This article is a reaction toSowore’s reaction to the Senate of AdekunleAjasin University, Ondo State. The University came up with a policy on indecent dressing allegedly imposed on students. Students are, by the policy/circular,threatened to be rusticated if they involve in any form of indecent dressing—a menace which many universities are battling with. This does not go well with the fearless human rights activist (Sowore) wholambasts the policy asdraconianwhich emanated from intellectuals that suffer from ‘indecent reasoning’!
Ivory towerians—Intellectuals—with ‘indecent reasoning’? This seems to be a shockingly shocking shock! But honestly, accusing someuniversity ‘scholars’ with indecent reasoning is nothing startling—especially now that the ivory tower is becoming both hatching and dumping ground for fake professors and questionable PhDs.As at 2019, there are about 100 fake professors in Nigerian universities. Thoughthere are more than few topnotch scholars whose distinguished position cannot be denied.
While indecent dressing could be relative, my concern is what is meant by ‘indecent reasoning’ in Sowore’s swipe.I must confess that if I were drown in the pool of liberal philosophy like Sowore, I wouldn’t have had any problem with his logic. However, my religious inclination overshadows and dwarfs my liberal inclination. Though I cherish liberty, but anyone who has taken a substantial dose of religious orientation would have to differ with Sowore. Even Professor Soyinka (who is neither a Christian nor a Muslim) will probably grimace at the conclusion that ‘sanction against indecent dressing is an outcome of indecent reasoning’.
Sowore noted that every member of the University Senate who signed up to the policy should be fired for “indecent reasoning.”He premised his argument on the fact that the ‘decency’ in the attire of those who dress ‘decently’ has not improve the lot of the country. He quipped, “Tell me what the decently dressed thieves have done for you and your country all these years. Zilch!”
This is true. Our politicians have been successful only in using their babbanriga and agbada to loot our resources to benefit themselves, their immediate families, and, perhaps, their psychotic praise singers who sing persistently and sycophantically to the detriment of the rest of us.
Soworeasserts that the University must have recently appointed a ‘Hisbah’ commander as its vice chancellor; and the only thing the University could do was to turn its Senate into a ‘Fashion Police Force’. This is a good news for Hisbah (especially in Kano) that a vice chancellor—a non-Muslim—from a university in the Southwestnow thinks the way it thinksvis-à-vis indecent dressing.
He went further to say “Nigerian university senate members have only produced rigged elections results in the last 20 years or more. They haven’t had much academic breakthroughs; check the rankings of the best 1000 universities in the world tell me if anyone of them have (sic) dress codes, except in strictly religious nation states. Nigeria is a secular state.” This is true to some extent. A professor was sentenced to three years in prison for electoral fraud—probably there are many of his ilk.
I also could not controvert his claim that decent or indecent dressing has nothing to do with academic performance. He claimed that most highly ranked universities in the world do not have dress code. If I gotSowore right, he is saying, in other words, that promiscuous life does not affect academic excellence. That is to say even a prostitute who is a full time provider of horizontal refreshments service, if determined, can be successful academically.I can also give this point to Sowore.
Recounting his experience in the New York City, he said; “I spent two years studying at Columbia University in New York City, in front of the main admin building you would find female students on the stairwell sunbathing (tanning) during the summer months, topless. You have no business asking them why they’re doing so.” I think the sight of these TOPLESS female students has had a serious influence on Sowore’s thought, philosophy, and general outlook of life. After all, he has the right to be so influenced—it is a free world.
He further said;“I’ve heard of nude colonies in some universities in California, yet they produce the cell phones you use and most of the hardware and software that drives your life.” It seems Sowore relishes nudity which has taken a toll on his thought. I still do not have problem with this. It is his right to relish anything provided it is not against the law.
My problem with Sowore is with his indecent conclusion—the conclusion that sanctioning indecent dressing is as a result of indecent reasoning. This is outrageous. He sees Western Civilization which prioritizes and extols nudity as yardstick to determine what is right and wrong in Nigeria. If he sees nothing wrong with the way of life of those universities in California where ladies and dogs are at par in terms of nudity, then he should allow us the freedom—here in Nigeria—to make differences between our ladies, and our dogs, and our pigs.
Frankly speaking, the University Senate chaired by its vice chancellor (renamed ‘Hisbah’ commander by Sowore) only threatens to sanction students who exhibit animalistic tendency. How is that tantamount to indecent reasoning?
We should not forget that Sowore was a presidential hopeful. He might still be contesting in 2023. In case he wins, we should expect nude parties—everywhere. If he wins, not only would our major roads and streets be occupied by topless and nude girls, ladies, women, and gays;but they will also twerk to fully express their freedom of expression.
Is Soworetired of his ‘Revolution Now’ struggle to ‘chase away’ the elected President from Aso Rock? Let him focus on that. He shouldn’t have engrossed himself with issue that will cost him the realization of his future ambition—becoming Nigerian President. Can he really become Nigerian President? Well, I am not an election umpire or analyst. I leave this to those who might want to debate it.
Sowore should recall that Nigeria is not California. Nigerians are religious people who—despite the phenomenal hardships they had witnessed under PDP and more of itpresently under APC—hope to meet there Creator in the Hereafter. As for the countries infested with nude people and topless ladies, they do not hope to meet their Creator. The Qur’an says about them: “They know only the outside appearance of the life of the World, and they are heedless of the Hereafter” (Q30: 7).Not all Nigerians are heedless.
Sowore should understand that even Wole Soyinka whom he holds dearly and who had lived in the West before he (Sowore) was born is not likely to agree that ban on indecent dressing emanates from indecent reasoning. Despite Soyinka’s reservation (I don’t want to say hatred) for Christianity and Islam, he could not hide his disgust for, and angst against,BBNaija—the topmost industry for nudity and sexuoerotic reality show.
In a recent interview with the UK Guardian on BBNaija, Soyinka said; “I find it nauseating”, “the voyeurism was contrary to everything I believed”. But for Sowore, nudity,voyeurism, ladies’toplessness are just in harmony with everything he believes.
All said, I share the bitterness and lamentation of Sowore on why we get everything wrongin this country despite our religiosity, decent dressing, and speaking in God’s Name. Our official meetings are put in the hands of God. You hear statements like “let a Muslim give us an opening prayer”, “a Christian should give us a closing prayer”, “let’s pray according to our individual faiths”; yet there is nothing Godly in the outcomes of our meetings. We are funny people!