EDITORIAL: At A Critical Juncture

The nation and the Southwest in particular have arrived at a critical juncture. The strategic imperative is how to navigate the way forward.

Recent on-going events will provide the key parameters on the road to pivotal elections this year and in 2019.  It will also be decisive, as policy options are considered for how to resolve the dilemmas to be tackled and resolved in the make or break decade 2020-2030 ahead. With Nigeria’s alarming population growth rates and economic growth below par, the policy options must be weighed very carefully.

The present discourse appears to center around two options. On the one hand, we have the populist driven ‘stomach infrastructure’ paradigm and on the other, the sustainable development model.

In weighing the options, it is important to note that nothing has actually changed, it’s eerily still the same debate as in the 1950’s about the development options and the way ahead.

The demagoguery behind ‘stomach infrastructure’ must be appreciated and not derided. It obviously negates the problematic involved in the deferment of immediate gratification.  The issue is understandable in a poverty ridden society devoid of the most rudimentary of social safety nets. We are just seeing the emergence of things such as free school meals and ‘Agba Osun’.   How a balance providing immediate needs with constructing the blocks for sustainable development is the issue of our times. For what is appealing about the misconstrued populism of stomach infrastructure can be found in the admonition of the economist John Maynard Keynes, “in the long-term, we are all dead.”

As the leader of government business and later Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo had to undergo a delicate balancing act in trying to navigate his way through. The level of taxation was high in the Western Region in the 1950’s and it was disproportionately skewed against the rural areas. Awolowo’s party paid a heavy electoral price in terms of the loss of seats in the local government elections as well as regional and federal elections. Indeed, Awolowo actually won a very narrow electoral victory running against his NCNC challenger, Chief Kehinde Sofola in Ijebu-Remo central constituency in the pivotal 1959 pre-independence general elections.

It is of course, the verdict of history, which matters. And history has vindicated Chief Awolowo and his party, that the construction of the foundations for a better tomorrow should override immediate electoral gains. History will also vindicate the state of Osun’s Rauf Aregbesola who has also had to vary out a delicate balancing act. Of course, it has also come at a cost.

The way out is to slay the monster of stomach infrastructure through massive political education and economic policies based on jobs creation and the elevation of a skill based framework. The mechanisms through which the government of Ignacio Lula da Silva pulled out 40 million people out of poverty in 80 years must be carefully looked at and applied. It is in the interest of the progressive movement to delicately navigate a path through the stomach infrastructure versus sustainable development conundrum. In our opinion, the ‘alternative perspective’ balancing act of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola provides a good starting point.

EDITORIAL: After The Declarations

 

That some twenty seven members of the APC are in the race to win the nomination of the party for the governorship election in September should not make anyone apprehensive, on the contrary, it is a celebration of democracy. Democracy itself rests on plurality of choices and a crowded field reflects a testimonial of faith in the democratic process, which means that constitutional government is deepening in our country

The stellar performance of the outgoing governor has certainly kindled interests in a job he has made glamorous. The path breaking social initiatives and fiscal balancing cannot but enthuse those who believe that the processes of government should benefit the majority and not just a few. It’s a beautiful morning for democracy in the State of Osun.

Our own position is unambiguous and will be constantly reiterated, there must be continuity of the pro – people, progressive policies of the current administration, any other consideration is subordinate to this objective. For, as it is often stated, continuity of progressive policies in Lagos State since 1999 has made and continues to be the trajectory for sustainable development in Lagos. It will be a tragic loss of focus not to emulate the Lagos example. Since there is no rational reason to disrupt a winning strategy, all those seeking the nomination of the APC must put continuity first and last.

This will call for great discipline as well as the key objective of putting the party first. Only one person will gain the nomination at the end of the day, all must remember that they desire the nomination of the party not for self – agrandisement but to further the progressive ideals of the party. All the aspirants must remember that modern political parties are established and operated on the basis of democratic centralism which represents the subordination of personal or factional interests to the overwhelming interests of the party as a whole. In the case of Osun, a lot is riding on the continuity objective. Posterity will be unforgiving if through acts of omission and commission the fortunes[the pun is intended] of the state is handed back to retrogressive forces who stultified the purposeful development of the state in the past and who, availed of another opportunity will plunder the resources of the state with the same reckless abandonment of the past.

As a party, the APC represents the cohesive position for good governance in the State of Osun. For this reason, they have a clear moral responsibility to ensure a rancour free succession process.

