Tuesday 14 August 2007

The flaw of the covenant

Bringing reason to bear

Rarely, does one find oneself so utterly impressed by the legal exposition of a matter of contemporary import as one that I read this evening.

Funmi Iyanda, the broadcaster, columnist, journalist and articulate blogger based in Nigeria leads the home end of reason against the developing assault on the female populace of Nigeria by male chauvinistic pigs masquerading as the law, the rule, the norm and the sanction for a harmonious society.

These are exemplified in assailing ladies in seemingly “indecent” states of dress on the streets of Lagos, the barring of ladies from church for wearing trousers and other supposedly “uncomely” wear, the compulsory testing for pregnancy where a positive result prevents an academically capable student from graduation and the attribution of HIV/AIDS testing mainly to sexual immorality.

Many have debunked these splenetic acts of unwarranted prejudice and malicious abuse of authority in the name of the law, religion and upholding societal morals.

In fact, it is sad, that many have been cajoled and subsumed into accepting the unacceptable as those in authority exceed the limits of rationality in what is becoming an embarrassing ego rush that should elicit a complete U-turn very soon.

Bringing the law to bear

Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, a renowned civil rights lawyer with a knack for well-structured legal arguments that completely ridicules indefensible bigoted and prejudicial edicts, comes to the rescue with this opinion piece at allAfrica.com with the title Nigeria: In the Name of the Father?

This is a must-read, and as Funmi Iyanda says in her blog, when the rational speak up, we have hope that things would definitely turn out right.

In all that this learned gentleman expounded with global case law, putative references in the Nigerian constitution and other treaties or agreements Nigeria is signatory to; he contends that a university cannot operate under the premise that “clearly discriminates against women, feeds public prejudice and discrimination against women and persons living with HIV-AIDS, fulfills no rational public policy or purpose, and is plainly egregious in its illegality.”

That is a very strong rebuke which goes on appeal to the Christian compassion of organisations that portend to lift society, that they should know “People who are living with HIV must be treated with compassion and understanding. They must not be condemned to 'economic death' by the denial of equal opportunity. The same must be said for single mothers.”

This, if anything should bring the Covenant University to repentance involving their reflecting on these atrocious playground rules and tempering them with the rational set of values expected of a university of excellence – For which I would gladly join the chorus that ends this sorry saga with - Amen!

Thanks to Funmi Iyanda for the link that inspired this blog.

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