The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has said that the Sexual Harassment Bill recently passed into law by the Senate is not targeted at lecturers in higher institutions of learning but meant to flush out the few bad eggs tarnishing the image of their colleagues.
The Delta Central lawmaker regretted that few educators are soiling the image of their colleagues, majority of whom he described as ‘decent’.
He commended the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan for providing leadership, while also applauding his colleagues for co-sponsoring the Bill.
“This Bill is not targeted at our lecturers in tertiary institutions. To the extent that it is targeted at anybody, it is targeted at the errant few, the few predators in their midst. And we have them everywhere. It is not only in the tertiary institutions. Majority of the lecturers, professors are good people. We know them, we went through the institutions. So we speak from experience. The majority of lecturers, professors in higher institutions are good and decent teachers whose sole objective is to impart knowledge so that we can have the enabling environment to prepare our leaders of tomorrow.
“So, this Bill is targeted at the very insignificant few who cause most of these atrocities. And we have decided that we should put a stop to it. I am sure that even most of these lecturers know that they are not the target,” Omo-Agege said.
He expressed optimism that given the level of overwhelming support from the Presidency, the Bill would get presidential assent once it receives concurrence from the House of Representatives.
LEADERSHIP reports that the Bill to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions, 2020, which was passed on July 7, 2020, prohibits sexual harassment of students in tertiary institutions and prescribes jail term ranging from two to 14 years for various degrees of offences.
Sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate and co-sponsored by 106 lawmakers, the proposed legislation also prescribes N5million fine for offenders.
When signed into law, any educator who whistles or winks at a student or makes sexually-complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique would be liable to two years imprisonment or a fine of N1million, if found guilty.
Senator Omo-Agege added: “I can also tell you that this Bill enjoys the overwhelming support of President Muhammadu Buhari and also the wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Buhari.