This is one of those moments I feel ashamed to be a Nigerian. I don’t understand why there is so much hysteria about the leaked sex video of a private citizen. In my opinion, this should not make the news. There are far too many sanctimonious and judgmental people who take it upon themselves to be morality police in this country. They pontificate on how sinful sex is yet they seek out the leaked sex video and all forms of porn on the internet.
The morality police turn a blind eye when prepubescent girls are given out in marriage to men old enough to be their grandfathers but as soon as consenting adults engage in premarital or gay sex they start twitching. How is it anybody’s business what two or more consenting adults choose to do with their bodies if they are not hurting a third party or forcing you to have sex with them?
Do you want something really worthwhile to talk about? Do you want to talk about something that every decent person should be angry about? I will give you it. Only this month, the Emir of Katsina reportedly married a fourteen-year-old girl, assaulting her dignity and innocence in the process but our society hardly took notice. Child-bride marriage is so common in northern Nigeria that it is considered a normal way of life.
This is a matter that has serious consequences for the lives of young people. It should concern every citizen because it destroys the lives of our children. It stops girls from going to school to get an education, which in turn affects their prospects of getting good jobs and becoming financially independent later in life. These girls are more likely to develop abnormal connections between their vagina, bladder, and rectum during childbirth, which then causes them to become incontinent of feces and urine. The resultant malodor very often leads to isolation and social ostracism or even divorce by their husbands who simply marry the next child-bride. It is a lot of psychological trauma for anybody to deal with let alone a teenage mother. These young mothers end up begging on the streets when their elderly husbands divorce them. Sadly, their children are left to the mercies of hostile step-mothers and may end up as street beggars just like their unfortunate mothers.
The evidence shows that children born to educated mothers have better outcomes than those born to teenage mothers with no education or job. When you educate a woman you empower the whole family and by extension the society. Look around, and you will notice that the most progressive and affluent societies in the world are the ones that have educated and empowered their women. It seems to me that the Nigerian society is confused and has its priorities the wrong way round. Why are we angry when adults (married or not, gay or straight) engage in consensual sex but turn a blind eye when children are raped by adults in the name of tradition?
As a secular humanist, I do not look to any religious book or gods for morals. I apply reason, common sense, judgment, and empathy in decision-making. If two or more adults engage in consensual sex and this does not harm anybody then it is none of my business. Period! I think our self-righteousness and propensity to be judgemental come from religion. Islam and Christianity condemn homosexuality and consensual sex between unmarried adults but are silent on the matter of pedophilia. Catholic priests have gained an ugly notoriety for sexually molesting young boys all over the world. The prophet of Islam married a prepubescent girl when he was in his fifties and many Muslims cannot be persuaded to abandon this practice. Despite unparalleled religiosity, our society is one of the most decadent in the world – we are almost always near the top of the list of the most corrupt countries in the world. Many Nigerian children endure years of sexual abuse by close relatives such as uncles, aunties, cousins, house-boys, house-girls or family friends. To think some of these perverts are now sitting in judgment over Miss Anambra and her friend is nauseating and outrightly hypocritical.
Ijabla is a medical doctor and a humanist. He writes from the U.K.
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