Human rights watchdog, Amnesty International and several Nigerians have taken to the social media to slam the police for the arrest and detention of women at a strip club in Abuja last week.
The move was hailed by certain prominent persons in the country, including the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Olusegun Runsewe, who commended Mr Mohammed Bello, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, for the timely raid on strippers clubs in Abuja.
In a statement issued by the council, Runsewe said raiding strippers clubs in Abuja is a step in the right direction.
“The rise of this ugly and negative recreational clubs negated every strand of Nigerian culture”.
“What the FCT minister and his officials have done is not only commendable but also a proactive measure to track down the influencers and marketers of this sodomic expressions, thereby protecting our culture from foreign pollution.”
However, many Nigerians have disagreed with Runsewe, the police and the FCT administration as the raid is seen as a gross violation of human rights and an act of abuse against women.
Human rights group, Amnesty International has condemned the incidence.
According to Amnesty International in Nigeria, the raids and abuse targeted women, hence discriminatory and is gender-based violence.
“Amnesty International is concerned by spate of arrests and humiliation of women by FCT officials and the police, in some parts of Abuja. These arrests clearly show unacceptable deliberate targeting of women.
“It is disturbing to hear that women are arrested and further subjected to alleged sexual violence and confiscation of their valuables. This is cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and unacceptable practices
“The raids and abuse targeted women, hence discriminatory and is gender-based violence. We are calling FCT and police authorities to investigate allegations of abuse of the women.
“We are calling FCT and police authorities to investigate allegations of abuse of the women,” the organization said on Monday.
The harstag #AbujaPoliceRaidonWomen is currently trending on Twitter as Nigerians condemn the police assault on the ladies.
“Someone gets approval to run a night club, opens for business and only the females that patronize them get arrested. Women are just endangered species, ” a lady tweeted
“This is exactly the problem with demonizing sex work. They use it to harm ALL women. Especially in a country where “ashewo” is the go to “insult” for a woman. In a minute your reality can change bc of a demonized tag,” says another twitter user.
According to popular Twitter influencer, Kayode Ogundamisi, criminalization of Women, particularly young ladies seems to be the official policy in Abuja city.
“Abuja no longer viewed as Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory The FCT Minister should hold his goons back and stop reckless arrests and attacks in the guise of curbing prostitution
“Situation is so bad and getting out of hand. Adults irrespective of gender should be able to go out and visit spots in Abuja at anytime of the day. Women do not have to carry a “I AM NOT A PROSTITUTE” ID Card to be able to move around FCT hinterlands need the Ministers attention, “Ogundamisi tweeted
Below are some other tweets on the issue:
If you're going to arrest a woman for prostitution why let the man go free? Why focus on supply rather than the ostensible demand?— Bamiyo (@fribone) April 30, 2019
If we're so concerned about morality then we should ask ourselves why people go to prostitutes in the first place? #AbujaPoliceRaidonWomen
I don't care who the women were and what they did. They deserve to be treated as humans beings and the offenders deserve to be punished. We all need justice. #AbujaPoliceRaidonWomen— Ochongalokwu (@chioma_emesih) April 30, 2019
How can we open our eyes and watch this happen? Women are being arrested for prostituting meanwhile the men that patronize them are not touched, why? #AbujaPoliceRaidonWomen— NYAWARI (@Aamir_Sidibe) April 30, 2019
Women are being stripped of their rights by the very entities that are supposed to protect them. The entire process from the raids to the prosecutions has been violence and one violation after another. This is not acceptable and these raids are illegal. #AbujaPoliceRaidonWomen— buky (@buky) April 30, 2019