In a proactive response to the growing concerns of sexual harassment on its campus, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, has initiated the installation of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras across the institution. The move comes amidst a series of allegations of misconduct by lecturers, sparking a wave of student protests and calls for accountability.
According to reliable sources, the CCTV cameras will be strategically placed within lecturers’ offices and key locations across the campus, with the installation process already underway at the Faculty of Law.
The decision to implement this surveillance measure was prompted by the escalating incidents of sexual harassment at the university. Several weeks ago, the university’s management took decisive action by removing lecturers implicated in these allegations from their positions and suspending others.
One high-profile removal was that of an unnamed lecturer from the Faculty of Law, whose conduct had raised alarm among female students. The university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, firmly upheld the need for transparency in interactions between staff and students.
Nevertheless, this move to install CCTV cameras has not been without controversy. Many lecturers have expressed concerns regarding the infringement on their privacy and perceived violations of their fundamental rights to private discussions with students. The lecturers argue that such surveillance interferes with the academic freedom they require to engage in uncensored discourse.
On the other hand, some university employees, including a source who wished to remain anonymous, support the installation of CCTV cameras. They believe that this measure will bolster students’ confidence, as it ensures that communications between faculty and students are no longer shrouded in secrecy.
Dr. Emma Ojukwu, the Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor on Public Relations Matters and Special Duty, confirmed that the installation of CCTV cameras is a proactive measure to combat sexual harassment within the university. Ojukwu stated, “This is one of the methods to deal with the issue of sexual harassment in the university. The installation has commenced with the Faculty of Law. Other faculties are in the queue. There shall be a central control room to manage the equipment. There will also be a physical motorized patrol. The installation is being done in bits, faculty by faculty. Until it is finished, it may be difficult to know exactly the total cost of the equipment and how much this has cost the school.”
As the installation of CCTV cameras continues, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, aims to strike a balance between protecting students from harassment and respecting the privacy and academic freedom of its lecturers. The effectiveness of this surveillance initiative in curbing sexual harassment remains to be seen.