21 December 2012

Nigeria: That Barbaric Act Called Virginity Test


Apparently seeking to address sexual immorality among students, the Principal of Ajuwon High School, Ajuwon in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, Mrs.Olufunke Aladeojebi, took an unusual unilateral decision to invite a nurse to the school to carry out virginity tests on a group of 10 senior secondary school girls suspected to have had pre-marital sex in the school.

Aladeojebi, widely regarded as a strict disciplinarian, did not seek the consent of the parents/guardians of the pupils before conducting the test on December 10.

During the test, the principal and the nurse dipped their fingers into the girls' 'private part'. The matter got out of hand when one of them started bleeding after she had been 'tested' as a result of the deep penetration. "Two of my friends who had similar experiences burst into tears as they narrated what happened", she added.

Petrified parents and guardians stormed the school and spontaneously raised hell over the scandalous act and reported the high-handedness to both the police and ministry officials. For her indiscretion, the state government has sent the head teacher on an indefinite suspension, while a panel has been set up to investigate her. We think the nurse should also be made to face disciplinary action for professional misconduct.

A similar sordid show of shame played out in the state seven years ago when a virginity-test-for-scholarship scandal was conducted at Leguru ward, Ibefun, in Odogbolu LGA as a pre-condition for female applicants to partake in scholarship scheme floated by Major Ferdinand Keku (rtd.), who was special adviser on legislative matters to the former governor, Gbenga Daniel.

We consider this kind of test anachronistic, barbaric and a gross act of misconduct that should attract severe sanctions by the authorities. Who knows how many of the girls would have been infected by the two adults through the passage of the same hands through the different girls' sex organs without health precautions? For her injudiciousness, Mrs Aladeojebi should be removed from office and made to face the law.

It is inappropriate, unacceptable and simply deplorable to subject pupils to such abuse. The principal clearly overstepped her bounds by molesting the pupils. She infringed on their rights by invading their privacy. It is simply an abuse that could leave the affected students traumatised for life. Psychologically, pupils subjected to this kind of violation in this manner find it hard to cope in life.

This act is not only hypocritical, but an exhibition of the contempt and disdain with which women are held and treated. And it is sad that, this time, it is coming from fellow women. Sexual abuse take different forms, including the near nudity fashion currently the rave amongst mothers and daughters of our time.

Men constitute a majority in the fashion design industry and they simply translate their perversity into fashion statements. And because the west, the biggest abusers of womanhood, sanction it we here just gobble it up. We must know that virginity is not lost in isolation; circumstances lead to it.

However, virginity is the issue; what really should be of concern to us is the rate at which we are descending into the abyss of moral decadence in the name of civilisation and globalisation. If we make bold to confront the morality issue, then virginity test will not be necessary.

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