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Day female students stormed provostís home

Posted by By Ahmed Oyerinde, Sokoto on 2008/08/05 | Views: 2573 |

Day female students stormed provostís home

Against the backdrop of allegations that female students of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, are being s-xually assaulted by their male counterparts, the provost has dismissed it as unfounded.

Against the backdrop of allegations that female students of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, are being s-xually assaulted by their male counterparts, the provost has dismissed it as unfounded.

Nonetheless, the girls still staged a public protest recently to the home of the provost, seeking his intervention in the matter of their security.

Now, it is a matter of their words against that of Professor Abdullahi Bayero Yahaya.
Last week, an anonymous reader sent a text message to Sunday Sun alleging that female students of the Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto were being raped with reckless abandon, without anyone raising an eyebrow. Part of the text message read: "Why is the Provost of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, reluctant to report cases of assault and rape of female students to the police? Thursday this (last) week was the most recentÖSome of the victims were even hospitalized to show the severity of the onslaught on ... female students by some male studentsÖ"

It is not known whether the sender is male or female, but the SMS desperately solicited assistance from Sunday Sun to expose to the world the alleged crime against the girls.
The sender therefore concluded: "Some young women are suffering in silence."
But the don, in an interview with Sunday Sun, insisted that the protest must have been instigated by amorous men who have been denied access to the female hostel. He further outlined the security measures that the institution has put in place to protect the students.

We learnt some students staged a protest recently. What are their grievances?
All along, I have decided not to discuss this matter with the press because I have already reported the development to the police and the State Security Service (SSS) but with the way and manner you approached me, which I cherished so much, I will take you into confidence and let you know the true position of things.

You see, the truth of the matter is that, one night, I had a phone call that the male students have invaded the female hostels and I quickly called on the Registrar to proceed to the College and find out what was happening at the female hostel. I had to do this because his house was nearer to the hostel than mine. A few minutes later, I was on my way to the College but the Registrar, expectedly, was there before me, and was already addressing the students before I arrived.

That night, we were able to douse the tension and the male student was made to return to their hostels with a promise to deal with the matter the next day.
Part of the agreement reached with the male students that night was that they should bring 10 of them as representatives to meet with the management of the College the next day to discuss their grievances, which include among others, poor hostel accommodation and inadequate water supply.
The next day, very early in the morning, the matron came to my house telling me that the female students had resolved to march to my house in protest. Just as she was leaving my house, the students were already at my gate.

When I demanded to know their missions they told me enough was enough, as they could no longer keep silence while they were being raped and molested on a daily basis by their male counterparts.
I advised them to remain calm as the management was prepared to do everything possible to protect them from any aggression either from within or outside the campus. I, therefore, directed them to select 10 students among them to serve as their representatives who would meet with the management to discuss solution to the problem.

That very day, we met with the representatives of both the female and the male students. At the meeting, the female students told us that they were no more safe in their hostels as the male students used to visit them at night and rape some of them and that one of the victims whom they said had her clothes torn was lying critically ill at one hospital in metropolis. After listening to their story we now asked them to take us to that student to ascertain the truth of the matter but as I am talking to you now, walahi talahi, we are yet to see the student that they claimed was raped as far as the management of this school is concerned.
As for the male students, they denied all the allegations leveled against them by their female counterparts and since we have no evidence, there was no way we could punish anybody.

Do you think the students can cook up this type of story?
Yes, is there anything that is not possible under the sun? What we are thinking is that some people, either from within or outside the campus, must have been instigating these students to foment trouble so as to create the impression that the administration was note effective.
Our offence, possibly, could be because we decided to ban people from visiting the female hostel. We have issued a strong warning that anybody we see around female hostel immediately after sunset would have himself to blame. This order, I am sure, did not go down well with some people, therefore, they wanted to use this method to get at us but I can assure them that they are going to fail. Our students are not prostitutes; they should go elsewhere to do their unholy business.

What measures are you putting in place to ensure that these girls are safe in their hostel, particularly at night?
Like I said before, they have no justification in the first place to complain of being raped or molested by any person because the security is very tight at the gate leading to female hostels. In addition to that, enough security lights have been put in place to allow for proper monitoring and again, no one is allowed to come near the female hostel after 7pm.

What would you describe as your major achievement since assumption of office?
You see my vision for this place when I got the appointment August last year was to leave this place better than I met it and I think, so far so good.
As at today, unlike what was obtainable before, every department in this college has a computer and we have 28 departments in all. When I came in, I discovered five programmes of the institution needed accreditation and also lecturers were found to be greatly inadequate while the few ones in place were being paid poor salaries. I approached Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko with all these problems. As a listening governor, he immediately gave me the go-ahead and made available enough money to get things properly done.

Today, we are more than ready for the accreditation team and we are sure that whenever they visit the College, these courses would be accredited.
Similarly, additional 70 lecturers have been recruited and very soon, staff of the college around smile with new salary package all in an attempt to make the college remain one of the best, if not the best in the country.

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