The Mechanic Village at Apo in Abuja’s has dramatically transformed into a hideout of some sort for different kinds of illegitimate businesses, ranging from belligerency, thuggery, prostitution and smoking. A place, which was hitherto made for commercial activities and residency, now prides itself as the headquarters of commercial prostitution and high-profile crimes in Abuja.
Most of the people living around the popular area either run provisions stores or kiosks, restaurants, mechanics or shops. They sell vehicle parts and other automobile spare parts. Some of them do not live there. They come from other places to run their businesses.
However, Daily Sun learnt that there are two types of businesses that take place in the vicinity. These businesses include the legitimate and illegitimate ones. While the legitimate activities or businesses are recognized by law the other type is recognized only by outlaws.
Good boys turn bad at night
During the day, they may look and behave like saints, but at night, they indulge in different illicit activities. It was learnt that most of the boys are belligerents. They could engage in combats, especially at nights, that sometimes, leave them gruesomely injured or that could result to death. An instance was given of two boys that fought over money and one was stabbed by the other to death.
Some of them go to the extent of paying some vigilante groups to beat up and rob any stranger that goes there at night, precisely from 9pm. These vigilantes are also people that work there during the day. While some break into shops to steal when the shop owners are not there and no one is watching, others stage open robbery. However, it was confirmed that a thief can only break into a shop with less or without security.
Another instance was given of a boy, between 19 and 24, who broke into a phone shop and stole an Android phone. Unfortunately for him, he was caught and made to pay for his action.
Meanwhile, it was observed that the children there are not properly taken care of, as they look tattered and abandoned. They play in the mud, push wheelbarrows, eat in a dirty environment where flies also come to have a share of their meal and they appear to emulate the lifestyle of the older thugs, fighting among themselves and hurling obscene words at one another during those fights.
A smoking place
It is also known as a place where young smokers live and work. Here, smoking is done at any moment; in the morning, afternoon or night. It is done by boys especially, below the age of 40.
Harlotry among young girls
Apo Mechanic Village has also turned into a brothel of some sort where young girls, even from neighbouring areas, go to at night to get paid for prostitution. Girls between the ages of 19 and 30 are involved in this ignoble act. Only a few girls prostitute during the day. Most of them come out at nights to have sex with different men and get paid. This is easy for them as they also have mini hotels in the area.
According to a woman who fries and sells yams by the roadside, all these actions are motivated by lack of money and food. The woman who identified herself as Alice said: “When you ask them why they steal or prostitute, they will tell you that ‘na condition’. They want to survive and the only way they think they can do that is by stealing and prostituting. They will also tell you that they do not have a choice.”

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