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DOES it mean that there is no longer a thing called ‘bush allowance?’ At least, ‘fringe benefit’ is an expression well known in both social and economic parlance.For those who may not know, fringe benefit simply refers to the extra things that someone enjoys in his duty post apart from his stated emolument.

 

Such accrual comes from the nature of the job; environment of operation; person’s location, among other associated derivatives from a job. My very financially naïve head tells me that I can simply describe fringe benefit as ‘the other things one ‘eats’ (read chop) after ‘eating’ his or her salary.’

 

Sometimes, such benefits can be bigger than salary. Ask the driver of a big boss’ pleasure car for example or a repairer of his car. Between chores, he would stop over at the home of a lady he is wooing, call her into the cosy car, even take her to a choice spot for a quick date and possibly secure her heart ahead of several other bidders because he drives her around in a confortable, air-conditioned new car.

 

Pieces and offcuts of clothes from clients in a tailor’s shop can often be gathered to sew new clothes for the tailor’s use for his family members. That is fringe benefit.From childhood, when we served clergymen and helped them gobble sumptuous rice-and-stew lunch with fat chicken in their homes on Sundays after mass, I have always held the unsubstantiated notion that priests seldom buy meat and food items for Sunday meals. That is another example of fringe benefit.

 

Bush allowance is actually a more crude and direct close relation of fringe benefit. Military and paramilitary operators are more conversant with the expression than common men. By bush allowance, a street-oriented Nigerian communicator refers to a perculiar provision  in surviving jungles especially in severe times such as war or unusual crises conditions ― what Nigerians refer to as  ‘when jungle mature’.

 

During such situations, soldiers who find themselves in the jungle with scant provisions operate on the maxim that it is ‘survival of the fittest’. Under such condition, anything eatable becomes food, no matter the source. Water for drinking or preparation of food can come from anywhere be it stems of trees, branches, leaves, rocks, brooks, any source.

 

In the jungle, as everyone is at the mercy of the elements, so is every animal and plant that strays into the soldier’s sight. Everything becomes a target and tagged enemy. It is from there that the phenomena ‘enemy… two-leg’ and ‘enemy… four-leg’ came.

 

‘Enemy… two-leg’ is a coinage for ‘captured’ birds comprising wild birds and domestic fowls such as cockrels and hens belonging to people in the neighbourhood which the men in jungle kill and eat to survive the bush.Similarly, ‘enemy… four-leg’ refers to four-legged wild and domestic animals comprising people’s goats, sheep, ram, cow, dogs and preys in the wild that the soldiers kill and eat.

 

All these, the men in the jungle fall and devour with relish. It is such a cherished endeavour in such operations that often, most soldiers who participated actively in the crises fronts where such things happened would not end their war stories without waltzing, nostalgic on their enemies… two-leg and four-leg feats. But the truth is always that killing someone’s fowl, goat, sheep, ram, or dog to eat even if on the excuse of the anomy of crisis is stealing. Yet the trend still continues.

 

As it is in the jungles, so it is in our schools, especially the tertiary institutions. In our campuses today, it seems our lads and gals have become ‘enemy… two-leg’ to marauding lecturers and influential workers who are predators on prowl.

 

This week, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) put on air, a documentary that so nakedly exposed this development to the shame of our society and generation. The film came with buttressing footages from universities in Nigeria and Ghana that a viewer would leave, thinking that being randy is one of the major conditions for becoming a university teacher in both countries.

 

In the aftermath of the BBC broadcast that is now trending like wind-aided Harmattan wildfire, a floodgate of ‘me-too’ complaints from victimised female students have opened across country. Most saddening is where the victims point their accusing fingers – young respected scholars, cerebral dons with high social clout, clerics in academia, gay teachers, admission-racket kingpins among others. Imagining that all these have taken are involved in preying on and victimising the youngsters handed over to them by parents is a very difficult task of believing or not believing on itself.