For the people themselves through the APC, there is everything at stake. As the philosopher, Plato pointed out centuries ago. “If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools”. Sadly, as of today, Osun does not have anything remotely like a government-in-waiting. This is reprehensible for a democracy, but it places overwhelming responsibility on the APC and its aspirants for the highest office in the state to ensure continuity of good government.

We ask all contestants to play by the rules and put the interests of the party first.

EDITORIAL: Is PDP Jinxed?

 

The question of whether the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is jinxed as being asked in many quarters comes to the fore again, as members of the party displayed – yet again – another round of indecent and destructive behaviour during their South-West rally that took place last Saturday in the state of Osun at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo the state capital. 

The said PDP rally left destruction in its wake as party hoodlums destroyed some of the facilities put in place at the park. This scenario has again given justification to the popular opinion that the party, rather than being a people’s party, is completely anti-people as it has shown to the public again that it’s always out for destruction. For why should a party that prides itself as a people’s party revel in destroying public property? If a party truly had people’s interest at heart then it will protect and preserve whatever is meant to be enjoyed by the people. The question therefore on the lips of many in the wake of the misconduct exhibited on Saturday, is; ‘why is it that whatever the hand of the PDP touches, it must destroy?’ 

As a party that held sway at the national level for sixteen years, it destroyed the economy so much so that the people are still grappling with the pervasive poverty and massive deprivation it left behind as its legacies. And in our own state of Osun here, the party couldn’t point to any enduring legacy for its eight years rule. So, isn’t it a contradiction in terms that a party that couldn’t build any enduring legacy is now destroying what it took Ogbeni Aregbesola’s visionary leadership painstaking effort to put in place? This is highly reprehensible! 

But much as we are taken aback by this PDP’s misconduct, some analysts do not find it surprising at all as they are of the view that the PDP only exhibited their stock in trade. They believe that since destruction is in their character, then they must always reflect this in their approaches. We substantially agree with this school of thought! 

We therefore ask; is this a party that is planning to come back to power both at the state and federal level? Do they think the electorates are fools as to suffer amnesia with respect to the destruction they did to the country’s economy and people’s lives? And having admitted her mistake and made apology to the Nigerian people for the great blow they dealt to the economy, is it wise for the party to relapse into the actions and deeds that were responsible for her downfall? Can’t they reflect? 

With such a negative attitude, the PDP had only succeeded in opening the eyes of our people to what they are planning to come and do again if they should return to power. But the Aregbesola’s legacy is just too precious to our people than for them to entrust it in the hands of a destructive and never-do-well party. Osun needs continuity! We mean continuity of the stellar performance of Ogbeni Aregbesola.

 Fear, Loathing And The Primaries

Much more is expected of the coalition of progressives in the All Progressives Congress (APC) than the untoward events which followed the primaries in some states recently. The APC is not expected to be a run-of-the-mill formation like the now discredited hardly ‘Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). The natural expectation is for the APC to be at the forefront of consolidating Nigeria’s democracy and in the process transiting itself into the natural party of government.

This is an historic responsibility, for sadly, unlike most of the newly independent countries, Nigeria never really had a natural party or government which would have acted as a rallying point for the republic.  This is why the APC should learn the much needed lessons from the unlamented decline of the PDP. Not to do so will be tragic, for the country would have squandered an historic opportunity for progressive change.

The party must therefore begin an unrelenting onward transformation of itself into a functioning democratic organisation based on internal democracy, party discipline and democratic centralism. Prebandalism, the hideous process whereby all politics revolves around just sharing of posts and self-aggrandisement must be deemphasized. Therefore, all parties involved must play their part in ensuring an equitable, transparently free and fair rescheduled primary election in Ekiti today.

There is a lesson here as the primaries approach in the State of Osun. Individuals in the party, if they truly accept the calling must put the progressive trajectory as well as the incontrovertible cause of continuity of people-oriented policies and governance above self.

EDITORIAL: Remembering Gani Fawehinmi

 

Late Chief Gani Oyesola Fawehinmi whose life epitomised a complete and total struggle for the rights of the downtrodden of Nigeria, is being remembered during this period as the world celebrates him again on the occasion of his 80th post-humous birthday. 

Gani, as he was popularly called during his lifetime will forever remain in the memories of the people of this country for his dogged fight against military dictatorship and bad governance. His advocacy for rule of law, human rights, democracy and good governance was legendary as he put his life on the line for all these.

