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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Monday, August 06, 2007

We don crase patapata

Its Friday night, l leave the gym at 10pm, l didn't get there till 7.30pm because of traffic, l don't head off after 10pm because there will still be traffic on the 3rd mainland bridge and people get robbed in traffic. So myself, my friend Bose who is a consultant gynaecologist, a lecturer and a research scientist with LUTH join her husband Jide a lawyer with his own thriving 12-year-old practice and famous fashion designer Remi Lagos. We went next door to Cactus to have dinner, we would have gone to News café but it was robbed recently as has been many busy Lagos hot spots. Afterwards we went to Piccolo Mondo to unwind and left around 1a.m. when hopefully the robbers will be off the road (at least you can out speed them if they are not) or now robbing people within their homes. Jide is a teetotal; the rest of us can only handle the occasional half glass of wine. We dropped Remi at her Ikoyi home and headed for our mainland homes.
At the barracks bridge (so called because of the adjacent notorious area C police station and barracks) just after the stadium in Surulere we were stopped by the police. Now the rule with police checkpoints is that unless it is one you are familiar with or any one under a bridge after 10pm, you duck and speed through them because they are either robbers or off duty policemen, which in 9ja speak is same difference. This checkpoint is unusual at this spot but it looked real so we stop. Jide who was driving was ordered to open the booth by one policeman whilst another came around and ordered us to come out. I force my sleepy eyes awake and step out. The next set of questions and answer is so surreal my bleary eyes went into instant sharp auto focus.

Policeman: where are you coming from?
FI: work, we just dropped off a friend and are going home.
Policeman: So why you dress like this?
Bose and FI: like how?
Policeman: (shouting and waving a copy of PM News) una no hear wetin Fashola (gov of Lagos) talk abi? Una no hear?
FI: (keeping tight rein of rising bile and anger) hear wetin?
Policeman: (jabbing his finger at us and spitting the words out with disgust) na so una suppose dress, why you dress like this?
FI: what do you mean? This woman here is a doctor, a mother and wife, this is her husband.
Policeman: If na married woman why she no dey her house, all these useless women!
By now Jide is asking what is going on and the others are coming around. Suddenly one with a guttural Warri accent scream that he will deal with us and that in fact they should take us all to the station. Jide is annoyed and shouting, Bose and l are shaking in anger whilst l think of whom to call to stop the madness.
Suddenly one of the plain clothed one recognised me and says ha this is aunty Funmi ke! Aunty Funmi New Dawn isn't it? Yes l said. Don't be annoyed he said in rapid Yoruba, please you can go. Jide and Bose are still arguing with the other two as we get back into the car.

As we drove off we hear him shouting defiantly, What if you be barrister and she be doctor, na only una read book? Warn your wife and all these asewo women, we go deal with them for Lagos.

As we drove away in silence, l felt a deep sense of anger and degradation. I looked at Bose. My bespectacled friend was wearing jeans and tee shirt with a scarf wrapped around her neck. Her shoes are flat; her hair is streaked with specks of grey, permed and combed back. She wears no make up. I am wearing a free flowing A-line above the knee black dress with a huge brown scarf wrapped around me all evening because of the cold. (note phone camera pic of me eating at cactus and the other taken at home after the drama) I am wearing flat ballet pumps no make up and my hair is in thick braids. I didn't sleep that night nursing my injured dignity and wondering if l wasn't doing my daughter injustice by raising her in a society that so denigrate women. One where a policeman is resentful of the educated and hateful towards women.

For years, l have told the morality brigade that the average uneducated person who is resentful of his poverty and blames all above him does not know the fine line. Therefore, the subject of indecent dressing is so subjective and potentially prone to abuse it should not be trifled with. Indecent exposure (flashing your privates) yes but indecent dressing? By what standards, religious, ethnic, class? Are these not seeds of discord and disintegration? There was a TV show recently where the respondents, older semi literate women were asking that women should not be allowed to wear trousers. In fact the number of people of all religious and socio economic persuasion shouting themselves hoarse in support of this move is alarmingly worrisome, eerily similar to the clamour in pre Taliban Afghanistan. What right does anyone have to impose his or her moral (often hypocritical) standards on others? For a lot of these the universal uniform of the 21st century of men and women i.e. jeans and tee shirt is immoral and any dress which is not floor sweeping and Mormon like is unacceptable which in their little minds makes 80% of women (including my dear female pastor friends in their knee ("sinful") length skirt suits, red lipstick and weave extended hair) prostitutes. The result is the demonization of women which then makes it easier to exploit and abuse them. The first public official who started this assault on young men and women a few years ago is well known to me. He is a political jobber with a pea-sized brain and penis (l suspect) who is a serial adulterer, sexual predator and abuser whose long suffering wife is almost out of her mind and whose children hate him. A former top female official who also spearheaded the campaign is married to a pastor who was hitting on a young born again woman close to me whose universal uniform is huge bell bottomed jeans and long sleeved proper buttoned up shirt. The hypocrites and liars demonizing young people to either hide their own frustrations (the women) or perversions (the men).
The recent situation is so weird; they are picking up young men with dreadlocks, tattoos and earrings. They also pick up women with more than two earring piecing.

Two weeks ago they picked up my assistant Bill for holding on to two phones whilst in my car and according to the policeman, on account of how he was dressed. We just left he studio and Bill was wearing slacks and a proper shirt! Imagine if it had been two nameless women in that car Friday night. What do l mean imagine, they are going around picking up women for various reasons of dress and jailing, molesting and/or extorting money off them. As l write my petition to the IG, l wondered whether l should start spending the night at any reputable boutique hotel (cost an arm and a leg) on the island after work to avoid robbers and police, oh hang on they are robbing those too now and if the police catch me in one then l am definitely a prostitute.

My question, are the youth and people of Nigeria so brow beaten and/or brain washed that they will accept this? Where are the voices of reason?

Now Hear This
Whilst we are at it, listen to this with your speaker turned on loud and tell me what we are doing about 419ners such as this as well as the robbers, rapists, murderers, embezellers, death trap roads and hospitals and infrastructure. How far back are we going to keep moving that wall?


Anonymous said...

I call it 'The revenge of the little people'. This new police chief is smart; he knows that he is powerless to rein in the armed robbers or maintain security in Lagos but he doesn't want to lose his relevance and needs to stay in the limelight, so he turns to the next best thing: raise a campaign on indecent dressing to empower his scraggly, ill-equipped, rag-tag force to bully women. I guess you could say they've got their work cut out for them now and Lagos police is building morale at the expense of defenseless women. Shio!

It just goes from bad to worse. Our culturally insular society always goes overboard with whatever it imbibes from the West. Someone ought to inform the churching mamas in long dresses and no make up that they are simply mimicking Victorian missionaries - so very passe, such fake morality.

No light, no security, no roads, refuse everywhere, no sanitation, bad hospitals, adulterated meds and all the police is good for is chasing down women in jeans. The world moves on and Nija regresses snugly into the dark ages. Wallahi! We don crase jo.

Anonymous said...

Very frustrating and dehumanizing, but at the same i couldn't help but laugh out loud at the exchange between you and the 'enforcers'. Quite comical.
Nigerian government needs to pay close attention to the root cause of all the madness going on in Nigeria, rather than focusing on what people are wearing. I'm guessing eradicating 'improper' and 'immoral' dressing will be a way of stripping these old men of their adulterous ways. So when all the women in Lagos starts dressing 'decently' what will be their new excuse for adultery?

