Okon Lagos: “I Don’t Regret Saying A Prostitute Is Not A Dignified Person”
Popular Nollywood comic actor, Ime Bishop Umoh better known by his acting name of Okon Lagos has reiterated his stance that prostitutes do not have any dignity.
In an earlier report, we reported that the actor came under a blast from Nigerians after he shared a video on his Instagram page in which he reacted to the alleged rape of some women accused of prostitution in Abuja. Over 70 women were arrested by the police officers in Utako and the women alleged that the officers took turns to rape them using sachet water nylon as a condom.
In his video, Okon had said the women cannot claim they were raped because they are prostitutes and do not have any dignity. His post was received with backlash as many slammed him as insensitive and also justifying rape.
In a new interview, he stands his ground as he says that he does not regret his comment. The father of two said he does not in any way justify rape but he was astonished that as much as social media users were condemning rape, they were not also condemning prostitution which he believes is an immoral act.
“I live my life in such a way that I live for the best and hope for the worst so things hardly shock me. I saw the backlash coming but I didn’t know it was going to get that sort of attention. I saw it coming; I knew I might be misunderstood depending on the level of comprehension of my audience. Humour waters down the sensitivity of some issues. Euphemism is saying something that is very harsh in a mild way. I didn’t justify rape in any way.
The issue people had with what I said was that I likened rape to theft and that I said prostitutes do not have dignity. My assertion was to clarify the fact that raping a prostitute is theft and they don’t have dignity. My assertion is metaphorical. If I wanted to use a simile, I would say rape is like theft. Rape is taking a woman’s dignity without her consent. I don’t regret saying that prostitutes do not have dignity; no one would be proud to introduce themselves as a commercial sex hawker.”
Speaking further, Okon said,
“I wanted to be fair in my analysis; I was trying to point out the fact that prostitution is a wrong act, so we shouldn’t be malicious by talking about only rape. Why are we canonising one criminal act and demonising the other? Both acts are morally wrong. I believe in humanism; as humans, we should observe the golden rule. I am not trying to say that I am a saint; in fact, I don’t want to be one so that there would be a difference between Jesus and me. It is unfortunate that some women were raped by policemen.
“I am not saying it serves them right, but I am also concerned about the immoral act; prostitution. The level of moral decadence in the country is worrisome. I even saw some public figures with verified social media accounts supporting the idea that prostitution should be legalised; I don’t want to call names. I won’t make comments about something insensitive like that. Rape is bad, but prostitution should be addressed as an issue as well”.
He added that he doesn’t owe anyone an apology for his comment.
“Everybody around me is a woman; I have a wife and two daughters; my respect for women is inevitable. I am not going to be shaken; a prostitute is not a dignified person. According to Lucky Dube; ‘the terrible thing about the truth is that, when you say it, you always stand alone.’ I am brave enough to say the truth and nothing will happen to me. I don’t owe anyone an apology,” he said.