Chris Zumani Zimba
On 8th October, 2019 BBC Africa reported that the University of Lagos suspended a senior lecturer-Dr Boniface Igbeneghu, who is also a pastor after being caught on film propositioning and sexually harassing ‘prospective student’, an undercover BBC reporter. The academic was filmed putting inappropriate questions and requests toward a BBC journalist, who was posing as a prospective student aged 17.
On a final meeting between the pair, the lecturer was filmed physically harassing her and asking to kiss her inside of his locked office. He also appeared to threaten to tell her mother if she was “disobedient” towards him. A number of other students in the film also made allegations of abuse against the lecturer. One former student of Dr Igbeneghu, whose identity was protected, claimed the experience has led her to attempt suicide several times.
The University of Lagos, in response, held an emergency meeting on Monday where Dr Igbeneghu was immediately suspended and barred from campus. The Foursquare church, where Dr Igbeneghu is a pastor, have also distanced themselves from him in a statement. They said the church does not condone “heinous and unscriptural” acts from ministers and asked him to step down.
The case of Dr Igbeneghu is one of the many such cases in many African high schools, colleges, universities, work places/offices and ironically in some churches where young ladies and women are manipulated and conned by their ‘privileged superiors’ to offer unwanted sexual services in the name of being favoured. In these instances, some privileged people like teachers, lecturers, company managers, work supervisors or even pastors tend to promise ‘good grades’, job promotion or ‘more miracles’ in exchange with sex; and many ladies ‘dangerously offer’ it out of desperation. It is a silent moral delinquency and a common form of gender based violence (GBV) that goes unnoticed and reported in many places.
The worst moral side of ‘sex for good grades, job promotion or more miracles’ is that, both the culprits and victims as well as their respective spouses become predisposed to HIV and other STIs. This is because this form of ‘love making’ is usually ‘forced’ is executed either in thuggery or hurriedly manner without adhering to the universal rule of “safer sex” where condoms are properly, correctly and constantly used.
Although Africa is home to about 15.2% of the world’s population, more than two-thirds of the total infected worldwide – some 35 million people – were Africans in 2010, of whom 15 million have already died. Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounted for an estimated 69% of all people living with HIV and 70% of all AIDS deaths in 2011. Therefore, it is important for all of us to join the fight against ‘sex for good grades, job promotion or more miracles’ in our local communities.
Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Zambian Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles. Chriszumanizimba.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; +260 973 153 815 for calls or WhatsApp.