We still have a long way to go. I have faith tho, that we'll get there. Poverty and illetracy does a lot of unforseen wonders to the human mind.

Also, couldn't help the part about the robbers finishing up on the highways and moving into ppl's homes. Sad Sad Sad situation. Is there an end in sight?

Anonymous said...

This is so ridiculous that it is laughable,yet there is nothing funny about it.What in the name of common sense is going on in lagos?There are far more important issues to deal with instead the police are looking for who has more than one ear peircing,how stupid.Please this madness needs to stop.Funmi i bet you thought you were in the twilight zone.stay safe.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, i just skipped to the pictures and was saying to myself whats with funmi and all the cover up....
To think i was saying how much i wish this administration will develop intellectually stimulating policies.
Kudo,for your clamness and for writing the IG.
I hope this is just one of the various short spell of madness we go through as a nation.

Anonymous said...

what's a petition going to achieve?
how about a class action lawsuit?
abeg we just can't and should NOT take all this crap sitting down.
let the revolution begin!let's combat the insanity with real madness...

Damola said...

Hello funmi, when I heard this dressing thing from my friend's blog www.temikolawole.blogspot.com, I thought it was just one big joke until I heard it from our driver and some other people as well. Now am thinking is there actually a government in this country or we are just deceiving ourselves? Since it seems we have a government, that just means they are really working towards a big downfall of a great country like this.

This thing is so absolutely ridiculous and primitive and I cant actually believe it is an issue we are discussing in this current age of democracy, information and education.

If the government knows about this, and are not doing anything about it, then I believe they should be our arch enemies.

As a 24 year old young guy, I feel really helpless and just think this country has nothing to offer me. I made a decision to come back to Nigeria six months ago after three years in the UK, to see if I can setup my business here and just add to the development of the country as other young people of my age in the diaspora have the same mindset, but I must disappoint you to tell you that I am off on wednesday. This is very disappointing for me as well as I had thought Nigeria would have improved, but the situation never seems to change.

Finally I think the only solution is that people that are influential in the society should take the step to voice their opinions and let the people in authority know of these terrible acts, and the culprits should be punished.

A quick analogy - a police man stopped me in Ibadan and asks to see the receipt of my latop. I dont have it and dont see the reason why I should take it with me everywhere I go and I tell him that. He then insists that he either takes me to the police station or I pay some bribe, I try to fight my case stating what my legal obligations are and not and he goes - all these yugoslavia wey you dey talk i no get time for that one. pay or follow me to station. Finally I have to call my MD uncle who bails me out of that rubbish. Now is it someone like me that can effect a change in the system. I just believe my voice can never be heard. Its just crazy.

Allied said...

This is insane!!!!!

Ms. Catwalq said...

o ba furo baba a won...
(excuse my choice of words)

Anonymous said...

The story never ends with Nigeria...what is the solution?...its a pity...the most populous country, full of intelectuals, most travelled africans..we see how other countries are developing, yet they prefer to see theirs degenerate...
its a shame...unlike alot of people...i am mot as hopeful...but i pray i am prooved wrong...

love the piece...
stay safe o funmi!

NigeriaPolitricks.com said...

I'm appalled that the Nigerian Police have now stooped to the lowest of the lows, arresting defenseless women for dressing ‘inappropriately’ under the guise of imposing a veiled Sharia state; while leaving 419ners, corrupt politicians, rapist, pedophilias, murderers and armed robbers to roam freely, unleashing terror and mayhem on the ordinary citizenry. And do we expect a Yar’Adua’s govt to stop the police from this ugly menace? Not in Yar’Adua’s lifetime; this is the same staunch Shariarist zealot, whom, while he was the governor of Katsina State, allowed the conviction and death sentence of a hapless Muslim woman who was still nursing her child for allegedly committing adultery!
But we need to take the fight to the govt. We can all do something in our little way to stop this menace – call a radio station, write a protest letter, phone the govt. and do whatever you can to voice your dissent…Our failure to not confront the Nigerian Police Force and the govt. would be a capitulation of our rights and responsibilities to a morally bankrupt society.

Linda Ikeji said...

I still find it hard to believe this is happening in our society. I keep hearing about it but I've never experienced it, so it's still hard to believe. How can this happen in our society at this day and age? This is lagos for christsake, not some northern sharia state...Now we can't move around without fear of harrassment from the police? I am totally for the revolution. If there's anything that needs to be done to stop this madness, I will so gladly be part of it. I'm ready to march the streets of lagos if that's what it takes. What nonsense! I don't blame you for having doubts about raising your daughter in such a society...if I had a daughter, I would question myself too. Sorry about the harrassment...e go better! I hope!

Unknown said...

As our people will say,
'A fi ete le, a npa lapalapa'

My question is what has really occasioned this dress code thing? The fact that I am not appropriately dressed (in your opinion) doesn't mean I am morally reprehensible. We have a more pressing issue in Lagos than moral decadence, and unless the rising crime wave is somehow tied into inappropriately dressed women, 'niga please'!

My 2 cents said...

This goes to show how displaced our priorities are in Nigeria.

Malaria is killing children by the minute and those retards are worried about indecent dressing!.

Feed your eyes and walk on! if you have to, what are you harassing arresting women for?

How else would anyone dress in that humid weather, in sweaters?

Sometime I shudder at how backwards we are in Nigeria, while the whole world is ,moving at a supersonic speed, Our leaders will rather just mope and continue to stew in their stupidity and idiocy.

Funmi, let me apologise for the waste of your time and that of your friends, I'll be disgusted and mortified too, please accept my signature in your petition.

"it is what it is"!!

Anonymous said...

Its hard to believe this story, but believe it we must. I thought with the glorified Area Boy gone (Tinubu) and the lawyer in specs on the throne, there might be some shoots of civic sense spurting out from the new Lagos govt. How wrong I was.

It sounds like Lagos State is descending into fascism.

The sad thing is, nothing will change in terms of the way men (de)value women until there is a feminist movement in Nigeria.

It doesn't look like there will be a feminist movement in Nigeria, any time soon.

Therefore, men will continue to devalue women, abuse them, rape them, hate them..

For the love of me said...

Funmi, is there something we could do really? like a rally, demonstration, anything at all. we really shouldn't take this.who knows what next they would do.

Anonymous said...

Radio Shock Jocks

I didn't know whether to laugh at their antics or to get angry at the barely disguised insults to what should be a Great Nation. "plug cell into coconut tree", "pumpkin lips" and so on. Well, no be their fault, na we do ourselves.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely RIDICULOUS!!! I seriously dont believe what i am reading! In Lagos?!? This is not freaking Afghanistan! Neither are we in the North or being governed by any religious law...arent we a democratic nation!??! What is going on here?
As somone who dosent live in Nigeria, what should i expect now? Are they going to start arresting people in the airport? Or start sending them back? Fashola needs to get his act together!!..And Lagos/Nigerians need to speak up before this gets out of hand!
Please keep us informed!

Anonymous said...

You were fully clothed! So what is their definition of indecent dressing? abi we should start wrapping up our whole body in scarves. When i saw your story, i went searching for the news and this is what i found!

some people there are fully clothed, to the teeth

please go ahead with your petition! this is just craziness!

Anonymous said...