It’s on record that in the annals of this country, there has never been any Nigerian who fought fervently and vigorously in defence of his beliefs more than the legendary Gani. Even his tormentors; the khaki boys against whom he waged serious wars and who put him in prison many times, did testify to his unparalleled patriotism and unalloyed loyalty to the principles of good governance, rule of law and democracy. 

It’s also on record that there is no Nigerian – living or dead – who was tormented more than him as he went to prison for more than forty times before his death. Never was he a criminal but rather, a prisoner of conscience. There is hardly any famous prison in this country that did not play host to Gani because of his principled stance against military dictatorship and struggle for the emancipation of the masses of this country from the state imposed poverty, hunger, misery and deprivation.

Gani throughout his lifetime remained a role model to millions of Nigerians, while he was also widely admired abroad for his rare courage. The tenacity with which he fought for the people of this country was highly spectacular so much so that he earned himself the title of Senior Advocate of the Masses (SAM); a title no Nigerian ever got before him. 

As a philanthropist, many Nigerians – irrespective of tribe and religion – benefitted from his kind gestures as he doled out scholarship to a lot of indigent people, especially students across the whole country. As members of the fourth estate of the realm whose rights Gani also defended vigorously while alive, we sincerely feel it would amount to a great disservice to the memory of this late exemplary Lawyer and great humanist if we failed to pay him tribute on his 80th post-humous birthday. 

Thus a fortiori, as the world remembers this icon during this period, we cannot but join millions of other people in paying tribute to a man who was a symbol of total commitment to the principles of good governance, rule of law and democracy as we earlier mentioned. The best way we believe this rights activist can be continuously remembered is for us as a nation to uphold those values and ideals for which he lived and died for. May his soul continue to rest peacefully. Amen. 

EDITORIAL: A Forward Thrust In Human Capital Development

 

The opinion of the philanthropist Bill Gates has certainly raised a fire storm. Whatever the pros and cons of the salient points raised, it has achieved a laudable goal of putting human capital development back on the front burner. For an underdeveloped country, this new thrust should act as a vitally needed catalyst.

The visitation just concluded this week of the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC) to the State of Osun has also given us an insight into the positive gains made in the arena of human capital development by the Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). As can be seen from the positive response of the visitors from Abuja to the site inspection of various projects in the state of Osun, the SUBEB, imaginatively led by Prince Felix Awofisayo has in a tight fiscal climate delivered on its mandate.

Prince Awofisayo in a response made a very insightful observation about the synergy induced as reflected in the trickledown effect it is having on the development of the state. To us the trickledown effect is important. The synergy achieved in the State of Osun between students and teachers is paying off and will ensure long-term sustainability.

Sustainability can also be seen in the excellent initiative of the Osun Teachers Housing estate in Ile-Ife which is a great motivational flip to encouraging teachers and complement the magnificent newly-constructed schools in the state, thereby merging as it were, hardware with software.

This is also reflected in the policy initiatives of the state government. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola highlighted the efforts of the government towards developing the education sector at the basic level, saying no fewer than 250,000 pupils from grade one to four across the state are being fed daily with nutritious meal through the state school feeding programme known as OMEAL.

He pointed out that his administration has rehabilitated and built modern schools with over 1,633 standard classrooms which accommodate 98,150 pupils, ICT rooms, good offices for staffers as well as  safe playing ground across the state.

We are delighted that the Executive Secretary of UBEC Hamid Boboyi expectedly gave kudos to the work of the State Universal Basic Education Board.

According to him, a lot has been heard about Osun in terms of its investments in the education sector and was amazed with the effort put in place by the state government, saying the commission would do all it  could to help the state move the education forward.

Commending the state government for its effort at raising the standard of education in the state, he stated that the issue of technology and the availability of instructional materials remain one of the challenges of education in Nigeria, adding that the materials will help complement efforts of teachers.

He however urged the government to invest more on the provision of instructional materials.

We give kudos to everyone involved in the forward thrust on human capital development in Osun State, principally the state governor, Ogbeni Aregbesola and the state SUBEB; they have done an excellent job.

Osun: Peaceful And Secured

The horrific event in Offa, Kwara State is a reminder of the need for eternal vigilance in our security landscape. Our condolences go to the families of the bereaved. The best way to express our condolences is to ensure that it never happens again.

The current grim reality nationwide calls for sober reflection as well as comparative analysis. A good comparison here is the State of Osun, which shares a boundary with Kwara State. In Osun State, the pro-active policies of the governor of the state has spared the citizenry wide spread misery, as well as heightened anxiety. The security landscape is well secured, the state is well policed and at ease with and within itself.

