Nigeria-Religion And Commercial Sex.
August 9, 2010
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Abuja City Gate
Nigeria is supposed to be a multi-religious state.My interpretation of this is that Nigerians,in Nigeria,have the right to subscribe to any religion of their choice,provided the religion does not explicitly preach violence,sectarian hatred or sedition.This right also includes the right to hold no religious views.Government has no business deciding for it’s citizens how to go about the business of finding and relating to God.In order to fulfill it’s duty to protect lives and properties,government must punish certain activities.In doing so,however,government must take care to make a distinction,between between a sin and a crime.And government has no jurisdiction over sin.Absolutely not.
Which is why reports of a task-force set up by the Abuja minister(Abuja is Nigeria’s capital),to rid the capital of commercial sex-workers,are very frustrating.Prostitution is viewed as a sin by many religions,but is it a crime?If it is a crime,according to the constitution,then government has a duty to view the issue in a more objective,realistic and productive manner.What is required is restriction and not denial.Instead of pretending that these things(prostitution,stripping,e.t.c) do not or cannot exist here in Nigeria,government should map out areas,known as tenderloins,dedicated to night-time and adult entertainment,where these people can make a living,if they meet certain conditions.
The government has two choices here:The government can recognize theese people,and thereby give them the incentive to stay within the law,and therefore under government control or indulge in denial,thereby driving them undergroung,and out of government control.The first option is the only realistic way to rid the streets of prostitutes.I am assuming of course that the minister is not pursuing a religious or an ethnic-cleansing agenda.We should not forget that Abuja is the capital of a multi-religious and multi-ethnic state.Sanitize the city,but do it intelligently and fairly,recognizing other interests and claims.