 

What has emerged is that our campuses have long been sold to the orgy of the sodomy, and most of us, it appears have long known about it but kept mute. After encountering the BBC broadcast, aired online on Monday, one immediately remembered a hit track of the eccentric rap music act Edris Abdulkareem.

 

Over one and half decades ago, the Lagos-based pop act released a number entitled, ‘Mr Lecturer’. We scoffed, fobbed and ignored him and his message given the fact that he was the same act that issued ‘Nigeria Jaga-Jaga’ among his other rave lyrics that riled some of us up. In fact, Edris’ ‘Mr Leturer’ came across to many of us as leud and raw given the images in the video that accompanied it.

 

Now, I feel, we should have paid more attention.

Only one day after the broadcast, the leadership, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) told the press that they have received a deluge of complaints from current and former students who have been victims of such predatory teachers. President of NANS, Danielson Bamidele Akpan, on Tuesday, disclosed to the press that he received over 70 complaints within 24 hours from students who claim they have been victims of sexual harassment by lecturers in Nigeria universities.

 

”I am glad that Nigerian female students are opening up withs lots of confidence, as their parents are disregarding societal stigmatisation. Most of the female students present facts and evidence and are ready to speak publicly,” said Mr Akpan.

 

Buttressing the Kiki Mordi-anchored undercover report of BBC, the NANS leader also claimed that heads of labour unions in universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, as well as secondary school principals were also culprits in the gale of sexual harassment of students in educational institutions.

 

One of the lecturers caught soliciting sex from a student in the BBC investigation was an influential don and frontline cleric of a Pentecostal church in the staff of University of Lagos (UNILAG). Following the broadcast, chairman of the UNILAG branch of ASUU, Dele Ashiru, on Tuesday told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that their union kicks against the practice which he described as an unethical practice.

 

Dr. Ashiru’s words: “As a union, we are against all unethical practices among colleagues, including sexual harassment and even abuse. The development is very disturbing and unfortunate. We have appealed to colleagues to understand that as lecturers, we stand in ‘loco parentis’ (in the place of parents) to these students and must not be perceived in any way of not being protective. We condemn this act of shame in its entirety and want the matter to be thoroughly investigated and appriopriate sanction carried out on all those found culpable.”

 

Sure, the teacher is human being with physical, emotional and spiritual frailties. A full-blooded (permit the grammar) man, be him teacher, lecturer, pastor, union leader or whatever would have to be very strong and highly resilient to withstand the flurry of beautiful bikini and spaghetti-top clad female students with burgeoning bodies.

 

Same goes for an emotionally challenged woman who finds herself teaching a flock of six-pack handsome boys with enticing biceps and velvety beards to flaunt. So, one needs stray far to establish that a Mr Lecturer is a man with blood in his veins.

 

Therefore, the youngster should be wrong to assume he is a robot. There are stories of lazy or ambitious students who wet the grounds with money, sex, trips, appointments and even pay for hotel rooms for lecturers – all to get passes and grades that they do not deserve.

 

Arguably, the vigour and beauty of the students are enough seduction to an adult who is nostalgic of his or her hey days. More so, the young ones’ youthful exuberance, tendency for mistakes, punishing hunger in campuses and proclivity for adventure easily lead them into the hands of exploitative, intelligent adults.

 

Watch students run from pillar to post daily in colleges and campuses; behold their difficulty in handling their basic lives and assignments and you will understand how difficult growing up and studying in a very challenging society is.

 

But that is where the big sin of conscience in this matter lay. A man or woman who does not have control has no business minding, teaching or mentoring a ward. Given that one cannot give what he or she does not have, how would society get good adults from such a person? A teacher must be of noble posture and high mental quality.

 

Sure, there are ‘fringe benefits’ and ‘bush allowances’ but a student is not a teacher’s fringe benefit, he or she is the teacher’s and school’s main product. Those in the workforce or leadership of schools who think they have gained access to cheap companions in bed should be flushed out pronto.

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