Recently, Sam Amadi published an OpEd about how Nigeria’s hedonistic political class are spoiling our young girls. I think Prof is at least 20 years too late. When I was an undergraduate more than two decades ago, the word “aristo” was already being used in place of “sugar daddy”.
Let me quickly tell a story told to me by a friend towards the end of 1999…
Back then, buses used to come from the Government House in Benin on Friday nights to take girls for Governor Lucky Igbinedion’s infamous night parties. One day her one of her roommates went to one of the parties and gave her the gist as to what happened. Bear in mind, this is third-hand gist that I’m giving, 21 years later…
We got on the bus and were driven to Saidi Centre. As we arrived there, each of us was given ₦10k for coming, and then were led into one of the halls where we were told to strip naked. After some time, the governor came, and said, “Welcome ladies”, then looked at all of us before selecting two girls and leaving with them for one of the rooms. Then the other big men who had accompanied him each looked over us and took one and left.
Note, ₦10,000 was a huge deal in 1999. For context, my annual school fees in university at the time was ₦230, and as an Elf scholar back then, I used to get an annual scholarship of ₦35,000. These girls, I don’t know exactly how many there were, each got just under a third of my annual scholarship for a night of fun and games. I remember, very clearly, how mind-blown I was when I was told that tale.
Retelling it now is just to point out that it is not today that public morals in Nigeria have been in the toilet, and I daresay that if you go back as far as Jagua Nana, you’ll find similar stories. What we need to ask ourselves is why it is so easy to corrupt the morals of our young people.
To me, the answer is the fear of poverty.