College of Education Agbor is not a stranger to sex scandals even though they have largely gone unreported and un-investigated by the school authority, but on the student level there is a pent-up frustration and a growing sense of resignation. However the recent scandal involving a senior lecturer at the department of Social Science studies raping and possibly infecting a female student with HIV broke all known conventions.
Just as the current provost, Dr. Tibi, is in his last months as the head of the institution he is being forced by circumstance to face the un-faceable and take the institution on a soul searching mission. The outcome of the current scandal will, to a large extent, define the legacy of Dr. Tibi and possibly determine his future as an administrator.
It is generally agreed that current scandal that threatens to undermine all Dr. Tibi has worked for for years as an administrator is in no way directly a fault of his but a direct consequence of the screwed up lifestyle of many lecturers at his institution. Still, the scandal raises the question about the moral and administrative legacy Dr. Tibi will be leaving behind in five or six months time at the end of his tenure as provost of the most prestigious centre of learning in Ika land, his own community of origin.
Ika weekly newspaper broke the sex scandal thus: On February 2nd 2009 a 200 level female student reported that a senior lecturer at the social science studies of the College of Education Agbor drugged and raped her. According to her, the lecturer forced her into following him to College of Education Igueben to sell some books. On the way, the lecturer convinced the student that they should have something to drink. After having a drink the student claimed she became unconscious only to wake up to find herself naked with the lecturer sitting beside her. She then confronted the lecturer and asked to be taken back to Agbor. Upon arrival at Agbor she quickly reported the lecturer and headed to a hospital for HIV test when she realized that the lecturer could be HIV positive and that his wife died of AIDS related illness.
According to sources at the college, this is not the first scandal involving the lecturer in question. The lecturer is said to be so notorious that he was accoused to have raped a student last year when students were protesting a hike in their school fees. Whether or not he was reported to the school authority then is unknown to Ikaworld.com.
The school authority lead by Dr. Tibi has set up a committee to investigate the incident. What has infuriated the people contacted by Ikaworld.com investigative team is that the focus of the committee has been largely focused on whether or not the sexual encounter has been consensual.
Ikaworld.com is unsure at this point how a committee that is dominated by male lecturers and colleagues of the accused is going to arrive at an unbiased conclusion. The issue at stake goes beyond this was consensual sex or rape. It is a case of causing bodily harm, abuse of power and reckless behaviour by a person in a position of power.
Ikaworld.com?s finding reveals that although there may be uncertainties in the mind of some people, especially among the male lecturers at the college, on whether the lecturer raped the student there is no doubt that the student would never have had sex with him if she knew he was potentially HIV positive. So if the lecturer had sex with the female student, by rape or by consent, without using condom we can safely say that the action of the lecturer was devilish to say the least. We can mildly say that this was an attack on the female with a deadly weapon.
The version being peddled by some male lecturers is that the female student had consensual sex with the lecturer but panicked or had a second thought when she later heard that the lecturer is HIV positive. This assumption has led to many male staff members to unfairly question the credibility of the female student.
Here again are the issues: Should a lecturer engage is sexual relations with his student in the first place, whether or not the student is an adult? Does this not amount to a potential abuse of power? If the lecturer is or potentially is HIV positive shouldn?t he tell anyone he is about to have sex with about his status? Shouldn?t he have used condom in the first place?
Strangely enough some members of the school authority are asking why the female student did not take anyone along on the trip with the lecturer. Would he have allowed her to if she wanted to? Was she supposed to know that the lecturer who is supposed to set good example for his students would become a predator?
The question that Dr. Tibi and the College of Education will have to confront is what they would do if the female student is proved to have been infected with HIV by the lecturer. Would the lecturer be handed over to the police and allow the full weight of the law to be applied in this matter?
The word from reliable sources on campus is that should the lecturer be found guilty he would be retired from the college with no other penalty. This would be gross injustice, should this be the case.
Another traumatic aspect of this scandal is that the female student is already being blamed and given no support by the school authority. She has to hide her head in shame while she is being accused of setting the lecturer up. Still no one has denied the fact that most male lecturers at the college see the female students as fair game for the sexual advances.
A visit to the drinking pub at Our Ladys girls hostel and Greenwood girls hostel would instantly confirm to any visitor how many lecturers double as pimps. They command the girls to do their bidding or fail their courses. Not even the intelligent girls escape this fate. When dignitaries or politicians visit Agbor, these lecturers are paid to supply college girls to entertain them. These are all known and indisputable facts for years. According to some students contacted by Ikaworld.com, the only defence at the girls? disposal would be to join the Deeper Life church and dress unappealingly to disinterest the lecturers. This is said to work successfully.
The decay in our society and the disregard of life that pervades the Ika community today has found its way into a great institution of learning. If Dr. Tibi is unable to set a tone the changes the dialogue to one of zero tolerance for the sexual harassment and exploitation of female students then all hope would be lost for the thousands of students of that institution and the consequence for the society at large is unimaginable.