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Why I reintroduced anti-sexual harassment bill - Senator Omo-Agege





- Deputy Senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege, has been an advocate for the anti-sexual harassment bill

- Omo-Agege said it woud send a clear signal to sexual predators in Nigeria's campuses

- Highlight of the event was the sharing of stories by survivours in various instittutions during the event

Deputy Senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege has given reasons why he reintroduced the anti-sexual harassment bill in the 9th Senate.

Omo-Agege is sponsoring the bill alongside 106 other senators in the upper chamber of the National Assembly including the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan.

Shedding light on the proposed bill on Monday, December 9, Omo-Agege said it woud send a clear signal to sexual predators in Nigeria's campuses that their reprehensible conducts woud be adequately take care of by the Act.

He made the comment while delivering the keynote address to declare open the policy dialogue on the anti-sexual harrasment bill.

His words: “I believe as a matter of character, principle and learning that the student-educator relationship is one of in loco parentis in the same unique class as parenting.

“It is a fiduciary relationship of authority, dependency and trust where the educator, like a good and responsible parent, exercises supervisory responsibilities over the student.

“It is formed on an unwritten code of absolute honour and obligation of good faith, honesty, dignity, and care to be held inviolable.

“No educator has the moral right to exploit the special student-educator relationship for repulsive personal satisfactions.

“No one should be allowed to exploit seeming weaknesses in our existing legal frameworks to make life unbearably for our students, especially our female student.

“As a father, I am confident that I speak for an overwhelming majority of our citizens that sexual predators who operate on our campuses of tertiary education do not represent who we are as a people. We have a duty to stop them.”

On her part, the executive director of Youth Alive Foundation (YAF) and organiser of the programme, Dr Udy Okon expressed the importance of today being Ineternational Anti-corruption Day as a good day to bring the issue to public discourse.

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She subsequently showed concern for the general public to engender the same level of interest on the issue as evoked shortly after the BBC expository documentary while also espousing the bill during and after the dialogue.

Highlight of the event was the sharing of stories by survivours in various instittutions during the event.

There was also a plenary discussion on the bill as presented by the Senate.

Meanwhile, last month, YAF under its Youth Participation Against Corruption (Y-PAC) launched an initiative tagged SHE campaign. SHE stands for Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.

Already, YAF and its partners are implementing the SHE campaign in 5 states and 13 tertiary institutions across Nigeria.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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