I heard about the arrests on saturday when i was buying jeans at home with my sister and friends. Some guy brings them to us. This guy is Ibo (Just like me) and he is rich too. My friend who came to lagos from Enugu mentioned it and we laughed at the joke.....as if!! But, it turned out to be true. I was shocked
They are MAD!!! came from my sister. The bloody hypocrites!!! came from my friend. I'm having a rithink about staying in Nigeria i said. I think i'm going to leave. The only guy in our midst (rich jeans seller with distorted English) said "well women should learn to dress decent". I asked him what was descent? How do you measure descent? I continued. The problem is our mothers. They have raised men who are so full of themselves with no regards for women. They are so self centred they think they are the only ones with straying eyes for the opposite sex, the only ones who like the back side of the opposite sex, the only ones who get ideas just by looking at the chests of the opposite sex. Well dear men, you may as well wear veils cos we get ideas by your chisled and hair stubbed faces. We want to rub your chests. Your eyes are sexy to us so we want to stare deep into them as you make love to us. We want to knead your butts and kiss your fingers. While you are at it please cut off your fingers. Oh, don't forget to pour sizzling oil into your penis because ejaculation makes you promiscous. Foolish men. Foolish leaders. Foolish IG. And if the Governor is in on it then foolish does not quite describe him.

Anonymous said...

I don talk my own before. Lets don our mini skirts, shorts, jeans, piercings, drealocks, tatoos, spaghetti straps, call all known media, do a live blog update with pictures as we storm police stations. Prefferably the one in front of Governor Fasholas complex. Ass wipes.

Mo said...

HMMMMMMM....... I really don't know what to say. This is just sad.

Unknown said...

sad sad...when will our country change?? .....
thank God u are ok..
thanks for writing to the IG ...
lets hope he reads it.....

soul said...

THis in lagos? the Lagos of my youth where Micro miniskirts were the order of the day? and crime was something that happened somewhere else?

Babanla smoke screen. Babanla nonsense...
Can you, will you do a show about this. This is too dangerous.. I guarentee you, young women will get arrested and assaulted over this.
Gaddamn it. I'm fuming.. this.. in lagos. Damn.

Anonymous said...

Funmi, I believe dressing is relative to what sect we belong to.Our belief systems,morals and values.The bile wouldn't have been contained had it been the shoe was on the other foot.Our policemen are the dirtiest and most filthy personnal in the country(this is putting it mildly) Any contact with them just puts me off.
The heart of the matter now is on indecent dressing,in as much as I'm a modern woman who is in love with fashion and all it's glittery.I think decency should be the watch word.It is no use wearing a low rise jeans with thongs/G-string if you know you'll climb an okada!Get jeans that accentuate your figure,not the ones which outline your camel toes (vagina outline)One actually gets to tell women please could you drop the top a bit lower cos the crack of your ass is in my face.What do you get?! 'Wetin concern you?!'I'm in no way against dressing the way you want,but as women,we should put a rein on it.Those police men had no right to talk to you folks like that,but then again,they are NIGERIAN POLICEMEN!!!!! Uncouth.
P.s It would be well apperciated if you had an episode on the right things to wear underneath women's clothing,the sort of clothing that suit various sizes of women.Check out oprah's website for the week.She has something on that.Something like Trinny and Sussanah (What not to wear,BBC)
Thanks,and keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

It really pains my heart, what is goin on in this state? I think the young men and women should mobilize ourselves and stage a peaceful protest against this violation of our human rights. The situation is appalling and I wonder what next.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Its really sad & frightening how would it have ended if you had'nt been recognised ??? - but this has been going on for a long time - these ignorant misogyonists need to be dealt with, starting with the IG lets petition the president to sack this chief of police ... I'll sign ( my real name) and be glad to come to Abuja with you to present the petition.

Aijay said...

Correct me if I'm wrong. Nigeria does have a constitution. The citizens have rights that can ONLY be infringed if its justifiable, on OBJECTIVE standards that is.
Tell me, can the IG justify depriving citizens of their right to dignity or even freedom of expression by arresting them on the basis of what... mode of dressing?
Isn't Nigeria meant to be a liberal society? Where are the human rights activists when we need them?
This had better come to an end fast!!

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no justification for this kind of absurb behavior that our police show. It only goes to show how destroyed and neglected our moral convictions are. Why would any body in their right mind think it is proper to arrest legal citizens for their dressing without proper warning. Was there ever a time when the government warned her citizens of a new constitutional law banning indecent law? Are we all deaf that we never heard of such a law before? Actually, it is because there is no such law. Then why do the police have to capitalize on our credulity. They have resorted to exploiting citizens. Regardless of how much we complain or comment about it, the situation will not change for the better; Not until we take positive steps to solve the problem from its roots, we can holding hold our breath and hope that it doesn't get any worse.

Anonymous said...

This one has got everybody talking.

Was wondering what funmi was upto(as she was looking pretty sad in the 2nd picture) till i read the post.

Absolute rubbish!!! This is in Lagos oh for pits sake and not Zamfara or Katsina.

Yes, i agree that the I.G has nothing to offer so he wants to just waste time on trivial things(to think he is getting paid for this bull-shit).
It is not the FG fault, it is solely The Lagos State Gov with Fashola(SAN)- he cannot say he is unaware and the stupid I.G.
It is a free world, even God does not push things down our throat, and who gave who the right to judge? (this is sometimes why some peeps prayers are not answered).


Anonymous said...

what a jungle nation.

Anonymous said...

The Annonymous Twit who wrote the 24th comment or so is the reason why the country is the way it is. If you have a problem with someone's butt crack "all up in your face" then bloddy well turn the other way. Insecure and complexed idiots.
I am a 27year old girl who is really conservative in my dressing. I am slim and very shaply too. I used to be a size 6 and God blessed me with a size 8 till late last year when i was Abundantly blessed with a size 10. My conservative dressing came from the insecurities of being skinny and just the fact that i am a bit of a tom boy. I have a problem with girls degrading themeselves the way they do in movies and music videos. I think men want us to look and act this way just to degrade us even further. Wait.....hang on a sec.... Did you read all i just wrote? I kept saying "I". "Me". My frigging opinion. Who gives a flying hoot? If i don't like it then i dress in Buba. SO should you!!
Our leaders are just a bunch of daft pricks. It's like saying wear summer clothes in the winter. You'll freeze to death. They want us to fry to death in this country. No light so we can't even have our fans and airconditioners on. No money so people can't afford cars with factory ACs. Even if you have the AC, no money for fuel. I am weeping as i'm writing this.
I am up for a revolution. I promise you'll hear about me. I'll fight tooth and nail. I will dress "Indescent" even if i wouldn't ordinarily. Idoits. Hypocrites.

Ade said...

You are absolutely right....Nigeria has so many issues, poverty, unemployment,etc, and all they can do is harass women for wearing "trousers". I mean, if they have issues with how women dress, then they should take their eyes off! And what really hurts me is that this nonsense is practiced in churches all in the name of xtianity.
You see people arguing over this same issue everywhere, and it makes me sick. My country Nigeria is one with misplaced priorities. Instead of fixing the NEPA problem, and thinking of how to empower our women, all we can do is nonsense like this. Morality is relative, even though I know people might want to take me up on that, and no one has any right to impose their beliefs and opinions on people.
I am just so sorry for the women, because they suffer a lot.
To make matters worse, the enforcers of these decrees are half-educated/illitrate people who because of low self esteem, take pride in harassing educated people, especially women. Try speaking good english to a nigerian police man at a check point and see what will happen.
May God help us all.


you kno wi just kept laughing as i was readint this!!!! its f*ucking hillarous. if they r picking up women with two piercings me i don enter whala be that, what with 4 in each ear, tongue and belly button. chai na wa o!!!!