We recall the procurement and distribution of 125 Security Patrol Vehicles, 25 Armoured Personnel Carriers to security agencies in the state to enhance security and an helicopter for air surveillance by the government of Osun. These are in addition to encouragement being given to security personnel in the state and the series of preventive measure put in place interms of youth employment.

Reinforcing this widespread opinion which has become the conventional wisdom is a recently published research finding of the foundation for Peace Professionals (FPP).  With data collected between 2010 and 2016, the findings rate Osun as the most peaceful state in Nigeria, followed by Kogi, Ekiti, Kwara and Imo States.

Yobe, Kebbi, Bauchi, Zamfara and Sokoto were found to be the least peaceful states in the country.

On a geo-political basis, Akwa Ibom was rated the most peaceful state in South-South, Kaduna in the North-West, Kogi in the North-Central, Osun in the South-West, Imo in the South-East and Taraba in the North-East.

The report also indicated that Lagos state had the least poverty rate, Zamfara the least crime, Ekiti, the least incarceration rate and Taraba, the least human right abuses rate.

South-East Nigeria had the highest number of higher education institutions in the country with Imo rated to be the most educated state.

What is indicative here is that the investment in human development and social services by the Aregbesola’s administration has demonstrably paid off. It also reveals the intrinsic link between human development initiatives and enhanced security. No wonder that the Osun initiative is being so widely initiated.

For this reason, we give kudos to a far-sighted government and stress the need for continuity as we approach a change-over of baton in the administration of the state.

EDITORIAL: The Race, The Runners And The Programmes

 

Osun Defender will continue to run the profiles of the people perceived to be in the running to succeed Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the governor of the State of Osun. This is being done as a public service. None of them has formally declared their intention to run, nevertheless, there is a widely held perception that they are in the race.

With events rapidly unfolding, the critical issue is what to expect? Aregbesola has shown that adequate preparation is vital. His thoroughly articulated Six-point Integral Action Plan provided the roadmap for what has been generally acknowledged as a stellar performance in office. It cannot but be a source of unease that as of now, we are not seeing a similar well constructed programme of social and economic reconstruction and rejuvenation to take the diligent application of the Aregbesola years to the next level. This is disturbing.

For kudos must be given to Ogbeni Aregbesola for decisively altering the territory of the debate as well as the perception of the efficacy of government intervention programmes. This is reflected in the fact that it will be political suicide to now go against Aregbesola’s social intervention programmes.

There will of course be issues as to the dotting of I’s and crossings of T’s, nevertheless, no one is openly going to come out and commit to the wholesale dismantling of the free school meals programme and so forth.

The fiscal landscape of Nigeria will continue to be difficult in the foreseeable future. This is understandable for we are in a period of transition from an ancient regime which virtually bankrupted the nation. In addition, our defective quasi-federalism will continue to act as a brake on the nation’s federating units. What this means is that anyone taking over at the state level must, to quote the motto of the Boys Scouts – “Be prepared”.

We therefore urge the aspirants to provide clearly-articulated, rigorously costed programmes for the public to peruse. On our part, we believe, indeed we insist that a continuation of the programmes of the Aregbesola administration is in the best interest of the state of Osun. The state having made so much sacrifices cannot afford to go back to a dismal past of underachievement. The Aregbesola template must be built upon. We will be delighted to publish any well costed programme presented to us by any aspirant of whatever political colouration.

EDITORIAL: PDP’s Apology

 

For a party whose second name is impunity; one that bled Nigeria for whole of 16 years, it was an unexpected surprise – hopefully an initial first step – towards the long journey to restitution:   

“I hereby, as the National Chairman, do admit that the PDP made a lot of mistakes; we are humans, not spirits and the ability to admit is key in moving forward…

“We admit that we have made several mistakes; we have passed through all our challenges and have acquired the experience no other party can boast of. We were sanctioned by Nigerians at the polls in 2015; let me use this opportunity to apologise for our past mistakes.

“It is the honest thing to do, a legacy to transfer to our children; we cannot continue like that. When we make mistakes, we should come out boldly to the people and apologise”.

That was Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a public forum early this week.

Nearly three years into the hangover of its electoral shellacking, it is heart-warming that the party that plunged the country into the moral and socio-economic abyss from which it is only now slowly recovering is finally coming to terms with the need to apologise to Nigerians. That is if one ignores the superficiality of the apology, the subtle attempt to parry away responsibilities for the most sordid legacy – and the dubious play at semantics.

