By Chuka Callys Mbamaluh.
The rising incidence of child prostitution in the country came to the fore again on Monday following the discovery and constription of underaged girls into prostitution in Port-Harcourt , capital of oil-rich rich Rivers State.
This discovery was sequel to the raiding of 24 Hours Bar, a popular bar and brothel located in Rumuokwurusi community in Obio/Akpor Local Goverment Area of the State by officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
A couple who discovered that their 16 year-old daughter was working as a prostitute at the bar,had alerted officials of the Agency who acted pronto and shut down the brothel.
Themeteornews learnt that the bar which was previously known as Kisses Bar, harbours underaged sex workers has been in existence for over twelve years.
Most of the underaged girls,it was further learnt, were falsely taken from their parents by their relatives or friends on the pretence that they were going to learn a trade but were conscripted into commercial sex business when they arrived the bar.
A source who craved annonimity told Themeteornews that some of the girls were lured into the illicit flesh business by other older prostitutes who procure rooms for and introduce them to customers in the facility which allegedly welcomes and entertains all manner of people.
This, according to the source is not without a price as they are meant to sleep with all shades of characters for as low as N500 to N2,000. The girls in turn,make daily returns of at least N15,000 to their benefactors and Madams.
“That’s the nature of the business here. These girls are made to sell their bodies to anyone, provided there is a bargain. At the end of the day,they struggle to meet the target of their Madams.Anyone,who defaults,is whipped into line by them and their hired thugs who instill fear into the girls,” the source told our correpondent.
Over time, the girls it was further gathered,get matured in the business, have their own clients but still remain under the umbrella of their pimps who control the business.
“At the end of each service year, these under aged girls are settled by their pimps with items such as a bags of rice, android phones,cartons of tomatoes, cash of ₦100 thousand Naira amongst other gifts,” said our source.
Some respondents who fielded questions from our correpondent decried the proliferation of young land underaged prostitutes and attributed it to a dearth in moral upbringing and sociatal decadence.
“The major problem is from the home front. When kids are not properly brought up,they tend to imbibe and inculcate negative things.”
“Bad peer groups also lead to negative influences . All these rub off on people and the society at large. This has become a serious sociatal cankerworm”, a respondent said.
Another respondent however, attributed the trend to greed and wickedness on the part of key players in the illegal industry.
” We have lost our morals and value system. People want to meet up,get money anyhow. This is part of the problem. On the other hand,those forcing young girls into prostitution are wicked. They are like those who traffic in, sell babies and little children even when they have theirs at home.Even those who patronize them are culpable. The security agencies who give cover to brothels are also not left out.The society is therefore, groaning under these vices,” a lady respondent concluded.