Assault

When Nigeria senate refused to take gender equality bill seriously the other month, many people were surprised. Many Nigerians take to social media to voice their opinion, I did too. However, I was not a bit surprised and in a way our women reactions especially those in public offices, celebrities and influential signalled that some have not lived real Nigerian life.

While gender inequality is a huge global problem, in Nigeria it is common that we don’t always pursue common interests. This is what I mean, for the most part, we have not been able to work on common goals that cut across our biases, pretty much our actions seem to be based on political affiliations, class, education, tribe and of course the mother of it all, religion.

A couple of days ago a Nigerian MP Onyemaechi Mrakpor was slapped in public for all to see how much she was ‘out of line’. The said lawmaker is 49. Her offence was that she overtook the motorcade carrying the Comptroller General Dr. Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu at the exit gate of the National Assembly.

Because of this, the Comptroller General orders his aide to deliver the dirty slap to the woman as a matter of how dare she?

I was expecting to see Nigerians reactions to be in support of this woman, not because she is a lawmaker but mostly because she is a woman, she could have been illiterate woman like my mother or me for that matter – why on earth should we have public officers disrespect their peers like this simply because they are women?

Many of our women and indeed men who are always on the side of gender equity didn’t think much of this.

Here is a comment I copied from a Nigeria popular site, nairaland, it was the only one that received ’60 likes’ (the highest by far on that post).

”I wonder why there is an uproar because a member of the House of Reps received a dirty slap,if the woman had being up and doing in her legislative duties in time past,she might have saved herself from this national embarrassment,was she not aware of the daily abuse of human rights by security agents?,what bill did she sponsor to that effect?,now she is a victim and wants the entire Nigeria to sympathise with her.
She had better accept the slap in good faith,next time she might not be so lucky,it could be an accidental discharge,how many Nigerians get slapped daily?,how many innocent Nigerians get killed?,how many times was any security chief summoned?.
This is just a tip of the iceberg,you can never eat what belongs to the masses and go scot free,a time of reckoning and the inevitable law of karma is coming,it might not be now,but it will eventually come.”

The above sums up the mentality of many Nigerians today, the person who posted this has many people listening to him/her. Actually, many comments on the issue have similar opinion.

I’d admit that as a woman, it is hard to understand reasoning of some of our women leaders especially when all their values have been reduced to bling-bling and Owambe (non value added parties).

However, this is a perfect example to show how well ingrained disrespect for women is in our society is. This is very similar to the one I witnessed where a professor boasted about slapping a school headteacher because it was just too beneath him to have proper adult conversation to resolve the matter civilly.

And again, in order to stop this attitude from reoccurring, education on the importance of discouraging violence must start from home, school and this will reflect in society.

In this case, both the aide who delivered the job and the Oga at the Top Comptroller General are clearly not good role models to the public so why should they stay at the job they suck at?

People don’t just change unless they knew their actions will insure consequences.

For now, we wait for what will happen in the next week or so.



Categories: Nigeria, Politics, Women

Tags: , , ,

14 replies

  1. This is a topic that has a way of rousing all the wrong juices in me. Who will bell the cat? What consequences can be meted out to a society where the woman is sorely disregarded except as an object of sexual gratification. Folake my sister, we have a long way to go before the society is near educated to know that such actions are unacceptable and except women start working hand in hand to end such misogyny then it will keep on thriving.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. FK, I told you about the story of the female Mexican journalist who was so disappointed and disgusted by the treatment of women in Mexico, she decided to raise her two daughters abroad.
    I was thinking if I had daughters in Nigeria, I’d probably do the same. I wasn’t really aware of how bad things are for women in Nigeria, – I knew of FGM and early marriage, but the more I thought about it, the worse it seemed
    1) From birth in many parts of the country girls are not ‘valued’.
    2) In childhood the cultural and religious straightjacket is forced upon them thereby restricting their freedoms.
    3) Many receive a poor education, many don’t even get the chance to even go to school.
    4) Many suffer FGM (female genital mutilation)
    5) Many are thrown into child marriage against their will.
    6) Many are raped and have no recourse, if they report it to the police they are stigmatised and no action is taken.
    7) They are not protected by the law of the land witness the case of the Chibok girls who were abducted whilst attending school (and many others) who have been abducted and not rescued.
    8) It appears that physical abuse of a woman by any man goes without punishment. There are several cases of women senators being slapped in public by their colleagues or even drivers. Police have even stripped women in public. A female teacher has been murdered whilst teaching in school. A female NYSC corper was raped and murdered and the body dumped (I believe that was in Yobe state) – no one brought to book.
    9) Women are under-represented in government.
    10) Society doesn’t tolerate single women, hence the unhealthy obsession of women rushing back into marriage after being thrown out of the last one.

    Given these facts and many more that have not come to mind whilst writing this, Nigeria is on the level of repressive countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. I would definitely do my utmost to get my daughter out of a society that has scant regard for women.
    It was this blog that made me aware of how bad things are for women in a supposedly democratic society like Nigeria. Freedom and liberty seem to only exist in text books, in reality it is not nearly as widespread as it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What else can I say… thank you

      I remember someone said to me not long ago here that I criticised women a lot – my response was that it is women’s actions that saddened me the most; the mothers, sisters, aunties, friends – they have been there, and have witnessed it, why on earth do they not forewarned all the girls around them so they are aware that things will never get better even if they managed to get all the degrees, and all the money in the world?

      Even within family, a loving and responsible family, girls are often treated like second-class. What is going on in the public eye is not accident, that is what families are used to, social media is doing a wonderful job of exposing the ‘madness’

      On ‘religious straightjacket’ – I begged my nieces they can not listen to my talk about Nigeria churches otherwise they would never walk close to anywhere near any, all I want them to do is to open their eyes and do the interpretation on their own as I know 80% of what they say is complete bull-hockey and becomes irrelevant the second one steps out of the building. Churches in the south are the most sexist establishment ever, so if girls don’t get enough dosage at home, school, church is always there to remind them through every means.

      On Chibok girls, in a way I am glad a couple or so of these girls that escaped are now studying in the States, they are outside and can see that there is more to life for girls (even devote muslims) than to waste away before they even started their lives – they and many others at home are going to save many lives, if just their immediate families.

      And I agree that when you think about these issues, it is double-edged for girls, one that the society is as corrupt as hell and also that it is a far fetched dream to expect equal treatment in society – raising kids out of the country seems like a fantastic option, the one many people will jump at. I know a family who did precisely this but as you well know how many people can afford this?

      Like

      • FK in an attempt to answer your question, I will say very few, but for those who don’t have kids – they should plan their family and if they have daughters, try their hardest to keep them safe before getting outside. For those who don’t have that option – the least they can do is create a ‘liberal’ atmosphere in the home where people can be themselves and everyone receives mutual respect.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This assault was an outrage and I’m so glad you are taking a stand. How dare he commit this crime with impunity.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @My President, I’m really saddened by this, whether she passed a bill on human rights abuse or not. She’s even a Public Servant (almost same rank with him) at least it was the same environment. So imagine what will happen to us – mere mortals. Is it time to storm the Nat Assembly on this matter? And other important matters?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel you Queen.

      Oh well, given what I’ve seen since this incidence, it’ll be a miracle that any lesson will be learnt.

      The lady’s rank in office is as important as anyone’s so does not deserve this. However issues like this happens a lot and we often brush it off because they are noones, maybe this will be a wake up call to all women leaders in all areas to see ‘assault to one as assault to all’

      And I agree that it is time women work together to stamp this disgusting habit out.

      Liked by 1 person

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