Is this a genuine act of contrition or is this just part of the electoral calculation? Is the party genuinely repudiating the impunity, the maladministration and corruption for which it is now famously known? And apology for what?

On the first, it is difficult not to see the so-called apology as part of its electoral calculation. With the 2019 elections barely a year from now, it seems understandable that the party would seek to launch itself back into reckoning if not necessarily into the hearts of Nigerians. Moreover, after surviving a bruising internecine schism that tore right through its middle, a sound bite like the one coming from Secondus would appear necessary to court some attention.

On the second, with the way it has been carrying on, it is hard to see the old leopard change its spots anytime soon. Third – and this is tragic – is that the PDP leader refers to the affliction of 16 years – more appropriately a crime against the people – as a “mistake”. We consider it an abuse of the word.   

True, Nigerians may be prone to amnesia. However, the wounds inflicted by the PDP are not only still deep but certainly too fresh for any mealy-mouthed apology, no matter how elegantly couched.

By the way, where does the apology start from? From the do-or-die politics that the party enthroned– a variant of which became the garrison politics of the PDP Southwest? Is it the legacy of electoral fraud – the flagrant disdain for orderly democratic processes under which names of winners of party primaries are substituted with those who did not even contest as was the case in Rivers?

Do we recall the case of Edo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti gubernatorial elections in which winners in the elections were returned as losers until the courts stepped in to do justice?

What about the legacy of underdevelopment? How can anyone begin to talk of an apology for the mind-boggling heist perpetrated by party hierarchs under which governance was reduced to a bazaar without first admitting that crimes were committed against the people if only as a first step into the long journey to full restitution?     

Surely, Nigerians recognise genuine contrition when they see one. This so-called apology, aside falling short, makes a mockery of the word. After serially gang-raping the country for 16 years, the least citizens expects is that the party would take deliberate and practical steps to purge itself of its ignoble past. Only then will Nigerians begin to take it seriously.

EDITORIAL: Return Of Dapchi Schoolgirls

 

Nigerians must have heaved a sigh of relief with Wednesday’s confirmation by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that 106 out of the 110 students abducted from Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State on February 19 have been released by their captors. Considering that five of the students remain unaccounted for, and with speculations rife that they may have died, Nigerians, understandably could not have bargained for that kind of closure.

If only for the sake of the remaining parents, the distraught citizens forced endure the trauma, and indeed the global humanity which bandied together in solidarity while the ordeal lasted, we expect the federal government not to leave any stone unturned until the remaining missing children are accounted for.  

Clearly, there are lessons to learn from the unfortunate saga. The first is that the war against the Boko Haram insurgency is far from won. True, the insurgents, as a fighting force, may have been substantially degraded; their capacity to wreak havoc remains no less lethal. Second, that the nation which swore “Never Again” after the Chibok saga was again caught hands down must be seen as revealing of the still pathetic state of intelligence after nearly a decade into the insurgency.

The third revelation must be seen in the absence of synergy between the military, the police and the civil authorities in the area. Indeed, each appears to have acted as if the other does not matter. The officials of the local government which ordinarily ought to have provided the first tier of intelligence acted as if that tier of government does not exist. It was like the military, said to have left the place for other service exigencies, could not be bothered about what happened after; they acted as if calm has fully returned to the area. As for the police, they acted more like bystanders leaving the hapless villagers to stew in their juices. Then of course is the inexcusable lapses under which 110 pupils can be taken away without any form of challenge whatsoever, and to abodes ostensibly far beyond the long reach of the nation’s security establishment.  

The final lesson however must be the fact that security is too important to be left to the security agencies alone. It is something that every citizen should be involved in. For us in the Southwest and the State of Osun in particular, it flows from the civic duty of the citizens to promptly alert appropriate authorities at the imminence of signs of potential threats to public order and safety.        

Now that majority of the schoolchildren have returned, we expect the federal government to spare no expense to get them assisted to get back to normal lives. As for the Yobe State government, it should urgently undertake a comprehensive review of its security architecture in the light of what happened. After the bitter experience of the Chibok girls, it would seem unimaginable that any school in the Northeast would still be allowed to present a soft target for the terrorists.

Far from being the time for our gallant military to let down their guards, what the times call for is perseverance. With a grateful nation solidly behind them, and convinced of their capacity despite the odds, it seems only a matter of time before they get the job done.

