Open Letter To Lagos State Police Commissioner

by Damola Awoyokun

Dear M.D. Abubakar,

We know you are new to the job, expectedly there will be lots of Initial Gra Gra (IGG). But your policy of arresting and arraigning our Lagos ladies for skimpy dressing is absurd. If we accuse you of being a sexist and enforcing Sharia by proxy, it is safe to say. This is Lagos Alhaji.

Our world, our century is on fire by those who after Faustian crises religiously insist on turning their private fantasies into a general nightmare. What exactly is a skimpy dress? How did the police arrive at a benchmark with which they are arresting our ladies? We challenge you to make it public.

You said “skimpy dress could cause public disorder.” Why should people be arrested for what “could cause” not what “will cause” or “what has caused”? Recall that the doctrine of pre-emptive strike was from bush.

Please familiarise yourself with Glendora Review’s beautiful catalogue, Lagos: A City at work and Demola Ogunajo’s fine animystic paintings of Lagos life collected in the exhibition, Largus Fluxus. Eko is for show. The women are modern, they have been free to wear whatever they wanted before Alhaji Abubakar came into power and that has not sparked any public disorder, I have no doubt that after and during him, they will still continue to do so. (Except your word ‘public’ is actually a misspelling of something else. In that case, it is private and harmless before the law. Nowhere in the Lagos criminal code is dressing, any type at all, a crime.)

We never had a public riot because of those on the Lagos beaches. Neither did the newspaper report one when ex President Obasanjo appeared on the beach with a girl wearing only pant and bra in what became that national tourism advert on CNN.

We demand that the case against the arrested ladies be withdrawn and those remanded in Kirikiri Prisons be released immediately. We demand that a public apology be offered to them and compensations be granted over and above the N20, 000 others had spend on bailing. We demand that you swear an affidavit you will never abuse your office again by tampering with our vibrant Lagos culture or smuggle in a distasteful morality already debunked by modernity.

Lagos is fiercely cosmopolitan. Its energy derives from the plurality of races, of ethnic groups, of religions and moralities, of cultural sensibilities, of fashion tastes and pleasures, the youthfulness, the underground weirdness that makes the city pump and jump. Alhaji police commissioner, Get Real and Feel Lagos.

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akinola December 18, 2010 - 4:20 pm

it will never be proper for a police officer to detain anybody for indecent dressing. Anybody who is interested in arresting people for indecent dressing should start by arresting his mind which in this case is the problem. how many riots have we had because of indecent dressing? What of those trigger happy custumed donkeys who rape women that they claim to be protecting.

pastor adeniyi adeleke March 25, 2008 - 2:10 pm

this police commissioner does not know his job.somebody needs to tell him that he is LAGOS and not in sungeru where they still live in the dark abubakar or alhaji ,wake up

Godwin Kwushue August 5, 2007 - 4:24 pm

Haba, Odumegwu who is a prostitute? a man or woman that is involved with multiple sex partners for monetary gains. My mind tells me that a good number of the world population falls within this category, from ministers, diplomats , managers , students and so on. There are whores in those classes too, the difference between them and the uneducated ones you find on the street is their mode of operation. Some women do dress in a manner that indecently expose the most private of their body parts, but this is not a matter for the police, it is a matter for schools, religious organisations and mass media to handle. The ranks of armed robbers are growing in their thousands and the police commissoner is busy harasssing women at 3.00pm in the evening for not being properly dressed. The commissioner of police is just trying to convince his boss that he is a no nonsense man, but he is harassing the downtrodden in the society. The prostitutes do not need the attention of the police they need the attention of NGOs that could convince them that they could do better in life. Odumegwu should please tell the world what bearing inproper dressing has on the increase in the wave of crime in our society.

Caimohe August 4, 2007 - 5:17 pm

as my mom would say – o fi ete si le, oun pa lapa lapa. Arrant Nonsense.

Mr Commissioner get a grip and deal with crime as laid down in the constitution and make Lagos a better place.

Yeye man.

As for the skimpy ladies, pull yourself together and do something productive with your time and mind.

Grafikdon August 4, 2007 - 12:38 pm

Southern politicians are shameless spineless wimps. What we are witnessing is the entrance of a retrogressive-retarded-pre-stone age archaic law through the back door. Odumegwu O. I am shocked you believe Nigeria will be a better place if all the women walk around wrapped like Egyptian mummies. We are masters in priority misplacement. Religious zealots and hypocrites are detrimental to the existence of humanity.

julius August 4, 2007 - 7:54 am

There is hunger everywhere, killings, maiming in all corners. Armed gangs are still having a field day in Lagos, and all the new CP could talk about is skimpy dressing. This CP surely lacks ideas.

Reply August 3, 2007 - 6:13 pm

CP Abubakar no doubt has smuggled Sharia Law into Lagos through the back door. If he were the IG, skimpy dresses would be banned across Nigeria then. Lord help those scantily dressed ladies of Port Harcourt.

How many armed robberies has Abubakar foiled in Lagos State? How many hired killings has he solved? How many police officers has he arrested and fired for taking N20 from motorists? How many police officers has he arrested, fired and jailed for renting their weapons to armed robbers at night?

This CP needs to drop his uniform and put on a religious toga.

Babatunde Oni August 3, 2007 - 11:16 am

A well presented and accumulated article, but the question is "is the police commissioner working alone or on the directives and instructions of the BaBa Fash? Getting this across to the appropriate authority will be much more appreciated. Good, Keep it Up

Reply August 3, 2007 - 7:29 am

This article is good for the trash-bin. The writer could be a harlot or something and could be one of those ladies who have held the men bound with absurd dressing. The shameless writer went as far as saying that the CP should tell the world where dressing code was in the Nigerian constitution. But did the writer know that virtually all the sates in Nigeria banned Okada from plying the roads after 7.00pm? Why is the Nigerian lady afraid to dress decent? They want good husbands but do not want to be good wife materials. I detest this article and feel that what the CP is doing is in accord. ….

Mrs. Styles August 3, 2007 - 12:52 am

This is a joke right? How dare them arrest women for dressing indecently when there are still armed thuggs running around. Alhaji needs to get his priorities right


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