Friday, 21 July 2017

What exactly is wrong with a 70-year old woman having sex?

Mrs Maria Okoh, a 70-year old grandmother, and a native of Ebonyi state, had normal sexual enjoyment between her and another consenting 30-year adult. Unfortunately for them, they were caught in the act. And the villagers considered their action an abomination. To appease the gods of the land, the lovers were fined a whopping three goats and reports had it that they were paraded hand in hand around the village and subsequently banished.
Mrs Okoh, a widow was subjected to inhumane treatment unbefitting of a senior citizen. This is a violation of her fundamental human right to personal liberty, privacy and self-expression and movement. Section 41 of 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that “every citizen in Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria, and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereof or from”. Section 34 of the same constitution also provides that “every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of person and accordingly, no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment”
Indeed, I am saddened by the mistreatment of Mrs Okoh. From all intents and purposes, Mrs Okoh has committed no crime. She has violated no known Nigerian law. No Nigerian law forbids old women from having sex. She did not rape the man who himself is an adult. They went into consenting sexual relation. You can have sex with anyone provided that person belongs to the opposite sex, is a consenting adult, and the partner freely offered his or her body for such an act. No crime is committed! The spirituality, morality or otherwise of such a sexual act is between you and your God, not man. In Nigeria, you only commit sexual crime when your partner is of same sex, a minor, or in case where you have forceful canal knowledge or rape.
I therefore do not understand why a village will chose to return to the stone age to degrade, mentally torture and banish an innocent woman for the flimsy reason that she had sex with a 30-year old adult whom she did not rape.
While many may argue that it is morally wrong for such an old woman to have had sex with a 30-year old man, I would say that this argument is at best, most hypocritical. Is it because she is a woman or probably has no one to intervene in her case? Are there not men at their 80s raping minors daily in Nigeria? Are there not men in their 70s getting married to primary school children in this country? Some years ago a former governor of Zamfara state who also became a Senator, got married to 13-year old girl. He was not dragged out to the streets.
Old men, some of whom are top ranking government officials are daily sleeping with young girls in hotel rooms while abandoning their wives at home. Rape cases are treated with levity while innocent people are upbraided for legally satisfying their natural sexual urge. If we check very well, many elders in the village from which Mrs Okoh was banished for no reason, probably commit worse crimes. Many of them may have probably slept with other men’s wives the night before.
Civilization has gone past the point when people’s lives are barricaded with obnoxious cultures and norms which have not in any way enhanced the course of humanity.
Are the villagers saying Mrs Okoh have no right to have sex? What exactly is wrong with an old woman having sex? Were it that the woman’s husband is alive, are they saying they wouldn’t have had sexual copulation? As a matter of fact, scientists say sex gets better with old age.
And then, Mrs Okoh’s grandchild who reported her to the youth of the village, may probably not be a virgin! And the hypocritical youth who dragged her out may have probably be armed robbers, thieves, drunkards, or even rapists parading themselves as moralists. Hypocrites! Nigeria is a country of hypocrites.
The Government of Ebonyi state should intervene and urgently restore Mrs Okoh rights!

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