By Binta Suleiman Gaya
While dancing around in circles; you marry off a young girl, without education or skill, to a man of similar status, probably was once a beggar himself and never learnt a trade beyond selling pure water on the roads.
She is divorced with five kids and returns home. Family that sent off one member in order to rest, now has six to cater for. Poverty doubles.
New divorcee goes into part time Benylin, part time prostitution and part time house maid’s job.
We see them every day, hire them to work as maids in our homes, and many of them can’t make ordinary pap ( koko) satisfactorily. They were raised by mostly unskilled uneducated poor parents with little exposure to modernity.
Government decides it has had enough of that wayward divorcee and organises a free mass wedding.
At this mass wedding, less than 0.5% of the divorcees are honored with a husband, a furniture with all domestic work paraphernalia and she is sent off to her new marital home. Nothing new she muses to herself.
Meanwhile, mass wedding looks appealing. Oga with four wives decides to divorce the troublesome one, and perhaps the oldest wife.
Two more divorcees hit the market. The number of existing divorcees swells again.
So, for a 0.5 solution to the divorcee problem, you double the main trouble.
In essence, the chief divorcer which is, the man remains at the center of the problem. He continues to throw more women into the divorce arena and folds his hands while government tries ever so gingerly, albeit not so strategically, to take care of man’s problem. Man the center of the universe.
If that is the situation, why not just stop the rampant divorce? Or at least tame the monster to only the most reasonable cases? Why create more problems when you solve only a few? What happens to free choices? Happiness?
In truth, of all the women up for free marriage organised by the state, most are not skilled, or educated or from rich homes or even empowered. Doesn’t that tell us; it’s a question of value and not just want?
When you raise the status of women, educate them, provide them with skills and empower them to become capable of standing on their own feet materially, their value increases. They become like that small generator, “I pass free marriage”.
If that is true, then why don’t we use the funds for free marriage into for example, training of CHEWS ie community health extension workers, agricultural extension workers, literacy programs, etc that provide skills and jobs and improve our communities? A worker with skills finds husband any day. A divorcee without job is a liability and a burden nobody wants to incur. Except government!
Isn’t it a simple logic then? Why then do we persist in error? Why do we like dancing around in circles like a cursed generation?
Let’s think about it as we inch closer to 2019 polls.
Binta Suleiman Gaya, a lecture in the department of Mass Communications Bayero University Kano first published this article on her Facebook account
Sex for marks and the culture of victim blaming
Hadiza S. Ibrahim
The ‘sex for grades’ phenomenon uncovered by the BBC Africa Eye documentary in the University of Lagos was published on YouTube on October 7, 2019, and has gone viral in the social media. This has led to a domino’s effect in other higher institutions.
In response to this, some commentators are of the view that it is not only the universities’ male lecturers that are to be blamed, but the female students should be blamed even more. They argue that some female students lead the lecturers on or seduce them by making sexual advances to the lecturers privately in their offices when they fail to meet up pass marks.
However, even though some female students seduce male lecturers into having sex for grades, we cannot dispute that female students stand at more risk of being pressurized and exploited by male lecturers in the pursuit for sex for marks. There are more facts of vulnerability as seen in the documentary, from the side of the female students who are sometimes underage and become victims of sexual harassment from male lecturers at different variations ranging from verbal or physical abuses, blackmail, molestation or rape.
For the lecturers, they stand no risk at all. First, they have a choice, whether to fall into the temptation of their female students’ sexual advancement or turn them down. If they agree to the advances of their female students, they end up not as victims but rather as counterparts to the criminal offenses.
On the other hand, the female students who are sexually harassed by their male lecturers find themselves victimized. They are left with the choice of either being sexually abused or stand the risk of forgoing their grades; or in some instance, repeating a class/year of academic study, or even get withdrawn from the school. Consequently, such female students stand the risk of being oppressed, silenced and depressed. In some cases, where there is no immediate help, with no justice after being threatened by their predators, such female students go as far as attempting suicide because of trauma from the experience of sexual harassment, molestation or even rape.
In cases where lecturers are reported, the authorities are reluctant in implementing policies regarding criminal offenders or do nothing about it. This has led to a culture of impunity among the lecturers. For example, in the BBC Sex for Grades documentary there is even room commonly known as the ‘cold room’ in the Senior Staff Club of the University of Lagos where lecturers have affairs with students openly.
So, the question is, who is at a greater risk of being victimized, the female students or the male lecturers? The gravity or effect of these occurrences in the lives of the victims is what is of greater concern.
