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(Making A Case For The Female Federal Lawmaker Who Was Beaten Up By Prison Officials)

The archaic norm, wherewith Africa symbolizes Woman as a lesser being, repressed and suppressed under the autocrats of Man is thankfully and gradually going into extinction. Yet, some cultural factors seem to be hinging on the total refinement of the Nigerian woman; albeit Nigeria’s socio-cultural globalisation, including affiliations, alliances and acquaintances with other modern cultures.

Man is indisputably, the bigger human, doctrinally and otherwise. Albeit Woman is presumed as the weaker sex, she is not a lesser human. In fact, Woman is a symbol of godliness. A woman is Earth: a woman multiplies the world. A man is born through a woman; raised by a woman; and must make his own family and dynasty through a woman. The relationship between Man and Woman is correlated. A man cannot function properly without a woman. A special reference could be drawn from the “Padlock and Key” relationship. No matter how huge, big or heavy a Padlock is; without the Key unlocking it, its function is useless. What more could I say about the relevance of a woman?

Thusly, it bothers me that any man born of a woman could defy both morality and civility, by raising his hands to hit a woman! It is a carnivorous act. Beating is beastly. Beasts are wild animals. Women-beaters are wild animals. And men who pass off as wild animals should stay in chains…

Recently, an offensive report about a female federal lawmaker who was beaten up; filtered through the air… And in the same Nigerian fashion, wherewith authorities act lackadaisical to issues concerning women; this particular incident is gradually loosing voice and soonest, might be thrown to the bin by the ‘body’ who is supposed to probe and sanction the offence.

The summation of the report is thus: The Controller General of Prisons and his goons battered a female lawmaker for overtaking his convoy of twenty cars, within the premises of the National Assembly (which is ridiculously, her office!).

Albeit the assault was carried out by four members of his entourage, namely: DCG James Afaru Ahmed, DC Ahmed Abu Gamel, SIP Idaa D. Odeh (Prison Officer) and INSP Osuogwugwu Sunday (Prison Officer); the Controller General of Prisons, Dr. Peter Ekpendu sat in the comfort of his car and watched the assault happen. Worse off, when he was summoned by the House, he initially denied that the lawmaker was beaten; but when the pressure intensified, he admitted to the offence and tendered an airy apology…

My big question is this: Which law forbids the Nigerian citizen from breaching or obstructing convoys? Where is it written in the Nigerian constitution, that it is a crime or punishable offence for a Nigerian citizen to breach convoys?

Worse off, the Controller General of Prisons was actually in the National Assembly to answer to the Public Petition Committee over an allegation of fraud. My second question is this: How big is this man’s office that he had the guts to violate the ground where he is being probed?

This scenario clearly depicts how this bunch is running the Nigerian prisons. One could imagine how they mistreat ordinary female victims who get in their way, lest female prisoners.

Seriously, how could laws be broken within the very Shrine where laws are made? Because, if a female federal lawmaker could be beaten up within the premises of the National Assembly, which is her office; then, the laws made in the National Assembly are a Joke; that is; if the National Assembly does not severely punish the culprits who muscled the guts to beat up one of its members. It would be a disgrace to the National Assembly- if the culprits are not severely sanctioned and stripped off of their positions in the Nigerian Prisons Service.

And adding salt to injury; the Controller General of Prisons paraded a convoy of twenty cars to the National Assembly…

If an ordinary DG could pull off a convoy of twenty cars to the National Assembly at a sensitive moment when he is being probed for fraud, then something is wrong with our entire system. If only our economic woes could be traced to these kinds of trivialities which Nigerians would normally overlook, then we would truly be cutting corners, saving wastages!

For instance: world’s leader and most powerful man, President Obama, was just recently backlashed for paroling a convoy of twenty two cars in London…

The Queen of England parades two cars and four outriders as convoy when she is going on state functions…

In comparism; who is mere Controller General of Prisons to flaunt a convoy of twenty cars to a place where he is being probed for fraud; and yet, use same convoy as a tool of brutality?

