One of the things about being a writer is that you become a ‘friend’ and therefore the voice of the readers; members of the public and those that for different reasons would not want to surrender their names, opinions and identities to public criticism, ridicule and sometimes praise. Such people send you unsolicited tips, information, pictures and urge you to explore some of these issues and themes that bother them and invariably the society.
As a writer, you try your best to accommodate some of these requests within your own set boundaries and conscience. Therefore, it has never been my intention to shock or provoke anybody by referencing sometimes what may be described as graphic images in my writing as certain commentators have argued in the past, like I did in the Mswati, Agbani, Death on Nigerian roads, African poverty crises, Chinese take-away and other articles. Yes, I could have still gone ahead to argue my points without referencing the images, but like they say, a picture says and speaks it all and is also worth a thousand words.
Recently, another one of these members of the reading public emailed a set of nude pictures to me, which he claimed has been making the rounds underground. The pictures (now edited for reasons of decency) allegedly are those of three female students (Nkechi, Joy and Violet) of the University of Port Harcourt (uniport). According to the email, the girls had been part of a threesome engaged for a night of romp and sex by a Caucasian male (call him Mr X) who is based in Port Harcourt. The girls however had other ideas and had apparently stolen a huge some of money from Mr X during the sex binge. Like they say, there is never a perfect crime, in their greed the girls forgot that they had previously been photographed nude by Mr X who may have convinced them with promises of more money. In the photographs, the girls were captured spread eagled in very compromising positions, exposing fully the intimate parts of their bodies for Mr X’s take-away shots, keepsakes and memorabilia collection, which he may have taken using probably his camera phone or any of the other new technological devices. Out of anger, Mr X subsequently forwarded the nude pictures of the girls to the university authority and also to his associates who have now been busy passing the pictures around.
Since there is no way of verifying if indeed these girls are Nigerians, and if they are uniport girls, likewise the believability of the entire story since the man in question (Mr X) has not come out publicly to narrate his ‘ordeal’ at the hands of the girls. One can only attempt an analysis of the picture story on the premise that such things have occurred in the past in Nigerian universities, and therefore there is no reason why the story this time may not be true.
Let us assume that these girls are Nigerians, and are also uniport girls. Let us also assume that their names are Nkechi, Joy and Violet. What would their parents, friends and family members be thinking now assuming that they have seen the pictures? Would they be angry at the sex games their daughters are playing in the university? Or would they consider their daughters as ‘innocent’ victims of Mr X’s sexually perverted ‘happy slapping‘ games?
What about the University of Port Harcourt administrators and students, how will they be feeling about the way the reputation of their university is currently being tarnished around the world, as a result of the wayward acts and greed of a few individuals?
What are these pictures telling us about our children and the choices that they make these days? Can we judge the level of morals in our society based on these pictures? What does that say about our own values as a society?
Some people may state here that the students may have been driven to such behaviour by the harsh economic conditions in the country, a situation where parents are no longer able to fully sponsor the education of their children, who then have to resort to crazy behaviour to survive. While acknowledging that students indeed face extra hardship today than before, but hardly does that justify the stupid acts that the trio have engaged in.
Too many questions remain unanswered but surely these pictures if they are indeed genuine, raises the whole argument once again about what goes on in our universities. This is not the first time that uniport students are being involved in such sexscapades. A few years ago, a Uniport student was caught at the Hotel Presidential Port Harcourt while trying to escape with the briefcase of a Caucasian man who she had spent the night with. The student had spiked the man’s drink and knocked him off, but she ran out of luck when the hotel security suspected foul play on seeing a scantily dressed lady working (almost running) past the front lobby with an executive briefcase. She was subsequently apprehended.
Students of other universities like the University of Lagos constantly grace the pages of the tabloid press in Nigeria with stories of their sexual exploits, particularly female students from the infamous Moremi Hall female hostel.
Indeed things are falling apart in some of our ivory towers, as stories of the things that female students engage in these days makes one to shudder and to contemplate the future of our society, considering that these girls are also our sisters, future wives and mothers. The situation is also not helped by the fact that in most cases, the acts are perpetrated by senior government officials who send in their aides and protocol officials to nearby colleges and universities with official government cars to ferry the girls to government luncheons and parties, or to one of the many functions that government organises, especially during the visit of other government officials.
These girls deserve our sympathies for the wrong choices they have made this time; they also require counseling and rehabilitation. This is where the many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria come in, they should really help to educate Nigerian students on the dangers of such illicit sex lives with strangers, this is because they may have to live with the consequences. Parents should also monitor their children’s activities; it is time that they start asking them questions about the source of some of the expensive gift items and clothes they bring home, such as mobile phones, jewelries, designer clothes and even cars.
Finally, these Caucasians that go around taking advantage of our sisters and daughters in the universities should also be named and shamed, stories of their sexploitative behaviour in the Niger Delta area is indeed legion. These men who are usually active in the thriving oil and gas industry in the region have for long played on the innocence, naivety, desperation and sometimes greed of some of the girls and have continued to entice them with money gifts. Some of them have sired kids whom they abandon eventually and return back to the comfort and warm embrace of their wives and families in their home countries. Because there are no strict laws in Nigeria to check the activities of sex tourists and even pedophiles, coupled with enforcement lapses, these men continue to get away with such criminal behaviours which calls into question the morality and social responsibility which they and their various companies preach.
The spate of recent MEND attacks and kidnappings in the Niger Delta area may also not be unconnected with the growing disdain by the yo
uths in the area not only for the government and the oil companies, but also for these men who continue to exploit, defile and violate local women, thus pricing them away beyond the reach of the unemployed and impoverished youths.