Abuja residents on Wednesday expressed reservation over the increasing indecent dressing by some people, especially the ladies, in places of worship in the FCT.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the phenomenon which they described as alien to Africa was gradually becoming a norm in the territory.
According to them, the development has contributed to the increase in the rate of immorality and other ills plaguing the society.
A cleric, Fred Ogar of Revival Assembly Church, Abuja, said the trend was not healthy for the society.
Ogar called for immediate action to be taken by parents and guardians to nib the dangerous norm in the bud.
“The ugly act has taken a dangerous dimension in the society with young ladies often found in attires that reveal their body anatomy inside out.
“To many, the dressing pattern is often seen as being suggestive and more embarrassing is the fact those dresses are mostly transparent.
“Because of this in 2008, the then Chairman, Senate Committee on Women and Youths, Ufot Ekaete, presented a Bill on indecent dressing on the floor of the Senate.
“The Bill was entitled, “An Act to Prohibit and Punish Public Nῡdity, Sèxual Intimidation, and Related Offences.
“It proposed a jail term of six months for offenders, but humanitarian organisations condemned the bill,” Ogar said.
Mrs Hilda Kumbin, a retired school principal and mother of five, also expressed concern over the development.
She said that it was unfortunate that sanctity had been thrown to the dogs by the new generation, unlike in her days.
“It is unfortunate that standard has fallen in the society and parents are not helping because they don’t have time for their children.
“There are many reasons why young girls come out in indecent dresses, but the most important I think has to do with self-esteem.
“When a young girl feels inadequate, lacking self-confidence, she will do anything to draw attention to herself and wearing indecent clothes could be her way of doing that.
“They forget that for every action there is a reaction; and that is why we have series of cases like ràpe.
“Most young women have fallen victims to ràpe because of the provocative dresses they put on.
“I believe that indecent dressing debases womanhood, because it tends to expose parts of the woman’s body that form her treasure.
“Our pride as women lies in hidden and protected treasure, but when a girl exposes it to the public, it reduces her worth and esteem.
“The men lose respect for her because there won’t be anything left for them to explore.
“Any man that will come after her will only be doing so out of lust and just to devour what she has displayed for him.
“Even if you are decent but decide to wear indecent clothes, people will insult you,’’ Kumbin said.
But, Anita Kyaagba, an undergraduate, said that it was nobody’s business on what she decided to wear.
She said: “we are living in a free world and so, we are free to wear anything we want. Besides, since you didn’t buy the clothes for me, who are you to tell me what to wear?
“I wear what makes me comfortable, as a young girl, I follow fashion trend.
“I wear the best in vogue and if it accentuates some parts of my body and my boyfriend likes it, I don’t see anything wrong in it`.’’
Chioma Eliogu, another student, told NAN that she had to stop attending a church in which she grew up because the ushers stopped her from entering the church because of what she wore.
“I wore a mini gown, which highlighted my hips and bust and the ‘old-fashioned’ usher refused to allow me enter the church.
“Since then, I decided to join another church that won’t judge me based on my dressing but my heart.
“After all, the Lord sees the heart not the body; so, why should anybody judge me?”
Another cleric, John Ishaku, urged parents, especially mothers, to take much interest on their girl-child, and called on mothers that dress offensively to desist.
“Parents and adults must dress well and honourably as an example for younger generations.
“The mass media should promote good moral values and religious leaders must strongly preach against indecent dressing because you will be addressed by the way you are dressed.
“Christian parents must teach their children how to dress decently because that is what the Bible says.
Quoting from Bible, he said, “In like manner also, that woman adorns themselves in modest apparel, with shame facedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.
“But (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works.”
Ishaku said “It is a sin for a lady dressing half-unclàd to walk in the street or come to church.’’
Malam Yahaya Abdulaziz, a Muslim cleric, also said that, “No good Muslim woman will dress indecently because it is clearly written in the Holy Quran.
“Tell the believing men that they shall subdue their eyes (and not stare at the women), and to maintain their chastity.
“This is purer for them. God is fully cognisant of everything they do,” Abdulaziz said.