On this website, naijapals.com, I read with utter shock and amazement the arguments of Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the Senate President, David Mark for the legalization of prostitution. Naijapals.com reported that the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu asked the Senate to consider legalizing prostitution in the country.
Speaking during debate on a motion on the scourge of human trafficking in the country, Ekweremadu said since it has become impossible to stop prostitution in the land, the Senate should consider regulating the act in the country. According to him “We need to regulate prostitution in this country so that if anyone wants to indulge in prostitution, the person should be registered and issued with a license. If we say we want to stop it, it would be difficult. It is done in other countries; let us regulate it by issuing license.” Also speaking on the matter, Senate President David Mark said it is difficult to stop the act of prostitution saying “the FCT administration has been trying to stop it but they are facing stiff resistance because the prostitutes have their association and even their own legal adviser. It is a reasonably organized bad profession.”
The arguments of Ike Ekweremadu and David Mark for the legalization of prostitution are pathetically horrible, and I am in total disagreement with them. Their arguments are not only disingenuously porous but also ridiculous. But before I marshal out my reasons for disagreeing with them, let’s define prostitution. "Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute."
I am strongly against the legalization of prostitution in Nigeria for various reasons. First, it is a sin against God; secondly, it is the normalization of the abnormal and the legalization of an intrinsically evil act. Prostitution debases the human person created in the image and likeness of God. It profoundly violates the human body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It corrodes the human body that is redeemed by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Prostitution legalization could potentially pose the greatest assault on the Nigerian family and the society at large. Presently, prostitution is illegal in Nigeria, as a result, those who indulge in it do so with “extreme caution.” But if it is legalized in a country like Nigeria which is already bedeviled and burdened with unemployment crisis, a teeming number of unemployed young women in Nigeria, could easily consider it as a choice of trade and means of survival, after all, it is legally allowed. Again, legalizing prostitution can seriously weaken the war against the spread of HIV/AIDS. It’s a gross irresponsibility on the part of Nigerian government to be spending millions of dollars in the fight against HIV/AIDS while at the same time arguing for the legalization of prostitution in Nigeria. You cannot have it both ways! The Nigerian government cannot possibly hold in one hand the sign that reads “War against HIV/AIDS” and on the other the sign that reads “Legalize prostitution now!” Any attempt to hold both signs is hypocritical and disingenuous. Like the saying goes, “You cannot eat your cake and have it.” Instead of legalizing prostitution, all hands should be on deck to vigorously fight against it. Ike Ekweremadu and David Mark should should be deeply ashamed of themselves. They were elected to do those things that the people cannot do best for themselves. They were elected to work for the common good of the people, and not to ruin it. Instead of clamoring for the legalization of prostitution, they should work hard to combat poverty which is mostly the root cause of prostitution in Nigeria. Nigeria is not Europe!
They said that their support for the legalization of prostitution rests on the apparent difficulty associated in fighting against it. But should the Senate also legalize vices and crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, corruption etc. simply because they are hard to fight against? Come to think of it, Nigeria has been waging war against corruption, especially corruption among government officials for decades, but has not been able to win the war. Should the Senate now legalize corruption just because of the difficulty in combating it? The Senate President and his deputy are probably Christians and could be seen in Churches on Sunday. Their support for the legalization of prostitution to me is a public denial of Jesus Christ.
Prostitution is not the only problem ravaging Nigeria. As a matter of fact, unsound governance, corruption and incompetence of our political leaders in Nigeria have been giving birth to immoral behaviors like prostitution. If the number of Nigerian women opting into prostitution is on the increase, then something else is driving them to such a dangerous trade. The abject poverty in the land could be responsible for this. And if the Nigerian Senate think that prostitution is such a huge problem, then they should constitute a group of Nigerians drawn from Religious Leaders, Sociologists, Nurses, Medical Doctors, Lawyers, Political Scientists, Students, Mothers, Young Ladies etc to conduct a thorough inquiry on the root cause of prostitution. David Mark and Ike Ekweremadu should ask this group to find out the reasons why young girls go into prostitution despite the risks involved and also make recommendations on how to combat it. I agree, we may not be able to eliminate prostitution completely. Prostitution is as old as the human race. But it can be checkmated. The number of young girls and women going into it can be reduced. Strict laws should be put in place to prosecute parents and guardians whose very actions sometimes drive these young girls to prostitution. Any house, hotels, brothels, streets etc. that allows prostitution should be clamped down. Nigeria should be serious in fighting against this degrading trade. The brothels, streets and places where these girls ply their trade are not hidden. The Police Force should be reminded that prostitution is illegal in Nigeria and should be strongly ordered and empowered to start making arrests, closing down hotels, brothels and clamping down streets where these girls gather for their despicable trade.
I am greatly disappointed with Ike Ekweremadu and David Mark. By their action, they are trying to encourage the future mothers of the nation to go into a trade that is massively dangerous. Issuing out licenses to prostitutes does not solve any problem. The license to prostitute does not prevent the spread of STDs. In a country like Nigeria with little or no institutions and with the rate of bribery and corruption shooting through the roof of the nation, who's going to make sure that sex workers are medically tested from time to time? Who’s going to make sure that the so called legal prostitutes are complying with the rules? Who’s going to monitor the public health? If prostitution is legalized in a country as lawless as Nigeria, who’s going to ascertain that sex workers who are medically unfit to ply their trade are not into the trade thereby endangering the lives of many? In this time and age, advocating for the legalization of prostitution is insanity and clearly demonstrates a flight from faith, reason, tradition and culture. Even in America, prostitution is illegal.
