They are the “wretched of the earth.” While there are some shining examples within the Nigerian sisterhood, there could have been several millions more if the Nigerian society had taken its female population more seriously. For the most part, and in many settings, women are things, objects – things and objects to ignore or séxualise.Thinking about it now, I cannot remember which came first: the súgar daddy syndrome or the séxual exploitation of students by staff and faculty members (sometimes referred to as “Bush allowance”).Long before politicians became conquerors and rulers of the maiden and their honey jars — and long before military officers freely roamed the séxual landscape — súgar daddies were the kings.

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And in some cases, they snuck into secondary schools and in the process committed r*pe and alarming perversions. No matter how you look at it, séx between a student and a teacher or an administrator cannot be considered a relationship.

Today, the larger Nigerian society does not worry itself with what was initially an aberration. Basically, súgardaddism has now become a practice, part of our cultural milieu. Poverty and unemployment and the general state of confusion and hopelessness have greatly contributed to the mental and psychical anarchy that now characterises the country. This is so because there is an element of abuse and exploitation involved.

Tell me: How many women, 17-37 years old, do you know who do not have one or two moneybags as a lover or séx mate? What’s more, many students – especially secondary school and undergraduates — who are so abused and taken advantage of, may suffer psychological and physical damage.

In many ways, Nigerian institutions of higher learning are no different from other such institutions around the world: They are confronted with several contending issues such as budget cuts, plagiarism, cheating during exams, alteration of data by researchers, unhealthy rivalry and tension between faculty members and between faculty and administration and between students and other echelons. To be sure, there is not a teaching and learning institution anywhere in the world where such — séx between students and faculty and between students and staff — is not a concern. What makes the Nigerian context different is the propensity, the frequency and the severity of the aforementioned.

Parents send their children to school to learn, no to be harassed and séxually molested.

Young men and women come to school to learn and learn how to be contributing members of their immediate and global society.

They go to school to learn to be good citizens, good human beings.

They go to school to develop many skills – including critical thinking skill.

And though many show up in all their naiveté and gullibility, still, it is not a reason or an excuse for them to be taken advantage of.

Sadly, these are some of the horrors that happen to many Nigerian students, especially the girls.

Sadder is the fact that millions of girls and young women are being abused and exploited on a daily basis. Many have no access to education, to medical care, or to a caring home and environment.