-BY SUNNY A. DAVID:
Over 20 suspects of sex worker
arrested in Onitsha, Anambra State by Operatives of the Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA) Brigade.
Sadly, some of the suspected sex workers confessed to Blank NEWS Online why they choose prostitution.
One of them, disclosed that she resorted to prostitution business because she lacked the money she needed to complete her academic studies.
The suspect, identified as Esther John from Akwa-Ibom State, was among the 20 suspects arrested in Onitsha, Anambra State by Operatives of the Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA) Brigade.
Esther, painfully revealed that she was in her final year when she was introduced to the business, adding that she planned using the proceeds to complete her school clearance and project work.
She said: “I’ve been struggling to complete my studies due to financial constraints. I was looking for money to complete school clearance and project when a friend introduced me to the business.
“Today is my first day to be here. There is no money for my project. The date for the defence has been fixed for next week and they said if I must defend, I must pay all my fees. I don’t have shishi (a dime) and there is no one to run to.
“Since my HND 1 till now, there has been nobody to pay my fees. The person assisting me before now has died. If there’s anyone who can help me, I won’t come back here again.”
Another suspect, Helen Ibeh who also confessed to the crime, said they were arrested at the spot where they were hustling.
She said: “I’m from Abia State. My mother doesn’t have anything doing. She’s been suffering to feed us, including my elder brother that just finished his junior WAEC.
“As soon as I finished school, I decided to look for something to do to support my parents because I’m not happy seeing them suffer.
“My father is a keke (commercial tricycle) rider while my mother sells abacha (a local delicacy). My sister was chased out of school because of school fees.
“I chose sex work as the last resort as a result of hardship and as means of supporting my family. I want to make my mother proud.”
Asked if she was aware of the various government empowerment programmes in the state, Helen responded, “I don’t know. I’ve only spent a few days in the state.
“I’m not aware of one youth, two skills. But I’m willing to be engaged as long as the money will be reasonable, at least ₦100,000 monthly to take care of my responsibilities.
“Government should provide job for me to take care of my family if they feel what I’m doing is not good.”
Insedo Inshewuba, an indigene of Benue State who identified herself as an orphan, said she fed herself and her younger sister from the job.
“I’m an orphan with a younger sister. I’m the only one taking care of her. If I get better work, I’ll leave prostitution,” she vowed.
Also speaking, a food vendor close to the brothel, who was among those arrested, said she was apprehended because the brothel belonged to her brother.
The widow, who gave her name simply as Nwakego from Akokwa, Imo State, said: “I’ve been selling food here and people, including the girls, come to patronise me. The owner of the brothel is my younger brother.
“I just rushed out to find out what was happening before I was bundled inside the vehicle.
“I was pleading with them to allow me to go and off the gas I was cooking with but they refused.
“I know I’m not a thief, but just a hustler to make both ends meet. I’ve been the only one taking care of my children, having lost my husband.
“These girls are no longer kids. Even when you want to advise them, they will attack you, asking you to mind your own business.”
Parading the suspects at the Brigade headquarters in Awka, the Managing Director of OCHA Brigade, Mr Celestine Anere, said the suspects were nabbed in Ochanja, Onitsha South Local Government Area of the state.
He said the arrest was part of the operation launched against social miscreants, adding that the suspects were being profiled and would be charged after investigation.
The Secretary-General, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone F, Comrade Ifeyinwa Felix, expressed shock and disappointment over the activities of the young girls and advised them to engage in legitimate means of livelihood.
She said: “I was heartbroken seeing the young girls, especially as a female. Most of them are like my younger sisters.
“My advice to them is to arm themselves with some skills, just as I appeal for government to assist in fixing them appropriately.”