BEYOND SETTING UP THE AMBROSE ALLI UNIVERSITY SEX PROBE: INSTITUTE A CRISIS DROP-IN-CENTER NOW
Every faculty, student and family share a common priority in an educational center like the Ambrose Alli University, and that priority is leaning.
The Ambrose Alli University will not be the first institution of higher learning in the world to be faced with incidents of corrupt sexual behaviors between unprincipled students and dodgy lecturers or professors.
What is likely to be the first across the globe, is that on July 23, 2010, there was a view of a dramatic moment between a lecturer, one Mr. P.O.Otubu, and a student, one Judith Okosun, in a chaotic encounter in the latter's tiny room.
The videotape was flashed everywhere by the Sahara reporters, an internet newspaper.
There is a human side to this tragedy, which is the possible shocking response that could occur in persons directly and indirectly involved in this all time and highly published live video.
At the time of his writing, one wonders what the said lecturer and student, their respective families, the administrators, faculty and the student body of the university could be going through emotionally and morally.
There is a feeling of dishonor, indecency and shame that could be robbing on those affected by this hurting incident.
In what manner could the lecturer be thinking at this time even if he is being viewed as dishonorable, what could be streaming through the mind of the student even if she is being described as vicious?
At on point in the video, in what seems to be expressions in the Ishan vernacular, an Edo State dialect of this writer, a female voice, possibly that of a female on-looker or Ms. Okosun could be heard admonishing the highly distressed and near-naked engineering university lecturer; "Oya gbe', tell me yes mar, Oya gbe (meaning shame on you, tell me yes madam). At which time the visiting but physically shaking, distraught and fenced in lecturer, replied through a nervous laughter, "Yes Ma".
In the moment to moment recording were traumatic mentions of his wife, and daughter by the streaming and noisy voices of on- looking students. The identified student, Ms. Okosun, could be noticed periodically showing fluctuating display of facial pain and anger, in between phone calls.
At the point of this ugliness, what about their families out there in their respective homes, what could they be thinking is this a real or a fake episode?
For the lecturer's wife, adult children and other family members, this apparent devastating event could form into an emotional storm and an overbearing event.
There could be feelings of traumatic horror equally manifesting in the affected student's family. Even the co-female residents of Ms. Okosun, as well as the male students operating the video could be heard periodically mounting off screams of frustration and fury.
And there is no doubt that the families of the video operators could be feeling a sense of traumatic worry over the whole explosion.
How does any one make the families and the faculty, the males faculty mostly, understand the institutional tragedies flowing from this experience.
In the live footage, is a middle aged husband, father and lecturer with a full and open display of his penis per the order of both the female and male students.
So clear, from the entire image is a display of alarm, shame and helplessness beaming across the nation, and globe into various homes, offices, markets, dormitories and other settings.
Under these situations, the need for clear and cool heads through some form of clinical help becomes paramount.
The Nigerian culture historically has little attraction to helpful outlet like professional counseling and therapy, and instead many Nigerians rely much more on religious, tribal and family support or remain indifferent to painful related experiences. Certainly these outlets are part of the African reality.
However, the current institutional traumatic grief stands out markedly, as it is first of its kind, therefore calls for a much more different understanding, assessment and emotional support.
The Psychology department of the University with the help of the two or three Clinical Psychology faculty should set up a Crisis Drop- in- Center in safe like settings. It should be open to any one related or involved with the university.
In matters like this one there are natural responses of all types which could include guilt, exhaustion, apprehension, bewilderment or catastrophe.
The overall set up for help should revolve around Institutional Tragedy Assistance. The lecturer in question should be encouraged to receive urgent individual counseling to deal with possible feelings of acute stress, hopelessness, insecurity, gloom and loss.
On a separate basis his wife and children could be scheduled for a critical or an immediate family therapy, and in future another line of therapy with possible inclusion of the dishonored father and husband should be offered.
The student in question, given her reported past frustrations and dealings with this lecturer, and her current feelings of mixed, disgusted emotions and all of her overwhelmed undertakings ,she could gain from a cooling out related crisis intervention.
Her own family could also gain from some sort of supportive counseling. The faculty, administrators and other university staff should be encouraged to come in for counseling focusing on 'this could have being me' session.
Also, other students like Ms. Okosun's co-residents, the students' video makers and other on-lookers to the graphic scene, could gain from a safe environment like the drop in center to vent their anger and worry over their aberrant acts, the videoing of the episode especially.
And for those whose assessment and intervention showed to be in need of further help, a psychiatrist could become involved for medication evaluation and possible psychotropic medication maintenance.
There is the need for the Vice-Chancellor Sam Uniamikogbo and his administration to realize that crisis intervention is of high importance as it could help the affected players and individuals, the lecturer and the student especially. Immediate therapeutic assistance could help them learn better coping skills, develop good problem solving behaviors, and avoid negative ways of coping such as engaging in self destructive acts like self injury, drug or substance abuse as well as help return the individual to their previous level of functioning.
The commission of inquiry and the probing panel of this incident by the State of Edo under the administration of Governor Adam Oshiomhole, and through an investigational team at the university are certainly required.
However along side the investigation should be the urgent set up of short term assistance like the recommended Crisis Drop- in- Center.
This whole matter appeared to have come upon the university silently and swiftly, and let's hope that this extraordinary problem goes out in the same way.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, DABPS, FACFE is a practicing Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and the Interim Associate Dean of Behavioral Science, North Campus, Broward College, Coconut Creek, Florida. [email protected]