UNIZIK VC Takes Measure To Combat Sexual Harassement

The Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State, Charles Esimone has commenced the installation of CCTV cameras on campus and in the offices of lecturers in a bid to combat sexual harassment and exam malpractice in the institution.

This comes after an alumnus of the institution donated 1,060 cameras to the institution, but the move has been greeted with opposition from the lecturers, who claimed such would violate their privacy.

Speaking about the cameras, the VC, during a recent interview with Anambra People Mag, said he insisted on the installation of the cameras because of the several complaint cases of sexual harassments, adding that there was no going back.

He added that two staffs of the institution have been dismissed after investigations proved the allegations true.

He said students are urged to report cases, and not be afraid of intimidation.

He said: “We had earlier installed CCTV cameras in the entire university in terms of security. But we had the challenge of sabotage. Some were removed. But we are trying to reactivate them.

“The good news is that we got an endowment from an alumnus of this institution, Onyedika, who is graciously donating 1,060 cameras to us. He has already installed about 50 of them in strategic areas, including lecture halls which will assist us detect exam malpractices.

“Lecturers are not using them, but we are talking with ICT officers to ensure they are all activated so we can have evidence.  Again, we intend to install the cameras in staff offices, but we are meeting oppositions. Some don’t want it, but I’m going to insist because of the several cases of sexual harassments here and there.

“The only way you can prove your innocence is to allow the camera in your office. This is one of the last things I’ll like to do. If they want to crucify me, so be it. But I will insist, because nobody has privacy in a public office. They can mount 20 in my office, I wouldn’t mind.”

When asked if any member of staff have been dismissed over sexual harassments, he responded:  “Yes, two of them: one from the Faculty of Law and the other from Pharmacy faculty. We don’t have many of them because of lack of evidence, because the students are afraid of reporting such cases.

“I have called the students’ union government executive and told them not to be afraid of intimidation when the lives and dignity of their members are in danger. That is why the cameras are needed. If only people will come up with verifiable evidence, those caught will be shown the exit door immediately.”

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