Anonymous said...

Chisom,just like you,I expressed 'my' opinion.IN no way did i put a gun to anyone's head to go with it.there wasn't any need for insults.Just goes to show how 'decent' you are!Not only our clothing or lack of it speak for us.

Anonymous said...

Must we be rude just because someone has an alternative view? Is it a Nigerian thing?

Anonymous said...

Give me a break! This is just over the top nonsense! RUBBISH!*snapping her fingers like an excessively gay drag queen with surgically altered lips*. How do you ever explain to any sane person that people get arrested for wearing trousers in Nigeria without getting ridiculed? Even Nicole Richie while driving on the wrong side of the beltway under the influence of all her nacotics would definitely laugh out loud at the mention of it. Somebody help me out. I haven't taken geography since high school but isn't Nigeria under a democratic government and located in humid West Africa. Now I get it! since we changed presidents, we also relocated geographically to the Middle East, like the way many people move to a new apartment after breaking off with an old romantic partner. The governor had better wake up and smell the coffee! He needs to get his priorities straight. I believe there are still lots of communities without safe, clean drinking water. Many more are without power, proper drainage systems and lets not forget the many children without homes talkless about food. Of all the more important issues in the state, the government decides to crack down on "indecent dressing". This just rings an alarm. Everyone, you had all better brace yourselves because sooner or later, the police will be cracking down on all who own cars under the lame excuse that cars are used by guys to pick up hos.

Unknown said...

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Check out my blog and leave a comment. Do add me to your favourites. Lolade

Anonymous said...

I think we are sinking further into backwardness in this country. I just heard about the "fashion police" of Fashola and i even thought the person was joking, only to reead it up here. funmi, im so sorry for the humiliation u and your friends must have experienced.. these so-called policemen are thieves and 'a kuku ri won bawi'( we cant really blame them) the level of decadence is appaling and rather than get to the root of the problem they choose to assault women. i heard of the laptop thingy too and was told not to go out with my laptop without the receipt, this was funny to me but now ive just read it again i have to be extra careful.
This country is blessed and rich but we as a people need a complete overhaul of our mind and psyche

Anonymous said...

sorry to throw the F word..but they are FUCKING crazy in that country...so indecent dressing is the most pressing problem!WTF!..Misplaced priorities...this is crazy,it is insane...and those behind it are mofo retards..now police will see it as an avenue to harras girls!Pple in postion of authority should do something about it!Funmi you are heard by the public...try do something!it is insane!

Anonymous said...

@ sherri a petition is a good way to start...it is betterthan shutting up and looking like mugus

Anonymous said...

Let all the women in Lagos stage a Nude protest to the Inspector general of Police. Biko. Shey if they have their eyeful they will leave us be.

Anonymous said...

I say legalize arms in Naija... it will stop all this rubbish...
all this rubbish robbery and bullying... this post has gotten me real mad

Anonymous said...

I say legalize arms in Naija ... at least then people will think twice before stopping their fellow Man in the name of rubbish... it'll put an end to all to this senselessness... This post don vex me...

Anonymous said...

this goes beyond what we like or what we don't like... this is about freedom... i might not like what u wear and i might tell u as much... but nobody has any standing whatsoever to stop u from wearing what u want to...
we have to fight the man... in our homes... in our offices... everywhere... no matter how small i assure you that every bit helps... cos these people are our brothers, fathers, and sons... so make ur self heard wherever you maybe... every bit helps

AIVY said...

there is so much madness going on in this country. the policmen are simply thieves and have no shame. they harass people everyday and don't know what their duties are. what if one of them didnt recognise you?? you guys would have either parted with a huge amount of money or slept in a police cell that night. the thought of all this is really sickening.

Asabe said...

Hello Funmi,
I just read your blog (we don crase patapata & watching Tunde die) and it left me with a pain in my heart. I really don't know what the problem is in our society, these days all over the nation the sight of a policeman sends shivers down one's spine which i think should not be the case.

Honestly, i can not relate the issue of 'indecent dressing' with the making of our society a safer and better place for everyone including for the police themselves. what has the way you dress got to do with fighting crime? would the IG of Police or better still the CP in Lagos State explain that to the citizens of this country.

I do not really know the genesis of this 'indecent dressing' thing i.e. where the hell the police got that idea from or is it as a result of not having any productive way of tackling the issue of armed robbery, rape etc and they decided to go after (harass, intimidate, molest, exhort etc) innocent members of the public.

Whose business is it if a man/woman decides to dress in a particular way, i think Nigerians especially the women who are the targets/victims of such insults should stand up against this nonsense. I think we as a nation have come a long and hard way as a nation and as women for some depriaved idiots in police uniforms and of course some uncivilized politicians to want to come from no where to rubbish people (especially the women).

My sympathy goes to you and your friends for having to go thru such a horrific incident and feeling very venerable cos from dat ponit unward anything cos have happened (God forbid) and i am just so angry right now.

It is annoying when even an illiterate (i mean stark illiterate with probably a forged primary school certificate in uniforms) thinks dat it is okay to look down on a hard working woman and calls her names to denigrade her as a person. I think the society is becoming a place where some people have just refused to better and empower themselves and are angry at those who are doing so which is why it is the low lives in our society that throw such venoms.

Another thing that surprises me is the fact dat some women are actually in support of this non-sense raid on innocent people and i wonder when women will come together with one voice.
For me it is very worrying.

What do i say about Tunde? It is all part of the corruption in this nation and show off that xterises Government/politicians cos i don't understand the need to commission a new building, hosiptal, road, school etc when these are projects have been completed especially when such projects are of utmost importance to the lives and well being of the average 9ja.
I am just so angry,cos i know things can work every well in 9ja like in an other parts of the world if only people will do the right thing at the right time.

I Believe a lot of people especially those in positions to help, those that can make a difference in the society as individuals and collectively, in the lives of people and have refused to do the right thing will never find internal peace and satisfaction eventhough they pretend to have a happy disposition to fool themselves not us.

I am Xtremely nigezie (truly nigerian & proud) but sometimes things like these makes you want to join other camp and sidon look.
I know it can be better than what some people are giving and as Nigerians and human beings we deserve better.

I personally wish Tunde the best.
I am so so sad it is not fair for God's sake.

Anonymous said...

Lucky u....u got off "lightly" on account of ur fame.Imagine what will happen 2 scores of "not-so-famous" "indecently-dressed" women when more impossibly unintellgent cops catch on to this hare-brained scheme.....
wahala dey!

Anonymous said...

In the past year, i have been attacked at Tincan Island, Apapa, escaped spirited attempts of attack from gun men on Liverpool Bridge, 7up/Leventis bridge,also in Apapa. All this while going to/coming from work.These thieves use okadas as get away vehicles where there is no maze of haphazardly parked petrol tankers for them to disappear into.

Can I also mention the area boys that resume duty at CMS/VI bottle neck as early as 5.45am? Smoking weed and taxing any loaded vehicle/truck passing through. They would soon mark the 1year anniversary at this 'job'.

All of this,and what does my Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, do? He empowers the Lagos state police to arrest girls in mini skirt and spaghetti-strapped tops and guys with woven hair and earrings.
Need I say any more?

