Students donate pens to Tinubu for signing of sexual harassment bill

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Sunday Asefon, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Students Engagement receiving the pens


By Funmilayo Adeyemi

Nigerian students across higher institutions of learning in the country on Friday donated pens to President Bola Tinubu for him to assent to the Sexual Harassment Prohibition Bill before him.

Sunday Asefon, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Students Engagement, received the pens on behalf of the President  at an event organised by the Gender Mobile Initiative (GMI), in partnership with Nigerian students.

Speaking at the event organised to complement the government’s efforts in addressing sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV), particularly in education settings, Miss Benita Olaniyan, Erstwhile Students Union President, University of Abuja, called on the president to immediately look into the bill before him and append his signature to end any form of molestations against students.

“Education system is supposed to be a safe place for learning but students have been harassed and sexually molested.

“The students across higher institutions of learning in this country, in their goodwill, have donated these pens to the president, and we believe there will be stricter punishment for offenders,” she said.

Presenting the pens to the president, Daniel Ayeni, who spoke on behalf of Nigerian students, said the presentation served as a framework in accenting to the bill.

Ayeni noted that the framework was, however, paramount to making progress in ending the menace.

Speaking after receiving the pens, Asefon promised that President Tinubu is committed to efforts to tackle sexual harassments in tertiary institutions.

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He promised that a complaints unit will be opened at the presidency to curb the menace of sexual harassments in tertiary institutions.

Asefon, who joined his pen to the pool of donated pens, said that sexual harassment in the education system must stop through collective collaborations.

He assured that the message of the Nigerian students would be delivered to President Tinubu in due course.

“I receive this pens in good fate and will deliver the message accordingly. I assure you that the president, who is our father, would do what is necessary on this bill.

” We’ve heard a lot of cases of sexual harassments by lecturers on female students and the female students with boldness report these cases but because of the lecturers influence, the cases are swept under the carpet.

“This bill will give judgment to criminalise sexual harassment offenders.

” And I want to assure you that my office will collaborate to renew the fight against sexual harassment and sex-for-marks in our institutions,” he said.

The 9th National Assembly the bill to make comprehensive provisions for the prohibition and punishment of sexual harassment by educators in tertiary institutions just before the  end of its tenure in June 2023.

The Bill seeks to criminalise sexual harassment by educators against students in tertiary institutions.

The lawmakers also make compulsory, the inclusion of preventive measures against sexual and gender based violence in the curriculum of all levels of secondary education in Nigeria. But the President has not signed the bill into law, leading to clamours from stakeholders.

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