Opinion Post: Are Strip Joints now legal in Abuja?

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It was a place where dreams come true for those who lacked morality. The girls were of different tribes, color, and sizes. Their movements slow, sensual and rhythmic. They held on to the poles with tenacity, even skill if observed carefully. It kept going through my mind, where did they learn this? Where are they from? What would their families and friends think seeing them do this?

Watching them i could not translate what my feelings were exactly, i felt slight apprehension knowing that given my religious background this sort of place was supposed to be off the radar. But here i was, like all other observers, getting entertained. It was perhaps a subtle form of entertainment a type of service which neither the render or the benefactor can explain yet both knowing that it was required.

Clearly i understood immediately that this lot was not like the regular everyday commercial sex workers. They seemed rather methodical and organized, even their movement coordinated to excite the occasional groans and moans from their watchers. They were extremely lucid and aware of their actions and even did a little teasing here and there when overly excited watchers walked over to their pole and stuck money in the panties. These girls, like me were here on their own accord. This was a business.

These are excerpts of a mail forwarded to me by a female colleague relating how much fun she had gotten at a strip club in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. For me, this registered with great interest, especially because I was aware that unlike Abuja, states like Lagos had made constitutional provisions for such ventures and in others such as Imo state in Eastern Nigeria, the sitting governor placed a ban on strip joints, describing them as ‘strange and devilish’.

With the continuous growth and unending competition for scarce resources, more and more people have begun to look towards alternative means of raising income and simply creating a conducive environment to eat at drink no longer appealed to business people. Several ventures have sprung up in different parts of the country seeking to take market advantage and make returns and these businesses are willing to do just anything to keep the customers coming and keep the cash rolling in. Although economic growth is always a welcome development, especially in the growing countries of Africa. However the geometric rate at which these ventures spring up, when compared to the rather arithmetic growth of regulatory structures required to guide these businesses indicate that there might be in the near future, a huge task for regulatory bodies charged with overseeing the boundaries for business ethics and practices.

Opening a casino, a night club, a strip joint, a whore house, a Sex Toys manufacturing company or any of the forms of business in the sex trade which have become common place in other countries of the world has remained rather unpopular in Nigeria. This is not only because of the hazy moral views associated with such practices, or the fact that most religious organizations would oppose such a system, but also because, as it stands, there are incomplete structures to enable such businesses thrive in the country.

Among the guests seated at the strip club hidden exclusively in Wuse II, Abuja were teenagers, elderly people, couples and singles as well as workers joint who kept moving in and out of the strip lounge. She wrote.

Perhaps given the common place religious ideas in Nigeria they may all probably have been wondering about the same things. Is watching naked girls a ‘bad’ thing? Is it ‘illegal’? Is dancing naked for money a bad thing? Is it legal? For me, the questions were more like do they pay tax? Can I get a refund? Can I start mine?

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