55 commercial sex workers have been arrested by the Social Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration during a recent operation.
According to reports, the operation, which was carried out between 1.00a.m. to 5.00a.m. on Thursday, was part of a ministerial directive to relevant agencies in the city management to purge the city of unwholesome activities.
Abuja residents were warned that a mobile court has been set up to prosecute those who are not willing to change from their old habit, while the menfolk were also warned to stop patronizing commercial sex workers in their own interest.
Consequently, the FCT Administration has pledged its readiness to train repentant commercial sex workers in various entrepreneurial skills. Also, women of easy virtue have been urged to engage themselves in meaningful ventures.
Decrying the high number of commercial sex workers in the Federal Capital Territory, Acting Secretary of Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Adebola Elegbede, stressed that it was not surprising that the FCT is rated highest in Nigeria with HIV/AIDs prevalence. She said;
“Since we carried out a major demolition in Apo where teenage prostitution was perpetuated, the Social Development Secretariat decided to focus on some major spots within the city centre.
“Those of them who are willing to turn a new leaf will be rehabilitated in our Rehabilitation Centre in Lugbe and offer them training in various entrepreneurial skills. At the end of such training, we will counsel them and a starter pack will be given to them to set up some small scale businesses that will dignify them as women.”
Elegbede said it is heartbreaking and unacceptable that a woman will offer her body for money in the name of poverty. She reiterated the Social Development Secretariat’s commitment to continue to rid Abuja of such nuisance.
She further disclosed that well-placed Nigerians have been calling her to release their clients instead of joining hands with the secretariat to battle the commercial sex workers menace, this she described as “regrettable.”
The arrest is coming less than a week after the Senate had raised alarm at the rate in which beggars, hoodlums and commercial sex workers, flooded the streets of Abuja.
Describing the situation as ‘appalling,’ the senate said it was very uncomfortable with the number of hoodlums on the streets of Abuja.
Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, said the senate had therefore mandated the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Commissioner and Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to flush them out of the FCT.
Senator Melaye, said his committee had invited the police commissioner and NSCDC commandant to inform them about the worsening insecurity in the FCT and the need to take steps to curb the trend.
Also, as part of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Joint Task Force Team’s effort to cleanse Abuja of this menace, about 89 commercial sex workers, were arrested in January.