by Alabi Adewale
When Nigerian youths started the #EndSARS protests, it was because the impunity of the security operatives had become unbearable. It seems, however, that the Nigerian army might be ready to take that baton from the police. Since the end of the protests, there have been videos popping up online which clearly shows men of the armed forces assaulting civilians all in the name of punishment. Last week it was a video of soldiers flogging some people in muddy water for missing the curfew, this week, it is the video of a soldier flogging a lady for her dressing.
The video first popped on Linda Ikeji’s blog on Instagram where the caption states the soldier was flogging the lady due to indecent dressing.
This question may sound like a broken record, but when are we going to leave women alone? Why are the armed forces enforcing dress codes on civilians? Is there a law in the country that states that the army can pick up people and prosecute them for indecent dressing?
The impunity of the government and its agencies along with the patriarchal nature of the Nigerian society is obviously to blame for what the soldiers did. With regards to the patriarchy, some men are taught from a young age that they have power over a woman’s body, and tend to exert their supposed ‘dominance’ on women they come across.
This brings us back to society’s need to control women and what they do with their body. This control over women probably arises from fear. Fear of the greatness the woman folk can achieve if allowed to exist. This fear is the reason why some people believe education is not important for a woman or why the kitchen is her final destination, even after getting the best educational qualifications.
A look at the #EndSARS protests showed us how much of a force women are when allowed to fly, and it is very glaring now than ever that we need just to let women be and not try to control who and what they are because of some archaic parts of our culture- which has to be done away with. If every Nigerian girl child is brought up with freedom and the courage to do anything, we would have automatically created a brighter future for those yet to be born.