The Social Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration has arrested 55 commercial sex workers during an operation recently.
City News gathered that 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.
While speaking on the development, the Acting Secretary of Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Adebola Elegbede, decried the high number of commercial sex workers in the Federal Capital Territory, stressing that it was not surprising that the FCT is rated highest in Nigeria with HIV/AIDs prevalence.
Elegbede who called on women of easy virtue to engage themselves in meaningful ventures, also used the occasion to pledge the readiness of the FCT Administration to train repentant commercial sex workers in various entrepreneurial skills.
She, however, warned that a mobile court has been set up to prosecute those who are not willing to change from their old habit, just as she called on the menfolk to stop patronising commercial sex workers in their own interest.
“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.
“It is heartbreaking that a woman will offer her body for money in the name of poverty. It is unacceptable and we at the Social Development Secretariat will continue to do our best to rid Abuja of such nuisance.
“It is regrettable that well-placed Nigerians are calling me to release their clients instead of joining hands with the secretariat to battle this menace.
“My mobile phone is inundated with calls not to prosecute those arrested. I am not surprised that Abuja is rated highest in HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country,” Elegbede said.