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Nigeria-Religion And Commercial Sex.

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.


2 responses to “Nigeria-Religion And Commercial Sex.

  1. codliveroil September 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

    It’s as you mentioned in another post, the government is heavy handed, and their policies are ill-conceived.

    Denying sex workers the right to practice their trade legitimately, ignores a key component. There is a a need in society, that drives their activities, ie customers who want and are willing to pay for sex. Which won’t disappear over night. Similarly in some Sharia states, prostitutes were told to get married or leave, as if that would solve the issue.

    The more sensible way is as you said, to create some space for them to ply their trade, regulate it (provide health care checks etc) and tax it. It is as simple as that. Those who don’t like it, (need not go to that part of town where they can be found)

    Maybe if people left religion as purely a private matter, instead of making such ‘a song and dance’ about it. Then such compromises would look less of a humiliation. Nigerians have to face it, they are not squeaky clean as they like to think (of themselves).

    • henryik2009 September 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      Codliveroil Thanks for your comment.Nigerians are not cleaner than other people,just more hypocritical.I suspect it has to with a lack of self-esteem,given the level of corruption and incompetence here.When the whole world derides you for malfeasance,you want to appear cleaner than every body in something.A case of the guilty running when no one is chasing them.

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