Friday, 25 July 2008

Nigeria: Sexual Neanderthals run amok in the National Hospital

More sources force a review

Having come across another source of information regarding the sexual harassment case [Source – Origin (LeadershipNigeria), referenced @ allafrica.com - Nigeria: Sexual Harassment - Nurse Tenders Exhibit Against National Hospital], I have to write an addendum.

The points I raised in my original blog remain valid even though the additional information sheds more light on some assertions I made there.

It is unfortunate, that when gathering sources of information from Nigerian newspapers, you notice clearly how journalists are not thorough in their investigations, verifications and analysis of the news they are reporting.

As I said once before, journalists probably reflect the society within which they conduct their reporting activities, I would not deign to draw any further conclusions.

Institutionalised sexual slavery

It would appear that the sexual harassment and abuse of female staff in the National Hospital in Abuja is rife and the norm.

It is sad to read excerpts of the letter purportedly written by the matron, Deborah Olorunmaiye, an Assistant Chief Nursing Officer (ACNO) in the hospital.

I do not have any problem with you I was doing this in order to retain my job. I gave you motherly advice to stay with me in our club, which you call a cult. Have relationship with the (Chief Medical Director) CMD and save your job, come forward for deliverance, you refused.

All I want to let you know is that we mother do it. Me, I keep relationship with Abawede in order to keep my job. They told me you refused to give them again a term you agreed in giving you job.

Thank you for all your usual assistance and I want to assure you that any plan by the management to dismiss you or use me to tell lots of lies on you and implicate you will not work.”

Working as pimps

It appears female middle managers are being press-ganged into coercing junior members of staff to submit to the sexual advances of the male management of the hospital.

It also appears beyond the professional activities in health services the women had constituted themselves into some sort of religious harem at the beck and call of the male management who demanded and obtained sexual favours without reservation.

It is shocking to learn that mature women in a seemingly mentoring and motherly position are under such threat and duress to be sexual slaves to the management of the hospital, the matron confessed that she had to keep a relationship with one Abawede to keep her job.

Your pudenda availability seals the job offer

Most appalling of all is the revelation that offering sexual favours constituted part of the terms of getting a job at the hospital.

I had to read that again - They told me you refused to give them again a term you agreed in giving you job. – It would appear she had had enough of the abuse in order to reclaim her self-esteem maybe.

This is sick enough for any patient to have a miraculous transformation to get out of the hospital before the grubby hands of those rotten lechers who call themselves doctors and management get near them.

How can we have a National Hospital run by people who have no moral rectitude, who abuse their positions for personal sexual gain and run the institution like a whore house for unspeakable peccadilloes? Peccadillo? I am in error, these are grievous sins, the hospital cannot be a house of care if the people who run it have turned it into a den of iniquity.

The letter of a lecher

It is however heartening to note that the matron who advised the nurse to yield to the terms of her employment contract has also said she would refuse to be used as an instrument to force a dismissal on the nurse.

Meanwhile, the CMD has denied all the allegations and even suggested that the nurse was subjected to psychiatric examination for accusing principal officers of the hospitals of being members of a secret cult.

Whilst one cannot ascertain the veracity of the secret cult claim, one reads of joining a club where the nurse could get deliverance (a religious term for exorcism), and still save her job by succumbing to the sexual advances of the CMD who allegedly penned a letter he hand-delivered to the nurse’s home.

Ihuoma Dear, I will come back to pass the night with you. For your info, say yes to my request and I will provide u your heart desire. Your love Ajuwon”. (Dr. Olusegun Ajuwon being the name of the CMD at the centre of this case.)

One wonders why the married head of a medical institution would want to spend the night with a nurse who is not his wife, try and strike a bargain for a Quid pro quo situation that offers her heart’s desire for acceding to his request and the sign off with his surname rather than his first name - these were not lovers and she was definitely not his mistress, rather she was just a pleasure unit to him.

Take down those sexual Neanderthals

That is the abuse of power at work, the big-man-mentality that demands and expects to get what he asks for – her love indeed or his lust leading him like a sex-starved rabid maniac.

In the light of this onslaught on the nurse - Ihuoma Chinasa Doris – a rather peculiar arrangement of names; one can only hope that she does get her day in court, represented by competent legal counsel, being free to exercise the right of access to a legal process without the fear of legal menace brought on by the lack of funds.

The matron did recognise that the nurse’s good work in thanking her for her assistance and there must have been something the character and demeanour of the nurse that made the matron promise not to allow herself to be used to defame or dismiss the nurse – that should count for something, especially if it is proven to be the letter the matron actually wrote.

For all and sundry, if any of the points in the letters and the analysis is true, then a purge needs to take place in that hospital, and if only we had decent laws to protect women’s rights in Nigeria, all the men implicated in demanding sexual favours because of their office should face the music and punitive sanctions.

The case of Ihuoma Chinasa Doris might just be the one to start to roll back the hold of the sexual Neanderthal that has stalked the corridors of power in Nigeria and made the female pudenda the key to success for many women who have aspired to make something of their lives.

If the female legislators had any gumption they would ditch the nudity elements of that damned bill and sue for stringent anti-harassment laws that would place more of the burden of proof on those men who until now thought they could get away with anything and everything whilst destroying the lives of the victims unconscionably along the way.

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