Jude Dibia said...

This is absolutely CRAZY and I'm still fuming after reading this!

This is really crazzzzy!

Ms. Catwalq said...

Is there anything we can do?
Do you have any contacts for papers or people we can send letters and petitions to?
This is about to escalate and I want to be able to say, I did all I could.
Do you have any suggestions for what we can do and help ourselves because I foresee alot of women being victimized from this.

Anonymous said...

Interesting reading all the comments. My view is that what you faced was class hatred, pure and simple, plus a heavyhanded attempt to extort money - which is why the roadblock was there in the first place. Absolutely nothing to do with the way you were dressed, that's just the latest convenient excuse.
I was recently harrassed by a traffic policeman for creating "an obstruction", while perfectly legally trying to manoeuvre my car into another lane. He then walked away and put my licence and car particulars (copies) in his pocket. I refused to beg or bribe and that infuriated him the more.
People, stand your ground. Be bold.
@Damola -please don't run away from the country. Never let the buggers win.

Anonymous said...

Must we be rude just because someone has an alternative view? Is it a Nigerian thing?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007 5:20:00 PM

Someone actually wrote this? What do you mean "is it a Nigeria thing?" If you are well travelled then you will know Nigerians are one of the most polite people on earth. I hate it when people make such comments. "Is it a Nigerian thing". Go to international blogs and read what people say to eachother. The insults. But we Nigerians are always quick to make comments like that.

As for the police and decency issue, They are BLODDY FOOLS. If insulting them is a "NIGERIAN THING" then i am truly Nigerian. Illeterates with no jobs. A police with pigdin as her official language. Crazy people our government.

Unknown said...

Nija!here we go again.I am a middle aged man but yet i am more scared than funmi on dat faithful night.I have 5 sisters,so maybe my fears will be understood.I personally hate cheats and cheating itself,but i think the governor messed up really well with this one.2011 isnt too far guys,just remember his name BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA-AC.we shld neva make the mistake of the past when it is time.cos by 2010 he will become a servant ruler again and seek ur mandate.it is false dont buy it

Anonymous said...

This i cannot believe. Read about thsi on chude's blog and wondered what all the fuss was about. all this is happening in this same Lagos??

Anonymous said...

Aunty Funmi sorry oh, but this is just a cycle, if you remember in the late 80s/90s one Lagos state governor passed a similar law against 'shabba skirts' I don't remember who was in authority at the time. But it was really bad then. 10-15 years later it has come back again.
And this too shall pass.

kulutempa said...

Nothing ever changes, does it? The same age-old tactic of covering up a patriarchal societies inadequacies at governance by making women the bearers of social change (in this case, as with nearly all others, social regression). It's really up to the constituencies to reverse the trajectory of our so-far inevitable demise - and you're quite a powerful influence. Do you have plans to start the waves of a social movement that will make everlasting, positive changes on the way Nigeria treats its life force, i.e. women?

Anonymous said...

Nigeria still remains a country that baffles me.

ngmix admin

Anonymous said...

I was SEETHING when I read your story but at the end I was numb and did not know I was crying . What scares me is what happens to the girl who get arrested and does not know a 'somebody' to bail her. Will she be gangraped, sexually assaulted? Remember we do not report these crimes , and if she does she will be blamed for it because of the way she dressed. Ordinarily I LOVE NAIJA, but my heart bleeds for my country. I know the rule of law is a term that means nothing . Misplaced priorities I tell you. These so called prostitutes, who are their best customers, the Police and the armed forces.Show me a police man that is monogamous and does not have bastard children and I will show you a man that has a low sperm count, it is not for lack of trying. I am so upset I bet i am not making sense. You do not destroy civil liberties and give it to the resident "crase man" to handle. Our Policemen are resident crase men.
Until the madness dies down or something is done, I suggest women invest in Adire boubous and shawls. How for do?

Peace and Love, Reader in Toronto.

Copido said...

Funmi, here's my piece.
The reason you are 'somebody' is because you can use your media power/contacts. Why not invite the so-called IG for a chat on your show. Babes, you are on network for a reason and you can be the voice of 'Nigerian women' who refuse to be oppressed. You can also use your media power to enlighten Naija women and organise a 'peaceful rally/demonstration' against this 'belittlement'. Forgive my ignorance but I've been away and I didn't even know/hear about 'This Indecent Dressing Craze!'
Do what u can babes, Nigerian women are behind u.

ababoypart2 said...

Please can someone wake me up and tell me this is a joke? Am I missing something, have we all gone mad? This is twaddle isn’t it?

Anonymous said...

i second catwalq.!i want to do something, i am tired of complaining all the time! we cant take this lying down! ill sign a petition if there is one. there are many other bigger issues in this country, for the police to be wasting their resources to arrest women for what they wear. we are not in taliban country abi?

Anonymous said...

i have one question, how many of us who have so eloquently expressed dismay actually voted ?
Let get involved and stop being a critic.

Unknown said...

I guess all the other criminal activities are under control, like armed robbery in broad daylight, violence in the streets of Lagos and lack of order; the police clearly have nothing else to do that's why this "issue" must be such a big deal.

I can't believe this is what Fashola wanted to become governor for... to ban "indecent dressing." Funmi you're right, na hypocrite lomor. I bet it's just for alternate purposes

tokotaya said...

when dem do fit fight thief, wetin dem go do abi. this seems like what would be obtainable in a racist environment, anything to dehumanize, demoralize the so called inferior race.the past administration and this present one are claiming to be gender friendly by putting women in key positions but is by that alone let us face the real facts. i am furious

Anonymous said...

i weep profusely for the fading hope that is nigeria. Regarding the indecent dressing issue,words are actually beyond me right now - i am seething with everything that could be regarded as abominable. I am quite surprised that except for one person who commented on the 419 issue, no one else seems to have any thing to say on that issue. I'll suggest that you go back and listen to it and that will explain why we have dimwits as leaders and we asnigerians will forever be disrespected round the world as a result of our 'leaders'. Truly my heart bleeds.

Anonymous said...

thanks annonymous 4 givin chisom d reply she truly deserves,i actually ve been tryin to publish my reply 4 bout 4 days now without luck,thank God 4 ur parents chisom that sent u to get some education even with that u re just a lil bit better than those policemen,and without the lil exposure,u ld ve been worsethan those policemen

Anonymous said...

@ Copido, yoursuggestion is
brilliant (for a sane country) BUT I say "after you". I don't know if you were in Naija when mothers
peacefully protested one of the many plane crashes, they were "tear-gassed" Me, if it is Toronto, I will go for the rally, but for NAIJA,like I said, after you. I know, I know, "how will we effect change if we pull back and do not play a part" but Naija Police wahala is different. Think tear-gas, stampede, blank bullets, real bullets,arrests and throw in rape and sexual assault both from area boys and the police. Even from here I am tired , talk less of if I still lived in Naija.

As for Funmi inviting the IG,on her show or talking about the madness, we are not yet at the point of "fearless" TV, or is it not "gofment" that owns NTA10?
Even then she has to be careful before her show is "cancelled" abeg , "the shrimp" cannot be allowed to trek to school, lol.

