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A law against indecent dressing?

By Mike Ebonugwo

Fashion-crazy Nigerian ladies may do well to read this. An impromptu gathering of parliamentarians in a commercial bus popularly known as Danfo has passed a judgement of condemnation on them after a heated debate on whether the prevailing dress culture in the country is justified in any way.

The parliamentarians had boarded a bus heading for Isolo/Mushin but on their way close to the Jakande Gate they ran into a traffic jam. And while they were waiting for the traffic to start moving again, a human spectacle suddenly emerged and engaged their attention.

This spectacle came in the form of a scantily clad lady who hip-swung herself through the intervening spaces between vehicles trapped in the traffic as she crossed the road.

What particularly made her an object of public attention was the fact that only did her scant dressing expose all the sensitive parts of her body, but her pendulously large breasts were  threatening to burst out of their stringy confinement while her low waist tight-fitting trousers had slipped alarmingly downwards to expose the upper part of her buttocks.

Unable to contain his amazement, a passenger in the bus, Fred Osondu, had exclaimed thus: “Chei, wetin be this? Is that a human being or what? Is she normal at all? How can somebody who calls herself a human being dress like this? Tufiakwa!” Another passenger in the bus, Innocent Okuwa responded thus: “Oh, she’s normal, but she’s fashion crazy. That’s the way most of our young ladies now dress these days. They see it as fashion”.

Responding to this comment, a woman in the bus, Mrs Cordelia Oforka had said: “Which kind of fashion is that. Somebody is walking about practically naked and you say she’s dressed in the latest fashion. As far as I’m concerned, that lady is mad because it’s only a mad person that will walk about naked without any feeling of shame.

Even as a woman, seeing her dressed like that makes me to feel ashamed on her behalf.  I try to imagine how any responsible mother will feel seeing her daughter dressed in this shameful manner”.

A passenger by name Louis Fregene was quick to respond to her comment. “Forget it O Madam; don’t be surprised to find out that it was even her mother that encouraged her to dress like that. Some mothers feel that the best thing they can do for their daughters is to ensure that they dress in the latest fashion even if that kind of fashion is complete nonsense,” he explained.

For Dimeji Olaolu, another passenger: “It’s all these films they are watching these days that we should blame for the problem.  This is  because when they see some actresses wearing those types clothes, they think that is the reigning fashion and start wearing them. What I think should be done to stop this nonsense is for government to ban all forms of indecent dressing in the public.

In fact, I strongly feel that Governor Fashola should make a law that should specify how people should dress in public and anybody that does otherwise should be arrested by KAI, tried in a mobile court and sentenced to jail if found guilty.

Alternatively the person can be made to pay a fine depending on the degree of her offence,” he submitted with conviction.

But Mrs Oforka was not impressed with the suggestion and she had her reason.”What you have said would have been a good suggestion, but knowing you men I’m not sure that that kind of law will ever see the light of day. Most of you men are just pretenders. When a woman dresses indecently, all of you will shout and condemn it in public.

But secretly some of you will be admiring that woman and will not agree to any suggestion to ban the wearing of such types of clothes. For instance I’m aware that one woman tried to get the National Assembly to make a law against indecent dressing. But at the end of the day it was the men that frustrated her instead of encouraging her, which is very unfortunate,” she said rather dismissively.


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