‘Blame social media, entertainment industry for sexual harassment, drug abuse’
Two motivational speakers on Saturday blamed the increasing rate of sexual harassment and drug abuse among Nigerian students on the negative contents being transmitted through the social media and entertainment industry.
They spoke in Lagos at one day seminar organised by the Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN) held at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Lagos. The theme of the seminar is: “Sexual Harassment on Campus: Who is Harassing Who?’’
Mr Taiwo Akinlami, a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, said that the entertainment industry and social media had failed the society by promoting drugs, sex and violence through the display of nude pictures and smokers.
Akinlami said that sexual harassment, especially in the education environment, was rampant because music, films, jokes and information which children were exposed to, were all adult-content.
He said that sexual harassment did not exist in isolation as other issues were linked with its perpetration and could be from anyone; either lecturers, non-academic staff, co-students or even the vice-chancellor.
Akinlami said that sexual harassment thrive in higher institutions because it has lost its dignity as a place of intellect. “No one can harass you when you are intellectually sound.
“But, instead of students of today to read books that will build their intellectual capability, they are on social media watching pornography and listening to music that did not inspire them in anyway.
“The university is a reasoning environment and if you are not reasonable, you cannot succeed in it.
“Unfortunately, intellectual discourse is no more rooted in our university environment,’’ Akinlami said. According to him, a properly educated mind will not accept an act of tyranny, because to accept an act of tyranny is an act of intellectual self-disposition.
“Once an individual’s level of intelligence is poor, he or she is prone to sexual harassment,’’ Akinlami said. He explained that sexual harassment had been criminalised in Nigeria, saying “students must note that no lecturer or anyone is justified to abuse or rape them’’.
Also, Mr Keji Hamilton, the President, Global Centre for Drug Eradication, described the mind as the most powerful weapon of a man. Hamilton said that if the inflow of what gets into the mind was not conditioned, it would be polluted. “Information brings transformation.
“What you hear is what you become, it is not possible to hear negative things continually and you do not change negatively,’’ he said. Hamilton urged students to use the social media positively and read education and motivational books regularly.
He said that many things around us today encourage drugs, especially the hip-hop music which promotes drug, violence and sex. “I battled drug addiction for years; now I am a drug rehabilitation expert. I was a drug addict for 15 years.
“I was Fela Anikulapo’s keyboardist for 15 years, so you can see the extent to which I was on the drug. “When one start drugs initially, it’s for pleasure, but later, it turns to disease.
“When some people watch the music video and see the singer smoking weeds and holding money, they think weeds and money go together,’’ he said.
In her remarks, Alhaja Titiola Akibayo, the SWAN National President, said that the event was initiated by a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN), Alhaji Alkali Kabiru.
“Kabiru’s initiative was premised on the worrisome happenings in the university campus,’’ Akibayo said.
She said the event was an annual forum, which started three years ago, adding that the society had taken the seminar to the University of Lagos and University of Abuja before coming to LASU.
Akibayo said that the event had helped in shaping the minds of the students positively as the feedbacks from the audience have been motivating.