The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Oyo State Chapter, has asked Minister of Education, Adam Adamu, Governor Seyi Makinde and other relevant authorities to investigate the allegation of sexual harassment and molestation of female students at Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Oyo.
Addressing a press conference at NUJ Press center, Iyaganku, Ibadan, on Sunday, the chairperson of NAWOJ, Comrade Jadesola Ajibola, said the association was concerned about some happenings in the all girls’ boarding school of the Federal Government, which she said has a negative impact on the life and future of many students.
According to Ajibola, concerned parents of the school wrote a petition to the association that many girls have been regularly abused and violated by persons who are expected to be teachers, guardians and mentors to the students.
“Our attention has been drawn to the alleged continuous harassment and molestation of some school girls by teachers over the years with many cases swept under the carpet.
“As an association that advocates for child rights, we cannot close our eyes to this menace that can truncate the future of children, especially when we consider the fact that we have been invited to take on the case, “she said.
The chairperson, who condemned in strong terms the alleged sexual harassment of the female students, said the leadership of the school ought to have set up a panel to investigate the dangerous trend reported by concerned parents of the school.
“The parents further alleged that the management of the school had been covering up such incidents in the past few months and refusing to take disciplinary actions against the perpetrators when such cases are reported.
“As an association, we want to first commend the Oyo State Police Command under the leadership of the new Commissioner of Police, CP Adebowale Williams (psc), for taking up the recent incident involving a 14-year-old girl, who was sexually molested and abused by her teacher,” Ajibola said.
She urged the Oyo State Police Command to speed up investigations and start prosecution of the accused teacher before a court of competent jurisdiction within the state without delay.
Ajibola called on the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to immediately set up an investigation panel to look into all forms of abuse against girls in FGGC, Oyo, and bring any erring staff to justice.
“We call on the Registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Professor Segun Ajiboye, who is an outstanding indigenous son of Oyo State to investigate the attitude of these registered teachers without delay and take appropriate action.
“As the alleged perpetrators are undoubtedly members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, we call on Comrade Raji Oladimeji to look into this issue further.
“As an association, we will not relent on our oars until we get justice for the survivor of the recent abuse, a minor who was regularly sexually abused and violated and other victims in that school,” she said.
Ajibola demanded the immediate suspension of the principal of the school, to allow thorough investigation on the matter, adding that “the PTA chairman also should resign with immediate effect, as the concerned parents claim they no longer have confidence in the leadership as it protends more danger to the lives of the girls in the school.”
“We call on His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde and the First Lady to also support us in ensuring justice for the victims and provide more protection for pupils and students in the state,”she added.
She warned others who are constantly engaging in this inhuman act to stop it immediately as the law will surely catch up with them soon and also adviced parents to do more in ensuring the protection of their children at all times.