Sadly, Nigerians pay for these comforts enjoyed by the VIPs and yet, get abused for their generosity. Often times, innocent citizens put their lives in danger while making haste to avoid the long convoys that annoyingly cause both environmental and noise pollutions.

I have witnessed some occasions where citizens plunge into accidents while making way for government convoys. I have also been a victim of Convoy: I was forced to turn my steering off my rightful lane to quickly make way for an impatient VIP convoy. And in the process of such epileptic swerve, I fell into a ditch by the roadside. My car was badly damaged; but thank God I have my life.

I have also witnessed occasions where several innocent citizens are being flogged and battered by security operatives of government officials, should they knowingly or unknowingly disrupt or breach convoys. And while they molest these innocent citizens, pummelling them like criminals; the government officials would sit in the comfort of the SUVs provided them by Nigerians; and look the other way.

Really, I wonder if there is anything in the DNA of most Nigerian government officials that compels excess and abuse of everything they touch. Besides, why do our supposed VIPs need that entire masquerade around them? Yes, our VIPs need Security, but definitely, not for ostentatious purposes or for abuse of citizens’ human rights!

It is gathered that the National Assembly is still perambulating on this issue… I am hopeful this case will not die the death, and that a stringent sanction would be dealt on the culprits.

This brazen impudence is hereby juxtaposed with the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill..

For instance; if this bill were a law in Nigeria, the female lawmaker wouldn’t have been battered by the Controller General of Prisons and his goons.

Why was the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill thrown out in the National Assembly?

It was really embarrassing to have the few female senators in the National Assembly struggle to defend this bill which is for the interest of the Nigerian women. If this bill was passed long ago, the National Assembly wouldn’t be lacking female lawmakers who would protect the overall interests of Nigerian women. Women constitute more than 50% of the population of the country: unfortunately, they are only a tiny minority in both the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly. It is therefore no surprise that that bill was thrown out.

Pathetically, this bill was dead on arrival. This bill incurred the wrath of the senators, mainly from the Northern part of the country, who deviously labelled the bill as anti-Islam. What is wrong with a bill seeking to guarantee women equal rights with their male counterparts in marriages, education and employment? This bill was supposed to stop the discrimination and exploitation of women.

The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill if passed would have addressed discriminatory practices against women, access to education, female entrepreneurship development, participation in governance, decision making and protection against violence. The thwarting of that bill also undermines the contributions Nigerian women are making towards national development. In fact, besides the North, the lawmakers from other regions who rejected this bill are confused and need to be recalled by their constituencies!

The passage of this bill will not obstruct our Africanness or disrupt the inbuilt trait of an African woman to be submissive to her husband- just as some Northern senators deviously insinuated (as a maneuver to discard the bill). Naturally, Nigerian women are usually loyal to tradition and family etiquettes. And as such, this bill must be considered.

It’s very sad that Nigerian Legislators are still in their animalistic level of human development hence they are selfish. Very well developed people socially consider society and other people first before themselves- meaning they are not selfish.‎ In the Western world, men make the law but they put the most vulnerable members of society first- children, women, sometimes their dogs before the man who made the law.‎ But in Nigeria, the lawmakers are all about greed and selfishness.

The Nigerian woman must be protected. The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill must be passed irrespective of religious or cultural sentiments. Most importantly, this bill, if taken seriously, will break the religious jinx destroying the future of our little girls in the North. The girl child must be protected from paedophiles. Paedophiles must not hide under Islamic religion to commit debauchery against little children. Any man who has carnal knowledge of a child below the age of eighteen must be sanctioned.

Therefore, every man with a Wife, Daughter, Mother and Sister must support for the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill. Metaphorically, this bill is about Humanity and not necessarily about the Woman…

Interestingly, one couldn’t ignore this Satire… Who says Women are the weaker sex, when in reality; women have never failed in leadership and governance? Carefully, take a look at the countries in the world with female leaders: these countries are doing greatly compared to the countries ran by men.

 

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