Peace and Love, Reader in Toronto.

sylvia said...

sorry funmi bout ur experience ,some wks back i was at balogun to get aso ebi for like 10 girls on my way back to the car park ,the alabaru helpin me to convey my things was accosted by a tout askin 4 owo ile,i called his bluff and threatened him and he let us be,every day i see okada men being harrassed by touts,demandin for fee for only God knows what,and they go unchallenged after their demands re been met tout s every where nobody s thinkin of how to rid our environment of them,in the night they turn to armed robbers,a whil ago my uncle s car was snatched ,the robbers made him ride in the car with them 4 bout 2 hrs,he said they got to one check point and the way the robbers drove past the point,any idiot ld know d occupants re of questionable character,he said he was so scared he peeed in his pants and when the robbers noticed he was scared,they said to him that though the police men knew who they were,they wld nt dare come after them,and to dare the policemen,they slowed down and of course the police chose to be ignorant,so ki lan so ki ni won so,with all the rot round us what s their business if anyone chooses to walk roun in their bikinis,shld they see it infact all that happens round us everyday is enf to make one mad and take a decision to walk naked,chisom i dont care what u say but i m going to say this,really there re some dressings that s really uncalled 4 that we ladies withhin our own fora shoul address but i m sayin it s not the business of the govt or whoever is behind this to carry on their heads and allow some frogs without eggs to spill on responsible ladies going bout their normal/abnormal business

Funmi Iyanda said...

@all, okay people, this reply took so long because l was frankly depressed all week. A few facts
a most news paper comments and reviews were all for it because we have started had slowly started a journey into the abysy on this matter that had prepared an unthinking, retarded and religiously hypocritical majority into mass hysteria about dressing. l cannt tell you how many thimes l have been shouted down by "moral zealots" when l point t that once dressed you cannot be indecent. You can be in appropriate but even that is relative. We in blogospher are unique in our similarity of liberalism, youth, education and globalization. The average person on the street in Nigeria regardless of background, education and religion is up for it.
b. oftentimes the public discourse in Nigeria is so imbecilic that one feels foolish joining issues with retards but obviously that must stop or these new "norm" will become the law ue to the silence f the rational minority.
c.you have no idea what sort of repressn l work under. That l continue to hold that network spot is by bloody minded determination, daily battles, goodwill of the poor and helpless and divine assistance . Each show is shot blindfolded with my hands, and feet tied. I've spent two years tryng to get the investmen to "liberate" it but the anal, incestuos, corporate elite only gives to their own or the ones they bed.
d. @ anonymous 1, we have done a show like that and have planned another actually but l realy dont give a rats ass what oprah is doing, oprah would not have thrived in Nigeria and America's issues are not ours. If oprah gets on an okada (because of the shambolic transport system) her nice knickers will show under her right waisted long and lean levis. Actually by Nigeria's warped definition she would be indecent for wearing jeans at all as my doctor friend was or for those form fitting shoulder bearing tops and dresses as well as knee lenght or just above the knee dresses and skirts she so loves which flaterrs her so beautifully. Oprah and all right thinking women and women world wide would be apalled at what is happening in Nigeria. If l recall correctly their is aportion that admonished the pious to avert their eyes if they see something offensive to them. Some people also find women covered up as though in mourning depressing and offensive, no one is arresting them are they? The bible also says if your eyes cause you see pluck them leaving the responsiblity solely with your the perceiver. I shoot a spread once in marakesh and beside the beautiful women in hijab where women and men in shorts and tee shirts walking in harmony. Let us fight the battle at hand, the issue of appropriate dressing and how or where to wear what is a matter for other discourse.
d. l have done my petition, l have done two shows on this already and l have invited the police commissioner who is stalling as we speak. If all fails and it continues l will call round up female friendly NGOS (very few in actuality no matter what they say,many female empowerment organisationa are run by women whose husbands beat them and forbid them certain liberties, l know for a fact) and pay the governor a visit. If al fails, we will march in shorts and tees, men and women, hopefully you will all join.
finally, damola, dont leave please joint further reduce our ranks it is tiring enough as it is. If we all leave, there wll be no Nigeria to come back to per se. God help us all.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@all, by the way, can you all write strongly worded objections (if you object that is) and send them as email to me funmi@newdawnwithfunmi.com and l will send them to several newspaper editors (many editors are walking around with a hollow space between their ears) in as many newspapers as possible? there is also the possibility a class action suit and l'm hoping you will all join in it.

tokotaya said...

i support us marching in our shorts and tees and let`s see our many of us they can arrest and where they intend to keep all those arrested.the problem now is that because our society sees women you fight for their rights as way-ward how do we go about this.

Anonymous said...

I ve just sent mine to the address, and anything else that we could help with pls keep us informed.
We need to stand up for ur nation,like UK and US citizens did for thiers.
Vote,protest,suits,shout,cry,and pray(whatever order).If we don`t give up, they will conform !

Funmi Iyanda said...

@tokotaya, my sister, that is why all women of all ages and marital staus must join so they see this is how we feel, lets do it for Oyindamola, morenike, omodunni, aisat, blessing and all of our little girls. but fight start with the strongly worded email, lets start now.
@olla, thank you please lets all men and women of reason and real human dignity and values write and send those emails, l will do my part.

Anonymous said...

I hope this gets posted as i want the two annonymous "MEN" who wrote against Chisom to see this. Why are you guys upset with her? Because she said the truth and suggested that you pour sizzling oil down you penis the same way the women are circumsized? She has spoken the truth and let all men who are upset about that bang their heads. I was molested by men from when i was 6. Raped, to be precise, for many years. I was raped by 5 soldiers a few years ago. I HATE MEN!!! Do you know why Chisom said what she did? Maybe she or a loved one has gone through alot because i toltally feel what she said. I will not join in any waste of time protest. God will punish them. In fact God won't because he is a merciful God. However Satan will visit all men one after the other. To borrow Chisom's words, Foolish men!!!

My Thots said...

On Monday, a male colleague passed a gender-biased comment at me. I then decided to write on the experience and had pre-titled my next blog post 'Men with Small Minds'. I intended to pour out my mind to men who think of women in demeaning ways and have no respect whatsoever for the feminine gender.

And now, reading this is making me boil the more.....

What on earth!!!!!!!!

Bitchy said...

Thanks for putting this up Funmi. I will send an email to your address for you to use. Maybe you should do a separate post inviting emails for those who don't root through the comments page the way I do?

Nigeria is really getting out of hand, and I don't think I can say anything to add to all the anger that's been expressed. All the best Xxx

Joy Akut said...

i was at the office the other day when one of our staff recieved a call to say his sister was arrested for indecent dressing, this is a married woman with kids who came visiting from london...a pair of the ever comfortable pair of jeans was what gave them the guts to call her a prostitute, she parted with twenty thousand naira at the station b/4 she was let to go.a new means to earn a living by the olopas.. its so degrading/demoralising...call it whatever, but it has to be stopped now...what happened to human rights, the rights to freedom of expression...if a tatoo helps me feel better about myself or more intune with myself, then let me be....there are lots of children wandering the streets, uneducated and unfed...do something about them for christsake and stop devaiting attention by harrassing innocent people, fight crime and don't blame it on dressing...marwa was able to reduce crime,see him arresting jean decked women to achieve this goal?..honestly...disheartingly...the so called moralicious oldies agreeing with the whole trend are same guys that chase me(even dressed in my traditinal hijab)and lots of others on the street who are less than half their age, offer me money and expensive things for sex, labeling me an indirect prostitute...they are the real criminals...i'm so mad, wish i had a loud enough voice to speak out...i would not let the rights of my sisters, me, friends and other ladies out there be trampled on...

