By FRED ITUA, FRED EZEH, CHIAMAKA NZENWEAKU & ABIGAIL ANOSIKE
In Abuja, the nation’s capital, prostitution is a thriving business. It is a trade predominantly plied by some single ladies. There are male prostitutes, but they are in the extreme minority. Male prostitutes, unlike their female counterparts, do not adorn highways to solicit for female customers.
Abuja has major districts, cities and places where open prostitution takes place. Wuse II is notorious for that. Garki, Maitama, Jabi and a few other places also harbour a handful of daughters of Eve. In these districts, prostitutes and their clients either “relief tensions” inside their vehicles or get a cheap hotel to exchange body fluids.
But there are places in Abuja where another brand of prostitution holds sway, the slums. Abuja slums are scattered everywhere in the city. They lack basic amenities and are often times, temporal places of abode, occupied by homeless people.
The online free Wikipedia describes a slum as a heavily populated urban informal settlement characterized by substandard housing and squalor. While slums differ in size and other characteristics, most lack reliable sanitation services, supply of clean water, reliable electricity, timely law enforcement and other basic services. Slum residences vary from shanty houses to professionally built dwellings that because of poor-quality construction or provision of services have deteriorated into slums.
Disturbed by the growing complaints from Abuja residents of illicit sex activities thriving in some slums within the city, Daily Sun embarked on a fact-finding adventure to unravel the claims. The first point of call was a slum called Kado-Kuchi, just behind a popular supermarket in Jahi District. It is a small slum, but densely populated by all manners of people from every parts of the country.
The slum also serves as a sex haven where special shanties housing prostitutes abound. The irony of it all is that the slum is surrounded by porch houses and it is less than two kilometres from the Ministers’ Hill where top government officials reside. From the entrance leading to the supermarket, one can hear faint noises emanating from the small enclave.
When our correspondents visited the place, they had to abandon their vehicle halfway in order not to incur the wrath of locals who obviously appeared unfriendly. Instead, they opted for the popular Okada (motorbike), which is the common means of transportation in the area. Since they were not familiar with the unfriendly terrain, they decided to conceal their identity.
Luckily, the team of correspondents approached a male resident of the area who briefly obliged to open up on the goings-on in the slum. His name is Femi. According to him, Kado-Kuchi village is a small Sodom and Gomorrah where sex orgies, broad day prostitution and other forms of vices thrive:
“I have been here for a while. Most of the female prostitutes you see hanging out at night in the city stay in this small village. This place takes a different shape at night. Some of these small houses here are occupied by girls who are into prostitution. During the day, some of the girls do other things. They have salons or do menial jobs in the city. But in the night, they transform into something else.
“Then for some of them who are fully into prostitution, they entertain their customers during the day. Some of the big cars you see here come to have sex. They park their cars and walk to their place to have sex. If you do not stay in this place, you may not know what is happening. But we live here and we understand these things.
“Sometimes, when the men come out after sex, they have serious arguments with the girls over payment and other things. We just stay here and look. If you go round this area, you will see used condoms everywhere. Some of the girls and men do not even dispose the used condoms very well.”
Femi who hesitated to speak further, suspecting that the correspondents were security operatives, pretending to be regular customers who are in the slum to ease tension, referred us to speak with other people who may give us additional information.
Not relenting, Daily Sun approached commercial motorcyclists to enquire how they could locate the neighbourhood housing prostitutes. Interestingly, they obliged to ferry the correspondents to the exact location where the daughters of Eve reside. One of the correspondents decided to approach one of the girls who appeared friendly.
Since recording the conversation could attract the wrath of other girls observing from a distance, the conversation was paraphrased. The girl did not disclose her name: “If you want to have sex, we will agree. You can have it with me alone or you pick as many as you can pay for. We do not mind. “Sometimes, three or four of us sleep with one man. We also have a sex party in this our place where men come and we service them as long as they pay well. For us, it is about money. We do not have anything after that. Some of the men have our phone numbers. We negotiate on the phone sometimes before they come here.
“There are some cheap guest houses here. If you do not like it here, you can take us to the guest houses. They are cheap. It is just N500 for 30 minutes. But if you want to spend additional 30 minutes, you pay extra money, depending on the manager of the place. But for us, you cannot last for more than 15 minutes. You have to ejaculate quickly otherwise you will pay for extra time. We always tell you these things in order to avoid any trouble.
“As for what you are to pay us, it is negotiable. It ranges from N1,000 to N1,500, depending on how beautiful the girl is. But there are other side attractions you pay for if you want extra services. If you want to suck breasts, you pay N500. For blow job you pay N500. For anal sex, it attracts N500 or N1,000. We agree on these things and you pay before service so that we will not have any problems after the whole thing.
“If you want us to come and service you in your house, we can come. You will have to give us the kind of women you want and we will come there. This is our life. Many of us have families we take care of and we also have children. We are not doing this because we like it. But we have to survive. We do not want to steal. That is why we are doing it.”
Findings revealed that the village head of the place has been making frantic efforts to chase out the prostitutes. It was gathered that the head in recent times, invited the police to arrest and chase out girls involved in money for sex trade. But for now, it appears that the efforts of the village head are not yielding the needed results, as the sex trade volume is increasing.