ABOUT two years ago, the National Assembly passed laws on homosexuality, lesbianism, same sex marriage. These are irrelevant laws. Does the government have to tell the people how to live their lives? It’s a law gone out of direction. Same sex marriage was an issue that was never in the horizon of our social attitude. But since the enactment of the law, two young persons were contemplating marriage to tempt the law. Examine this scenario: In many Nigerian cities today there are a lot of sand gathering on the walkways. Go to Jigawa. Ordinarily smart people could turn those sand moulds into business. But no one bothers. Assuming the NASS passes a bill tomorrow that nobody should temper with those sand. Then watch it, Nigerians will over night turn it into a lucrative business.
Not all laws are needful. The other year a member of either the Sixth or Seventh House boasted we passed over 60 bills this year. This is rubbish. How did those laws impact on our lives. Do not just churn out bills that do not impact on our lives. It is not the quantity but the quality. Another example of an unnecessary law. When The Gambia was in turmoil and their leader, Yahya Jameh undecided, our House members, Hon. Sani Zoro quickly introduced a bill offering him an asylum without his asking. That was cheap. Hear Barak Obama in his book The Audacity of Hope, “Despite the hectic schedule, I found the work fascinating, if occasionally frustrating. Contrary to popular perceptions, only about two dozen significant bills come up for a roll-call vote on the senate floor every year ….”
The amiable Senator representing Delta Central District on arrival in the Senate in one fell swoop proposed some five or six bills. No sir.Eme me rha. His proposal on the Okwagbe River port was excellent, then the revisit to PUFRE and the unfinished business at DSC Ovwian-Aladja. This could do it for a time. We want you to form a cluster with fellow senators to be able to insert projects in the federal government budget that could be benefitting to your constituency. This padding thing has become a convention and there’s nothing anybody can do about it anymore.
Then the controversial anti-sexual law aimed at prohibiting sexual harassment in educational institutions across the federation: on the face value the law could be said to be very good. But already there is the law on rape which stipulates a 14-year jail team. Why another law on the same periphery should have a much lesser jail term of five years? It is a mockery of the judicial system. Any unwanted sex; whether your wife, husband a minor – constitutional rape, student, et al is rape. Whatever any form of consideration the drofters had in mind, anyway it is a duplication of an already existing law.
As a senator with deep affection for his people, I would have expected him to organise workshops or symposia for students (especially girls) where they could be educated about randy lecturers vice versa. Give lectures on how to indicate a sexual predator. There is such a case of a student who noticed unwarranted advances of a lecturer. She reported to the police who monitored the situation and he was arrested. This is the kind of knowledge awareness these students need to put them in good stead against unwanted sex advances because this sex or gift for mark’s is generally becoming a bad stigma.
In Malawi where this type of practice is commonplace, girls are being taught defensive tactics against rape and unwarranted sex advances. If Senator Ovie Omo-Agege could reason along this line for the higher institutions within Delta Central District, he would have established an enduring reference point instead of a law, a replica , the tendency to ignore would be replete.
Mr. Ben Etaghene is the editorial director of The Bulletin, Sapele, Delta State.