Not preoccupied enough with the innumerable, seemingly insurmountable problems that we face as a nation (his immediate constituency being one of them) Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu kicked up a storm with his proposal that prostitution be legalised.
Hmmm! Trouble dey o! The older I get though, the more I try not to have a knee jerk reaction to issues. No matter how hair brained, I try to give most things at least a cursory glance before dismissing it outright, so let me attempt to apply same in this instance.
I think we are all in agreement (regardless of what you think of his suggestion) that prostitution is thriving in our midst abi? So, what would it mean then, really, in practical terms… to legalise prostitution. To begin with, if something is legal, that means it is no longer hidden, Interesting… that means we can acknowledge it, and if we can acknowledge we can begin to transform it into a ‘proper business’ meaning, we can set up, guidelines and laws to regulate and protect the ‘business’ and its players. Wait don’t give up on me just yet!
Think of the possibilities. We can for instance, put an age restriction on it and decree by law that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to be engaged in this profession thus eliminating child prostitution. You can register them, make periodical medical exams mandatory and have them certified thus reducing the spread of disease. Looking good eh?
Also, because it would now be a legal profession you can ask them to pay tax on their earnings thus creating more revenue for the state. Hey, the government can even decide to subsidize it. Oh, we would be able to put in place all kinds of regulations, even decide to make it illegal for married men to patronize prostitutes thus strengthening the nuclear family (hehe!).
Heck we could create an entire industry round this age old business – counsellors to dissuade would be prostitutes, rehabilitation centres for retired prostitutes, pension funds, the whole shebang! Imagine the number of jobs we could create just to support this business that purportedly fetches Amsterdam, an estimated yearly income of 100million US dollars. Perhaps it is this final detail that made the thought so attractive to the distinguished Senator.
Em… all my wishful thinking aside; there’s one little snag though; this is still Nigeria where the biggest detriment to our national growth (after a collective lack of political will and corruption) is the lack of structures. Heck it’s been over a decade and we still can’t determine down to a man who is a Nigerian talk more of who is a prostitute.
Our leaders are delightful. You have to love their penchant for adopting foreign policies that have very little bearing on the realities of our existences; and the ones that do are devoid of any true spirit and are twisted so far out of shape you won’t be able to recognise them for what they initially were.
‘Home grown’ they call it. No doubt Senator Ekweremadu hit upon his brilliant idea during an ‘intense capacity building’ trip to the Netherlands; somewhere deep in the De Wallen district of Amsterdam to be exact. (My tongue is in my cheek people; literally!)
I beg make we leave matter, let’s sort out the fuel subsidy before they attempt to subsidize or legislate our sex life. Not to deny that that prostitution is a scourge that must be dealt with carefully and thoughtfully; but to do what the Senator suggests in our current confusing socio-political environment; to legalize prostitution without first putting in place the prerequisite structures would be a recipe for disaster and sexual anarchy.