[OPINION] The Menace Of Lovers’ Cohabitation In Nigerian Ivory Towers By Ali Toyin Abdul


Lovers’ cohabitation, generally known as couple’s life, has remained a
resurging trend in many tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This
unwholesome practice was said to have taken its origin from the
western climes, especially in European countries. It involves a
practice where student lovers of opposite gender cohabit in same
apartment throughout the duration of their studentship in an
institution. This is a situation whereby the potential partners live,
dine and wine under the same roof; and sometimes assume the full
responsibilities of real couples. The two major players in this
illicit relationship are mostly male and female, whom out of sheer
desperation, engage in sexual and marital activities as if they are
actually solemnized in holy matrimony.

With its recent trend in Nigeria, the practice has gone viral among
students, especially those living outside their school campuses. This
is a usual sight to behold when there is scanty accommodation on
campus compare to the teeming population of students in a school. In
the course of this event, students result to seeking  accommodation
outside their school vicinity. It is under this guise that some
desperate student lovers hide, to seize up the opportunity time has
always denied them. However, as rewarding and appealing as the practice
may appear; the underlying dangers it reflect remains the highpoint of
the story.

For Ahmed Abdulkareem, a medical finalist at university of ilorin,
such practice is dangerious for the future of the two young adults
involved in the relationship. They are posed to various sexually
transmitted diseases, and sometimes unwanted pregnancy which may
result in serial abortion. And as such, there is no viable assurance
that the intimacy will end up in marriage. His words: “It is a common
practice nowadays in tertiary institutions, for young adults of
opposite sexes to cohabit, under the guise of being lovers or future
partners, whether or not involving in sexual acts. They share
intimacy, and sometimes, responsibilities of real couples. without
mincing words, such a practice is unwholesome and condemnable. Aside
the fact that the both are susceptible to various Sexually Transmitted
Diseases and unwanted pregnancy; it is capable of diverting them from
facing their primary responbility on campus. And where is even the
assurance that such affairs will graduate into marriage?.

Kemi Busari, a Batch C corps member in Kaduna, maintains that such
practice impedes academic success. He said it is capable of
distracting the primary purpose of studentship, which is to attain
academic excellence. Kemi averred that there is a wide parallel line
between study and relationship, for which one must not meet the other.
Otherwise, it will bear grave consequences. “Have you ever come
across a best graduating student of a school saying that he or she
lived a couple’s life to earn such meritorious feat? Therefore, I
posit that the practice should be totally discouraged”.

Waliyullah Olayiwola, a 400 Level Electrical Engineering student of
Unilorin, wants the government and some other stakeholders in the
education sector to establish a law against such evil practice. He
said: ” Some male and female singles in our higher institutions
are,decryingly, now living together as couples. This menace happens
when shamefulness is no longer a force to reckon with. And more
importantly, people no longer give a damn to what their religious
tenets establish, because the two major religions in the country are
against such practise, as it could be likened to fornication. In my
own view, a law should be established for checking against this evil
act, and all the stakeholders’ hands i.e. government, school authority
and parents should be on deck in prohibiting it”.

For jubril Adigun, a 500 Level Electrical Engineering student, the
practice is grossly an act of indiscipline, which took its course from
the western world. “The world has become so rotten today that people
tend to embrace mediocrity with full passion in their blood. One of
such poignant issues, is the issue of lovers’ cohabitation while in
school. It comes with risky terms like illegal sexual intercourse,
unwanted pregnance, poor academic perfornance, among other declining
variables. However, taking a look at what havoc this concept have and
will continue to cause,  it becomes advertently necessary that such
anomalies be corrected.” Jubril also advised that school authorities
should not only limit their surveillance to happenings on school
premises, but  also extends their web of coverage to activities off
campus. “proper orientation through guidance and conselling of
student, would seriously end the menace in no mean time, he added.”

For Ridwan Oyewale, a Batch C corps member in Delta state, The
practice can be found in all federal institution in Nigeria; and it is
not done in secret. it is only the provision of enough accommodation
on campus that saves the practice in private tertiary institutions in
Nigeria. His words: “As a graduate of a federal university, I have
seen several students who prefer opposite sex as room mates. Economic
reasons, weighing relationship compatibility, and convinience are few
of the weak reasons they give in defence.  For whatever reason,
several researches have shown that this act has devastating
consequence to ignore. Besides, the two main religions we practice in
Nigeria, absolutely prohibit illicit sexual affairs. Though these
religions do not specifically prohibit cohabitation; but they frown at
premarital sex, which is an exclusive feature of cohabitaion.

Ali Toyin Abdul, 300 Level Law, University of Ilorin (writes).