Abuja — Worried by the sharp increase in their activities, sex workers in the Federal Capital Territory have been given a 48-hour ultimatum by the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, to leave the nation's capital or face the wrath of the law.
The minister, who decried the steady rise in the population of prostitutes in Abuja, noted that they constitute a nuisance as their services add no value to the beauty of the city.
He gave them a stern warning to heed the ultimatum, noting that the FCT Special Task Force would be out as from today to arrest them.
The minister, who issued the ultimatum through the FCT Secretary for Social Development, Mrs. Blessing Onuh, while on a visit to the call girls at their respective joints on Saturday night, also warned men who patronise the girls to desist from the act as he promised that anyone caught would be treated like the prostitutes.
He said that to drive home the importance of the assignment to the FCT, the Task Force would commence arrest from today and warned the prostitutes not to take the matter lightly.
At Emprest Hotel, "which is the headquarters" of the commercial sex workers in Wuse District, where over 600 call girls were seen parading the streets waiting for prospective customers, the secretary lamented that most of the girls involved were under-aged.
In her message to the girls she said, "I'm out to instruct the girls that the FCT minister has given them 48 hours to vacate the city and quit the job. They constitute a nuisance in the city and the FCT administration will not tolerate them.
"We are also sending warnings to all those men patronising them to stop. Some of the girls are under-aged; it is child abuse. If we get you doing that we will get you arrested, lock you up and treat you like the prostitutes are treated."
A patron of the call girls who spoke to reporters under condition of anonymity gave reason why he patronised call girls, saying it was due to the weather which made it difficult for him to spend the night alone.
"As you can see, it is rainy season now, it is not good for a man to just go home and sleep alone," he said.
The man argued that the ultimatum given to the girls would lead to an increase in the charges of the girls who presently charge between N5,000 and N7,000 per night.
He said, "This decision now will make them to increase their price. Normally we take them home for N6,000 or N7,000 but now with this decision, they will increase it to N15,000 or more than that."
At the hotel, one of the girls who refused to give her name disclosed that she relocated to Abuja when the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, demolished her apartment in Lagos. She however expressed her readiness to quit the job if given an alternative, lamenting that Emprest Hotel is like a sex camp where two prostitutes pair up in a room and pay N5,000 each daily while those who have more patronage take up a single room and pay N7,000 daily.
The secretary, after addressing the girls at Wuse Zone 4, made a donation of N50,000 to the girls after they complained to her that they had not eaten all day and she advised them to desist from selling their bodies for money but try to go into a more decent occupation.
Other places visited by the secretary where activities of sex workers thrive included Banex Plaza, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Rockview Hotel, Gimbiya Street, Area 11 and Agura Hotel.
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