Our “noble” senators- David Mark and Ike Ekweremadu are worried that the fight against prostitution in Nigeria has not yielded any meaningful result. David Mark even stated that Abuja has been waging intensive wars against it but has not been able to bring the trade to a halt. But if they claim ignorance of the reason or reasons why prostitution in Nigeria especially in Abuja has remained undefeated, then I will either accuse them of being unpardonably and woefully ignorant or intellectually dishonest. Prostitution elimination or reduction in Nigeria has been impossible because of abject poverty. I understand there may be some women out there who would willingly go into prostitution irrespective of their status in life. But a huge number of women in Nigeria who go into prostitution do so as the last resort to survival. Many of those girls were directly or indirectly forced into prostitution by unspeakable hardship and by the sheer desire to survive. And many of them do it with shame and wished that situations had been different. If the Nigerian government wants to reduce or eliminate prostitution, then it should fight for justice and economic growth. It should fight against poverty. If the government wants to fight against prostitution, then it should fight against hardship and illiteracy. If our noble senators- David Mark and Ike Ekweeremadu want to deal a serious blow to prostitution and remove the future mothers of the nation from the street, then they should wage persistent wars against bad governance and corruption among their friends and colleagues in government. Legalization of prostitution would only worsen the Nigerian situation!
In the floor of the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu and David Mark argued that since there are sex workers all over the world, the law prohibiting prostitution should be repealed. But does that justify the legalization of prostitution in Nigeria? Why must Nigeria imitate a bad phenomenon found in other countries? Why can’t our leaders imitate honesty, diligence, incorruptibility, sound governance, and the drive to develop our land that abound in other nations? To our high esteemed Senators, in case you don’t know, there are also corrupt people, kidnappers, armed robbers in other countries. Should we also legalize those vices in Nigeria just because they are in other countries? The enactment of laws should not only be based on need, they should primarily be based on morality and virtues. Nigeria should not be dragged to the lane of moral vacuity. This is how it begins! From legalization of prostitution, people would start clamoring for the legalization of gay-marriage in Nigeria. Human Laws should not be made based on human weakness. Laws are made to checkmate human excesses and not to give in to human weakness. If we liberalize human laws due to human weakness, then the human society will be in trouble. There are so many ills in the Nigerian society already, we don't need to add to it. Prostitution is immoral. Even when laws permit it, it is still immoral. Not everything legal is moral. Some human behaviors may be legal, but immoral. As human beings, we should enact laws based on moral virtues.
A “friend” of mine accused me of arguing purely from the Biblical perspective against prostitution, and that if we set aside the Bible, prostitution is not such a bad idea. But even without arguing from Biblical perspective, prostitution is still a disgusting human behavior. It is bad because it ruins both the girls who practice it and the men who patronize them. It violates the dignity of women who are into it. It turns them into objects to be used and thrown away. It objectifies them. Prostitution assaults the beauty, the body, and the motherhood of women who are into it. Even before the birth of Jesus Christ, prostitution was already considered a terribly evil practice, and prostitutes were listed among the uncleanest in the society. What about the health risks of prostitution- HIV/AIDS, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and many other sexually transmitted diseases. Socially speaking, prostitution is wrong. Legalization of prostitution is wrong because it attempts to turn bad into good. What is bad is bad! Even where prostitution is legalized, people including the men who patronize prostitutes still belittle sex workers.
In Nigeria for instance, prostitutes are considered the lowest of the low in the society. Women who indulge in prostitution are hardly respected. The entire society disparages them with deep disgust. They are usually seen and not heard. Sometimes, they are denied of their rights and voices. Most Nigerians look at prostitutes as cursed people. The prostitutes in Nigeria, are the lepers of Jesus’ time. Our leaders should do whatever it would take to take them out of such a humiliating trade and not make laws the would allow more of our girls to go into it.
Prostitution can wreak the Nigerian family. It can wreak the family when a married man decides to spend the night with a sex worker and in the process contracts some diseases which he later gives to the wife. Prostitution can wreak the family when a wife decides to do it in order to make some money that her husband was not able to give her and in the process gets some disease which she passes unto the husband. It can wreak a family when a daughter sent to the university by the parents to study combines school and prostitution and in the process is killed, thereby causing heartbreak to the family. It can wreak a family when a son who is in the university decides to spend sometime with a sex worker, and in the process is killed or contracted a disease that renders him sterile or impotent. This too causes grief to his family and to the woman he marries many years later. Prostitution brings nothing but pains and sorrow. When a woman who combined school and prostitution is not able to experience the joy of motherhood later in life due to STDs contracted when she was into prostitution, speechless grief sets in.
Some people consider prostitution as work. But it can never be part of human work. Work, according to Pope John Paul II, is a human activity that arises by the virtue of man’s rationality. It is connected to the very nature of the human person. Work is a human activity that aims at enhancing and transforming the universe. God created us to work. By working, the man and the woman contribute to the ongoing work of creation. Prostitution does not fulfill this role. God worked! Jesus worked! In the gospel John 5:17, Jesus says "My father is working, and I too am working." When we work, we partake in the work of creation; we become co-creators with God. Please, where does a prostitute fit in? Prostitution is the devil's way of making money. A prostitute does not partake in God's activity of creation and on-going creation; she is rather ruining it.
Again, after God had created the man and the woman, he said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it" (Genesis 1:28) Prostitution can make it impossible for many men and women to fulfill this beautiful injunction of God. Studies have shown that sexually transmitted diseases can cause infertility in women and impotence and sterility in men especially when they are not treated on time or badly treated. Women are our mothers. They are our sisters! Prostitution, many times denies them the opportunity of being our sisters and our mothers.
October 13, 2011