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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nigerian parents express concern over increasing cross-dressing trend

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Some parents and guardians in Abuja have decried the growing cross-dressing trend among youths and called for measures to curb it.

They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

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According to them, the call becomes imperative following the level of popularity and acceptance cross-dressers are gaining from youths, with many following them as fans.

They lamented that aside from the recently convicted Idris Okunneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, the self-acclaimed ‘Mummy of Lagos’, there were other emerging cross-dressers with huge followers.

Bobrisky

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They said such popular cross-dressers include Jay Boogie, who was born Daniel Nsikan, James Brown, whose baptismal name is James Obialor, ‘Miss Sahhar’ and Noni Salma, among many others.

According to the parents, the “ Bobrisky menace” is an epidemic that requires punitive measures to check and value re-orientation among young Nigerians effectively.

Uche Daniels, a school principal, said that although Bobrisky was convicted for abusing the Naira note, his statement of being “a social media influencer with millions of followers called for concern.

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“Imagine Bobrisky having over five million followers on social media. Of course, that is a vast number, comprising our children who gradually drift towards accepting and following a wrong lifestyle. Before the court, he said he was a social media influencer, but the question should be whether the influence is positive or negative on society and our moral orientations.

‘‘Consider how many of the number are children whose sexual orientations have changed as a result of his influence and how many upcoming ‘Bobriskys’ he has raised? Our moral fabric is tearing apart, and the future has to be rescued; we must cry out urgently,” she said.

Zainab Ododo, a parent and culture enthusiast, said she recently travelled to a part of the country for an event, and what she saw made her weep.

She said, “You need to see a group of young boys dressed in women’s hair and makeup without shame. Then I wondered if they were Nigerians. How did we get here? And this is why I feel the government and law enforcement agencies should intervene against this identity crisis menace.

Many parents are in pain today due to Bobrisky’s and his likes’ activities, and we must avoid this drift from morality and godliness.

Fundamental human right

Also, a legal practitioner who decided to be identified as Mr Micheal has heard arguments that Bobrisky and other cross-dressers have the right to be who they want to be.

“But I have repeatedly asked the advocates of such fundamental human rights if they would allow a cross-dresser to enter the same female toilet with their wives because he dressed like a woman. Of course, the answer has always been an emphatic no, so we must do something now to stop every upcoming ‘Bobrisky’; if not, an era of confusion awaits us in the nearest future.”

“As Africans, our sexual orientation is in two folds; a child is either a male or a female, boy or girl and man or woman. I strongly believe that our present situation stems from abandoning everything that makes us unique as a people and embracing practices alien to our values,’’ he noted.

A cleric, Sam Davidson, said The Holy Books (Bible and Quran) recognise only male and female sexes and explicitly condemn imitating the appearance of the opposite gender.

“I understand that the Police recently said that there is no provision in the law suggesting that cross-dressing in Nigeria is a crime, but something has to be done to save our children.”

Financial gains

However, some youths who spoke with NAN expressed divergent views and appeared unperturbed by the parents’ and guardians’ concerns.

Some said cross-dressing among young people was just a means to gain popularity and attract teeming followers on social media for monetary gains, adding that those involved were not transgender.

A skit maker, Sammy Dan, said: “I think those involved are just ‘catching cruise’ and to attract followers on social media to make money, so there is nothing to worry about.

“You know Bobrisky has made a lot of money from this whole cross-dressing thing; that is why others, including James Brown, decided to join the train. The country is hard, and there is no job for guys, so everyone wants to ‘blow’ by any means.”

Esther Danladi, a corp member, said, “ My worry is about how the cross-dressing trend is going; very soon, it may become the norm’’.

“God, male and female, creates two genders, and these are identified with how one will dress; any alteration is ungodly and is morally wrong.

“We must do everything possible to stop this bad trend; if not, our collective future will be in danger.”

READ ALSO: Court adjourns Emefiele’s trial as EFCC files additional proof of evidence

NAN recalls that a Bill prohibiting cross-dressing in Nigeria failed to pass a second reading at the House of Representatives in December 2022.

The legislation was titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013 to Prohibit Cross Dressing; and for Related Matters (HB.1938).

Those who opposed the bill believed that a country like Nigeria, with its cultural, religious, and ideological diversity, should be more tolerant and accommodating of people who express themselves differently.

(NAN)

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