Hadiza S. Ibrahim is a Life Coach based in Kano
Sex for marks: Blame the students
Abba Ibrahim Gwale
The BBC has indeed conducted an excellent investigation into the sexual harassment of female university students by the lecturers, but I blame the students more.
A lecturer once told me that one of his female students came late to a test. After the test, the student entered another class, ruffled her dress, and exposed half her breasts, retouched her make-up and approached the lecturer’s office. Before going, she confided to her friends that she was going to seduce the lecturer into giving her another test.
Unknown to her, a male student overheard her and reported to the lecturer. The moment she entered the office, the lecturer shouted at her to get out. From that day she had been avoiding the lecturer.
Another lecturer told me that a female student once told him that she couldn’t pass his examination however much she tried and was therefore willing to give him whatever he wanted from her.
“Whatever I want?” he asked her.
“Yes, you do understand what I mean.” She replied.
Also, when I was in Level 200, one of my female course mates was unable to submit an assignment on schedule. She went and wore a revealing dress and knocked on the lecturer’s door. Fortunately for him, he wasn’t in.
I know another lecturer who received a text message from a female student after she had sat for his exam. In the text, she wrote that she knew she didn’t perform well but needed to pass the exam. She therefore was willing to offer herself to him. She ended the message by begging him to tell her where he would like to meet her.
There is another lecturer who was told by a married woman that she was willing to have sex with him if only she would pass his course. She even urged him not to waste time as her husband was about to return from a journey.
There is yet another lecturer who I found in a sad mood in his office. He told me that he was about to terminate his employment with the university. When I asked him for a reason, he confided that his students have been trying to seduce him. He narrated a lot of stories regarding several female students.
This problem is also prevalent in secondary schools where many male teachers suffer from the seductive cravings of female students.
However this is not to absolve the lecturers from blame as they are also guilty of harassing students sexually. In fact, the lecturers initiated the problem by demanding sex from their students. Nevertheless the students have become willing partners in this heinous crime.
Abba Ibrahim Gwale is a journalist based in Kano.
How Kano has become Kidnappers Den
Abbas Yusha’u Yusuf
For the past four years Nigerians are awash with news of kidnappings of high and low profile personalities. Citizens whose loved ones are frequent travelers on Nigerian highways are not that tranquil unless until they relations return safely from their journeys.
A number of deviant Nigerians are exploiting the opportunity to make money from kidnapping; some are obscure while others are prominent. The horrors with which kidnappers are visiting Nigerians have made them to lose hope as if the crime is getting out of government’s hands. The security and welfare of people should be the primary responsibility of government.
For the past thirty years the springing of disperse settlements are making Kano city to be a haven for different categories of people apart from those living in the ancient city surrounded by the old city wall.
Previous governments have frowned at how unorganized settlements are frustrating efforts in making the city one of the best even though its master plan has been disrupted severally by allocation of plots by the same governments calling on residents to help organized the city.
No one will purchase a piece of land or a house without a ward head or a village head signing the receipt but the big question is why are kidnappers hiding in Kano?
When Magajin Garin Daura was abducted for more than 42 days, his captors brought him to Kano. People were thinking that Magajin Garin Daura was not even alive or was flown out of the country, but unfortunately he was found in Kano.
The most terrifying thing of recent was that of Hamisu Bala Wadume, a kidnapper who escaped from the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian Police with the aid of soldiers as he confessed. His port of call was Kano.
Every sane person knows very well that government alone cannot commit enough resources to secure the whole of Kano people. Kano residents must therefore stand up and initiate ways to ensure their security so that they will not be sleeping with kidnappers and other criminal elements.
Recently, Tudun Yola community has started taken measures to tackle the security situation. Tudun Yola is a middle class and elite community in Kano. The residents have cooperated and registered every household in their area, the occupants, and their means of earning a livelihood. Even the watchmen guarding various houses are registered by the community after providing valid addresses and references. These steps will make the community to address insecurity bedeviling the area.
Every Tom, Dick, and Harry may come to Kano and hide if government did not address how future settlements develop. If Wadume from one of the farthest northern states will hide in Kano after escaping from the police, who else cannot?
The money spent in creating Emirates in the state would have been used to cooperate with ward and village heads to address hidden criminals in their midst.
Abbas Yushau Yusuf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Abducting, converting our children to Christians ‘very dangerous’–Kano Elders
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AKTH gets acting CMD
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This week in Kano History September 29 – 05 October
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