Anonymous said...

sharia in lagos?

Anonymous said...

'...My people self dey fear too much
We fear for the thing we no see
We fear for the air around us

We fear to fight for freedom
We fear to fight for liberty
We fear to fight for justice
We fear to fight for happiness
We always get reason to fear

We no want die
We no want wound
We no want quench
We no want go
I get one child
Mama dey for house
Papa dey for house
I want build house
I don build house
I no wan quench
I wan enjoy
I no wan go

So policeman go slap your face
You no go talk
Army man go whip your yansh
You go dey look like donkey
Rhodesia dey do dem own
Our leaders dey yab for nothing
South Africa dey do dem own

Dem leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood

Anonymous said...

while back when naijablog said it is still 1953 in Nigeria, many shouted him down for insulting Nigeria. Now what is this? In fact he got it wrong. It is not 1953 in Nigeria, it is the dark ages and lord knows how we are going to get out of this darkness.

Now, I am not a feminist, but this is when I really feel the need for a feminist movement in Nigeria. As a Nigerian woman living in Kenya, I have come to realise how totally disempowered so many of us are as African woman. But the worse part of it is that in Nigeria, there is actually no feminist movement. Leaving here, I am amazed and happy by the presence of a vibrant feminist movement here. If what happened to you funmi happened here, the feminist movement will be out in full worse. It is only living outside of Nigeria that I have come to appreciate the important role feminist play in society. Of course, I am still reluctant to call myself a feminist , but there is a need for something like that in Nigeria.

I am so deeply sad and discouraged. My tenure will be finishing soon and I have to return to Nigeria and I am very afraid. This is a really sad times. I will definitely be writing.


LABELLE said...

I've been in the UK for barely a year doing an MSc and it is so upsetting when stories like this of the Naija and Lagos that I'm dying to come back to come to light..

I feel so pained about this issue first because it confirms that we have an incompetent Governor, secondly because some equally shallow minded sychophants don't even realize that there's always a bigger picture in this kind of mess.

What will the international community think of the whole of Nigeria when LAGOSians can have their human rights violated in this way.

Is it that all the roads have been completed, there is constant NEPA/PHC, Water, no more unemployment, housing for all, etc. Please someone tell me that all this has been done and that is the reason why this administration has time to be measuring lengths of skirts and counting numbers of ear-holes.

Its a real shame..and I really hope that people will shout out against this.

P.S.I hope the IG will even understand the point and act, but I now that would be hoping for too much.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@anonymous, my sister, l know not what to say to you and it is because of the sort of thing that happened to you that l shout myself hoarse and have aquired many labels. If l claim not to be weary, l will be lying. The closet peodophiles and rapists will not even let us talk on TV about it. In case you ever want to do something about future generations please send me an email so l can include you in the aliance l am building. You dont need to reveal yourself or ever tell your story unless or until you want to especially if it will help the cause. We have a few ladies who have survuved similar outrage with us and meeting them might help, plus we might be able to suggest professional help to help you walk through and out of the pain. Mercifully not all men are like that but l wont preach to you. Big hug.
@anonymous, we must not be afraid of labels. I AM FEMINIST, because l live in a country where a senator said last week to me that jeans make us see you people's curves and salivate and we just want to grab you and where a sitting gov thrust his filthy tongue into my mouth in his office even though there were people just 50 yards away. we have to stop cowering and start acting.

de'tente said...

what can i say funmi? That's naija for you, where anything can happen.i would say thank God i dont live in Lagos anymore but it wont change the fact that we have fundamental leadership issues to tackle in all strata of our society.God knows what they'll come up with next and where!

Anonymous said...

Aunty Funmi,

I am so glad to hear that you are also a feminist. My mother was a feminist (but we are not allowed to mention her name or the word feminist in our house). She was a good woman, even though my father said she is too angry. My older brothers who knew her say that they are male feminists and they don't understand why I am not. Is there such a thing as a male feminist?

I guess I am afraid about what my friends will say. But my brothers keep telling me that if i don't stand up and be counted I'm not honoring our mother's struggle nor am understanding the situation of women. Reading the stories on your blog makes me really afraid and makes me wonder if most men don't really hate women. I will be starting university next year and I don't know. I know more of us young girls should think about feminism, but it is hard. My father and my aunties say that I'll never find a man to marry or if I did I'll end up like my mother who was always angry iwth the world. I don't want to be angry, but I get angry all the time. My best friend was raped by her fathter and she can't tell anyone. I can't tell anyone either. I am angry because this man is a big and well respected man. I feel sick everytime I see him. Most men i think hate men. I am reading all this and I am sad about everything. but it is good that there is a place like this. my friends and i read your blog all the time and other nigerian blogs. we are learning so much.

thank you aunty funmi.

by the way can't you have your show in the evening. It's always on during school time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Funmi for shedding more light on the situation in naija. It is absolutely appalling, disgrace of a nation that claims to be a developing one.
How is the dressing of a lady the concern of the police force?? instead of them diverting energy into more productive things and upholding the main reason (protecting the people and creating a safe environment)the force exists, they seem to be causing more terror.

b.t.w with ref. to Peter S' comment : dont get things twisted nor be a fire starter.....how on earth does this mean sharia in lagos? i suggest, before we make comments on certain issues (esp sensitive ones) we ought to be knowledgeable about it to some extent and I do not mean using the mediocrity of the north as yardstick.

God protect us all. Amen

Anonymous said...

Its so crazy, its ridiculus. God help our Nation.

Daddy's Girl said...

It is a disease, it has infected every part of our society - every now and then it flares up (like Fashola's ban now, and the shabba skirt ban some years back) but the fact is that these are only outward signs of a deeper internal malaise. The average Nigerian man (I know, there are exceptions, but I'm talking about the predominant view) has absolutely zero respect for women. He sees them as nothing but receptacles for his sperm and his babies. The average Nigerian woman, sadly, has come to accept that she is a 'second class citizen' and that men have power over her. That is why she doesn't raise her son to have respect and regard for women, that's why she raises him to be selfish and inconsiderate and to take what he wants from a woman. Changing things will take a CONCERTED EFFORT, a strong initiative to assert our rights as human beings in this society. We need to strangle this culture of silence and passivity, we need to speak up and damn the consequences. We need to do SOMETHING, otherwise things will be much worse for our daughters and granddaughters... Funmi, I applaud you for stressing what we can practically do (as opposed to just complaining). I will definitely take the steps you've outlined (as bitchy suggested, can you please outline the steps in a post so that we can all see them?). I can't imagine what your experiences must have been like, your account of being assaulted by a sitting governor is horrific - this is what the number one citizen of a state is doing in his office?? How morally bankrupt is our leadership - they assault women and then have the guts to say we have no morals because we go out at night and wear trousers? We Nigerian women have got to speak up and take a stand, no one else will do it for us.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@anonymous, yes men can be feminist if they care about the well being of women and their God given rights as human beings to thrive. l applaude your brothers. l would be a "masculinist" if men were at the receiving end of the injustices meted out to women just because of their gender. To be a femistist is not to be angry all times, l am one of the sunniest persons l know and so are my many married (another myth busted) feminist friends. i understand your fears as society likes women to be quiet and agreable but is it right what has happened to your friend? why should a society honor men such as your friends rapist big man dad but stimatize law abiding female and male citizen who care for the well being of the collective. Not all men are evil as your brothers proof.
We cant afford the evening slot, unlike everywhere else in the world, we as independents pay the network for airtime. The sponsors are into crony business. God bless Nigeria.
@bi, you are right, this is not a sharia thing, it is an ignorance thing.
@daddy's girl, well said.

