Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, on Monday, said she also faced sexual harassment while she was an undergraduate in a Nigerian university.
Fayemi stated this in her reaction to the viral BBC Africa Eye documentary exposing sexual harassment acts of four lecturers from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the University of Ghana.
Two UNILAG lecturers, Dr Boniface Igbeneghu and Dr Samuel Oladipo were caught on camera demanding sex from undercover reporters who posed as female students.
The Ekiti first lady, who bagged her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of Ife, now the Obafemi Awolowo University, said:
“I cried because what these young women have experience is the story of many of us who passed through higher institutions in this country.
“I was educated here in Nigeria and I too was a victim of sexual harassment during my university days. I was luckier than these victims. It didn’t go that far but it was extremely unpleasant and of course back in the days when all these things happened you can’t tell anyone because if you do even up till now people ask you to keep shut.
“You know people don’t talk about things like this. I was watching the documentary and there were three words that came to me, one is voice, it is time to speak up and speak out and for those who do we need to stand with them and stand by them and not silence them because the culture of silence has endured enough.
“Another word that came to me was accountability, we need to be accountable whether there are parents, guidance or teachers or leaders in any form throughout the different section of society.
“We have to be accountable for the well being and health of the young people in our care, from when our children come to say, mummy, uncle so and so touched me and instead of asking further to find out what’s its all about, we should act.
“There has to be accountability and the third thing that came to mind was justice, justice for victim or I choose to call them survivors and so those of us who have worked in the women’s whether at international level or Africa or national air in Nigeria, we know that we have many law and policies in place that are supposed to guard against things such as this but this law sometimes means very little because there is inadequate political,” she said.
Mrs Fayemi said Ekiti had already opened a register to name and shame sex offenders in the state. She also called on other states to do likewise.