The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo has advocated stiffest punishment for perpetrators of sexual harassment in the country.
The Vice President spoke on Wednesday at a webinar on anti-sexual harassment themed “Finding Safe Spaces for Female Students in Nigerian Universities”, organized by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
The event was based on the book authored by notable journalist and former presidential spokesman, Olusegun Adeniyi, titled “Naked Abuse: Sex For Grades In African Universities”.
Osinbajo said it was a wrong notion that victims or potential victims of sexual harassment were architects of their fate especially by their attitude, dressing, or willingness to be in compromising places with their violators, stressing that such view should be resisted in every situation.
He particularly advocated stricter punishments for rape offenders especially in situations involving lecturers and their female students.
Osinbajo said developing and adhering to a set of ethical codes of conduct for conversations and interactions involving lecturers and students in universities would greatly address the problem.
The Vice President, who spoke on ways of resolving issues around sexual harassment in Nigerian universities, said the search for answers to creating safe spaces for female students in universities must begin from the question of why such an evidently rampant crime was so under-reported.
He also recommended the adoption of a mandatory well thought-out whistleblower process emphasizing confidentiality, professional legal and medical help for victims or potential victims.