The World is a global village (I know it’s a bit cliché), and as we’d say here in Nigeria, it’s the ‘same same’ everywhere, populated by the same noxious types and characters: kidnappers, mass murderers, sexual predators, paedophiles, robbers and all shades of evil. Sexual predators are some of the worst of that sort and we have them here in Nigeria in abundance, free to prey on the innocent, unchecked and unmitigated, free to roam their particular jungles, seizing, debauching, mangling and discarding the bodies and minds of their helpless prey. Moreover, they do this in plain sight, attended and cheered on by the silence of the entranced multitude. Of course, it always happens to the other animals in the jungle not to you until, of course, when it does eventually happen to you or to someone close to you, then, suddenly, evil reveals itself in its full malevolent glory. That’s when we vent and choke with moral indignation, collective shame, helplessness, and regret but only for a convenient while. Then, when all that venting is done, we retreat to our usual suite of palliative excuses to rationalize away and extricate ourselves from the guilt of inaction and cowardly silence.
Nollywood? Ah! That’s another story entirely. No innocents here. Only predators and hapless victims and, well, also, the not so hapless victims – there are those who exercise sexuality as an asset and prey on the predators for gratification. What about the infamous Nigerian university lecturers who prey on innocent young girls, coercing them for sex in exchange for good grades that they’d otherwise earn without help? This is a national emergency. Many, very capable female scholars have been ruined because of these dirty lecturers. Here is a report on the situation by the PREMIUM TIMES that reveals just the tip of that vile iceberg: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/ headlines/178879-how-nigerian-universities-encourage-sexual-harassment-of-female-students.html. What about the lecherous bosses and ‘Ogas’ who molest female subordinates and harass them into sexual submission at the pain of losing their jobs or being passed over for promotion? What about the self-appointed men-of-god who prey on emotional, vulnerable supplicants? The miasma is deep, the entanglement is incestuous.
In 2016, the Nigerian Senate passed the ‘Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Education Institution Bill’ into law, but as the title represents, it’s quite limited in scope and wasted a good opportunity by limiting its coverage to Tertiary Education Institutions only, when it could have had a much wider coverage, which would include workplaces and schools at all levels of education.
Is Weinstein guilty as accused? It would seem that the People have given their verdict, stripping him of several lofty positions and has also lost a wife to divorce, even though, under the law, he’s as sinless as you and I until proven otherwise. Is Weinstein the only, suspected, sexual predator in Hollywood? No. So, why are the others still hiding in plain sight while their victims, witnesses, purveyors, friends and associates remain gagged and/or silent?
A world full of accused Woody Allens, Harvey Weinsteins et al, accused but never to be proven guilty? We speak, pontificate, lecture, cry, wail and condemn but do the laws of the land mock us? Speak forth and be damned