EDITORIAL: Southwest Children And Stunted Growth

 

Like the proverbial stone rejected by the builder but which has become the head corner stone, so also is the story, as indeed the wisdom behind the  flagship programme of the government of the State of Osun – the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme,  (O’MEALS). 

Speaking at a two-day media interaction on child nutrition in Ibadan on Tuesday, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Akure Field Office, Ada Ezeogu, gave a chilling report that over 1.5 million children under five years in the Southwest and Edo needs urgent intervention to address their stunted growth. The situation across the country, she would also add, is no less grim: An estimated 17 million or 43.6 per cent of children in Nigeria under the age of five have their bodies and minds limited by stunting.

Going further down to the Southwest states, Ogun is said to have the highest incidence with 26.1 per cent or 277,462 children. Although, she did not give the corresponding figures for other states in the southwest, it seems highly plausible that Osun – with its far-sighted policies on adolescent nutrition, would be among the lowest.  To describe the situation as scary is to put things mildly. Here, we are referring to “severe, irreversible physical and cognitive damage caused by chronic malnutrition early in a child”. Aside being one of the most significant barriers to human development, the public health issues directly related to the phenomenon must be seen as grave enough.

If we may echo the words of the UNICEF chieftain: “We cannot continue to fold our hands and stand aloof with such issues staring us in the face, most especially, when those affected are vulnerable in society”. In doing that also, we must not fail to salute the unparalleled foresight of the governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for embedding child-nutrition programmes into its educational reforms.  

When the administration launched the school feeding programme on April 30, 2012, we recall only too well that many of its critics had dubbed it as yet another brainwave of the activist governor. But then, like the mustard seed, the administration plodded on, putting its money where its hearts was, convinced it was the right thing to do. That the tiny seed, as indeed many other ancillary seeds sown, have combined to launch the state on the path of qualitative growth while also earning her international recognition can only be a reflection of the profoundness of the vision and the quality of thought that went into its making.

Today, if Osun children have been adjudged among the healthiest, it is only because the state economy has also responded well to the challenge. We refer to the thousands of community caterers engaged for the programme, the enhanced capacity building over the course of the last six years, the spin-offs in backwards integration, process improvements and the overall improvement in the economic climate. That all of these have redounded in the improved health status of children and adults alike could only have happened because the state is blessed to have at the helm, a leader driven by a sense of purpose.  

We think other leaders in the Southwest can learn, borrow a thing or two from the O’MEALS programme of the State of Osun to address the problem. Considering that the future of our children is at stake, time of course is of the essence. But then, just as we have seen of the example of Osun, it is do-able if the will is there.

{LETTER TO THE EDITOR} Prostitution, A Societal Ill On Our Campuses

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The growing rate of prostitution in our tertiary institution is becoming a cause for serious concern.

It is not strange that businessmen, politicians, yahoo boys as well as highly-placed men in the society are the major customers patronising these set of wayward female students.

When you visit female hostels at night, you will be amazed at the kinds of men with their exotic cars that are coming in numbers to pick up these young undergraduates for sex and other illegal cum abnormal activities.

Viewing this matter, one of the main reasons for this mischievous act is “Poverty”. The first excuse that is given for prostitution as gathered is poverty. Young ladies whose parents are incapable of taking care of them and their siblings tend to go into prostitution so as to make ends meet.

Peer pressure is another reason for indulging in this immoral act, as ladies are pressurised into this illicit trade because their friends are into it and they do not let them know the dangers involved, so they ignorantly succumb, thus constituting nuisance to the society.

Laziness also adds to the numerous reasons why some ladies venture into prostitution, as they are naturally lazy expecting unknown men to cater for their needs. They want to live the high life, buy expensive clothes, live in a penthouses, use the latest gadgets and designers and appear posh.

Looking at this, if the tertiary institutions can make laws to prohibit this ill-practice on our campuses and arrest anybody caught in the act by handing them over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution, will reduce it to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated.

Religious bodies and clerics also need to up their antes as constant remembrance in their sermons is essential such that our youths will abhor wayward living and embrace the teachings from the holy scriptures.

Parents also have a significant role to play in stopping or reducing sex trade on campuses by teaching their children good morals from home and trying to meet the needs of their children in school, as this is expected of them as parents.

The government also is not helping matters with the rate of youth unemployment for the mindset of most of these girls are that when they graduate, their chance of being unemployed is relatively high and instead of just sitting down at home they engage in this ungodly act called prostitution.

  • david adejuwon, Osogbo.