A few years ago when a study was released on Nigerians’ Internet porn habits, many of us cried foul.
We just couldn’t believe that Nigeria, the international headquarters of religion and piety was consuming porn like pure (sachet) water.
‘It can’t be’ many cried with all the false indignation they could muster. But I smiled in my little corner.
I smiled because it was obvious our people have imitated the Ostrich for too long and therefore, have become just incapable of ever confronting our truth.
I smiled because I already knew what many of us were trying so hard to debunk even more than a decade before that report.
Then I was working in an organisation where you were almost always apprehensive to switch on the desktop in your unit because of the fear of the images that would stare back at you.
Those days you were never sure of which pornographic site(s) the last user had visited.
Labeling every or any woman you see in a nightclub a prostitute is not only silly but mischievously and maliciously incompetent
I can still remember frantically closing all the offensive sites because I wouldn’t have known how to explain to whoever might be watching me that I had nothing to do with those sites.
Sometimes, the fellow would open as many as 20 of such X-rated sites without closing and you had to keep clicking till they were all cleared from the desktop.
Thankfully, the management got wind of the discomfort some of us faced daily and blocked those sites.
This was in the early 2000s and the people there were professional adult men and women, who spend part of their paid working hours feasting on pornography.
If they could be desperate and brazen enough to do such in their offices, during working hours then, your guess is as good as mine at the quantity of porn that our people now consume daily with cheap smart phones and data everywhere you go.
Please, this is not about the appropriateness or otherwise of watching porn. I’m sure the country boasts of enough experts to deal with the subject exhaustively.
However, I’m always piqued that Nigerians would always prefer to believe that these things were western infestations and alien.
We always tell ourselves that because we belong to Religion A or B, this or that cannot be a part of us. We are always quick to hide under religion and wave aside these issues until they can no longer be put off.
That’s also why when I heard of ACP Yomi Shogunle’s justification of the recent raid on nightclubs in Abuja last Sunday, I smiled, again.
Same raid specialists would not dare get near any of the five-star hotels in the same city to practise their craft. Or do they want to tell us that sexual favours are not also exchanged for monetary values in such places?
Nothing has changed. In fact, it seems nothing ever changes with us.
As expected, he invoked religion as one of his basis for validating the raid.
According to him, the two religions practised in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are against prostitution.
By the way, labeling every or any woman you see in a nightclub a prostitute is not only silly but mischievously and maliciously incompetent.
It appears they didn’t learn anything from the landmark judgment by the ECOWAS court in 2017. The court had awarded N18m against the Nigerian government for the arbitrary arrest and detention of three women labeled sex hawkers during a raid.
But the same raid specialists would not dare get near any of the five-star hotels in the same city to practise their craft. Or do they want to tell us that sexual favours are not also exchanged for monetary values in such places?
The kleptomaniacs in government stealing funds meant for our schools, hospitals and roads are also adherents of the two religions Oga Shogunle is referring to
But that’s a story for a different time. And many human rights and gender activists are already on it.
It’s just amusing that a law enforcement agency would hide behind the finger of religion to explain away a state action with such unpopular reactions.
The kleptomaniacs in government stealing funds meant for our schools, hospitals and roads are also adherents of the two religions Oga Shogunle is referring to.
At least we see quite a number of them being sworn in with the Bible or Koran and not Sopona, Amadioha or Sango. So, yes, most of our public officials are members of the so-called two religions practiced in the FCT.
But did he fail to notice that that has never stopped them from looting our treasury dry?
And it’s so because no matter the lies we tell ourselves in public we all know that religion has little or no impact on how we carry on in our private lives.
If it weren’t so, Nigeria would have been paradise on earth. In fact, if it weren’t so, you won’t find cars with religious stickers speeding past you with reckless abandon as you wait at every traffic light.
If it weren’t so, there won’t be this viciously criminal class divide that has sentenced a huge chunk of our coming generations to a life of inexcusable poverty.
Ours is a nation where reason and values seem to have taken emergency midday flight out of town and so, the rest of the day has been shrouded in utter chaos
If it weren’t so, we won’t have young people risking everything and leaving this country through channels that expose them to horrors that are better left imagined.
Ours is a nation where reason and values seem to have taken emergency midday flight out of town and so, the rest of the day has been shrouded in utter chaos.
But no, we refuse to acknowledge that these issues are much deeper than rounding up women at random and charging them to mobile courts.
The day, we as Nigerians finally identify where the rain began to beat us we will take the right actions. And when that day finally dawns, be sure that raiding night clubs in search of prostitutes won’t be on the menu.