Anonymous said...

Hi Funmi.I have been one of your greatest fans while still working in Lagos before i left in 2004.Once in a while i still squeeze out time to watch your show if job permits.About the story of how you guys where harassed by Policemen,am so sorry and i wished the IG of police will come in to settle this terrible mess by the Police.i am however not happy with a particular word you used concerning one of the Police Men and i quote "then one of them with a guttural Warri accent".That to me sounds not only racist but like a look down on us warri people.what is bad in our accent and why use it as an example as something bad?For all you know,the guy might be a Yoruba man.Besides Yoruba accent,whether guttural or not is not better than Warri's.I expect apologies. but you are still my female hero.
No harm/quarell(tribal or otherwise) intended.
Pat(Concerned warri guy)

Funmi Iyanda said...

@anonymous 90th comment, l mean no disregard or insult to Warri people as l am ethnic, colour, gender, cleass, religion and sexual orientation blind. He was an idiot and does not represent warri people but himself and unfortunately our sad police force. He did have a guttural voice and heavy warri accent which on a good day would be amusing, that was a bad day and he was the one who pull a gun on us. l describe situations with a keen eye for observation and as they happen without undue self censorship. You know as "a keen funmi observer" (tongue all over cheek) that l have no small minded ethnic sentiments so lets not become paranoid. Warri rocks but bad people come from warri too as they come from everywhere else. peace!

Anonymous said...

Hi Funmi,
Thanks so much for your humble reply. I just thought it wise to appreciate by writing back and so please do not think this is a 'cross fire'.You are right,bad people abound everywhere north,south east and WEST.Its the kind of world we live in.
Many thanks.

Diva Elegante said...

This is the height of insanity in the Nigerian society. What in God's name is going on in the city of Lagos? Well I reckon this is part of the consequences of recruiting uneducated persons into the police force! Majority of these police officers suffer from complexes…inferiority, a result of intimidation they imposed on themselves when they see someone more enlightened than they are & superiority, powered by the guns they carry. Both forms are detrimental. There are too many ills in the society that needs urgent attention, why launch war on women who are only conforming to the century in which they live.
This is appalling!

olumide makanjuola said...

I think we are sinking further into backwardness in this country. I just heard about the "fashion police" of Fashola and i even thought the person was joking, only to reead it up here. funmi, im so sorry for the humiliation u and your friends must have experienced.. these so-called policemen are thieves and 'a kuku ri won bawi'( we cant really blame them) the level of decadence is appaling and rather than get to the root of the problem they choose to assault women. i heard of the laptop thingy too and was told not to go out with my laptop without the receipt, this was funny to me but now ive just read it again i have to be extra careful.
This country is blessed and rich but we as a people need a complete overhaul of our mind

Shylle said...

Just listened to the 419 radio call and it is pretty hilarious.
I laughed all through, only to finally realize that I was the butt of the joke. And that really saddened me.
several allusions were made to Nigeria of which several were untrue. But do we blame them? We should blame ourselves and our 419 brothers who paint us all in bad light.
It makes me ashamed to be a Nigeria. It's saddening.

Babawilly said...

Sad to hear about your treatment at the hands of the Police (in your own country for that matter).
What if that chap hadn't recognized you from the Telly? The ordeal miht have dragged on.
This is unfair and needs to stop.

Anonymous said...

this outright madness cos now we cant dress the way we want in our OWN country.

Anonymous said...

it is a pity that in the 21st century, we nigerians live like we are in the 16th century, the middle age.
every day, i imagine a life of the three basic neccesities. Good food, clothing and shelter. Will we ever have clean
pipe borne water, constant electricity, street lights, 24 hours transport services, and all those other things that makes life elsewhere beautiful and makes nigeria ugly.
They can share all the ptdf funds as they wish. The good thing is that while they steal so much of the money which is not theirs and cannot be completely consumed by their 10th generation to come, they won't take it across to the next world or hold on to life by bribing DEATH

Anonymous said...

What is desperation?
our leaders are desperate
the police are desperate
yahoo yahoo boys are desperate
armed robbers are desperate
rapists are desperate
prostitutes are desperate
evil is desperate
what a desperate society!

benson said...

Nigeria is not an islamic country and there's no way we kan try to change that fact, the constituion permits freedom of worshhip and each form of worship requires a way of worship outfits,such law should be applicable in the sharia region,okay then let those working offshores (women)go on skirts and every other job or profession that requires trousers like those banking,this is madness trying to be decent but has a way of tarnishing the image of such a great country NIGERIA,all the past presidents never saw this as a taboo,so why cant the present president concentrate on building the future of the country,when did he become a beautician or a tailor that should decide what women should wear,how about the bad roads,abandoned projects etc etc? believe me he is only increasing the level of rape and more sexual assaults,rather we can stop indecent outfits that we know may cause trouble,seduction etc but even then,that will never end the problem.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely RIDICULOUS! I heard of this silly act of policemen arresting women before i left the country a while ago but i didnt think it was anything serious, probably because i didnt know anyone it happened to. but after i read your blog, i decided to put my self in your shoes. I would have been locked up in the station and my Dad who is from the stone age would agree with the policemen that I am not proplerly dressed. I am a young feminist and i think the lack of education/exposure and selfishness amongst the leaders who make such bizzare policies/laws and narrow minded policemen who seize this opportunity to extort and frustrate individuals is gradually having an adverse effect on the development of our dear country. I think there are more serious issues to be dealt with rather than waste a year or two arguing on what women should or should not wear. Whatever a person decides to wear is their business. Section (35)(1) of The 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria states that "Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty except....". I think every sane person should join forces and stand up for their fundamental human rights, this is a battle we must win else they would gradually take our rights from us.

To Damola, I am 22 which means we belong to the same generation. Please, do not give up on Nigeria, I am in the UK for a short period of time doing community service and i have been encouraging every Nigerian I know to come back home. There are so many opprtunities in Nigeria and besides nobody is going to come from outside to fight for or develop Nigeria. This fight is ours and fight we will fight. Kisses

Wole Osinupebi said...

Recently Mrs. Udoudo was run off the road by ohakim's convoy. And some rants came up in the papers. Rather than rage here and there over these things, let's form a pressure group to fight them. If the lagos state governor will make statements that will make police harass women on the streets, then he doesn't deserve to be our governor, simple.
Venting in a blogspot won't change anything. Organising and being visible will.

Anonymous said...

Nigeria is like Animal Farm - "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than the other" - can you imagine if you were not known or the Oga Olopa hated your guts what will have happened - What I am trying to say is that Nigeria is an elitest Country - if you are not known - then forget it - if I was President - i will makes sure that the police are educated properly and paid handsomely too - so bribe will end up being a thing of the past

Anonymous said...

This is the way we treat fellow Human beings (and Human Rice as well!) in our Great country of ours. This experience could have turned out really nasty with some nice grieving and all! TO go out in Lagos now is a problem as every one wants a piece of your pie. As for other cities like Port and Benin, Kano and Jos to name a few, this kind of behaviour is probably common place as well. Nigeria, we Hail thee......