The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello has said that some able-bodied men begged him to allow over 789 prostitutes stay in the territory after he ordered their repatriation to their states of origin.
The minister who repatriated the prostitutes, telling them their services were no longer needed in FCT said the number included other destitute who have been arrested and repatriated within the last two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Mr. Bello who was represented by the Acting Secretary of the Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Irene Adebola Elegbede, gave the statement in Abuja during a chat with newsmen.
According to him: “Majority of these numbers were repatriated back to their respective neighbouring states after proper profiling and rehabilitation,” maintaining that the government in resolute in seeing that “women, youths, children and the vulnerable in FCT are adequately catered for.”
“You cannot eradicate the profession; you can only try to contain it. It is the oldest profession. We are trying to discourage commercial sex workers in FCT, but they are smarter than us, they work as cartels.
“When you dislodge or arrest them in a particular place, they migrate to another place. We arrested some in Apo, within the twinkle of an eye, able-bodied men were begging us to release them. We need to cooperate; if every man decides to be disciplined, we won’t see them.
“We should collaborate to reduce their numbers on our streets. If there is no demand, there won’t be supply. We even trained some of them in different vocations as a better alternative to prostitution and gave them start-off kits and start-up capital, but, surprisingly, after some months, we saw them on the streets again.”
“We have a mobile court, where we take them to serve as a deterrent to others, but you would see human rights activists coming to pay for them. Initially, the fine was N200 but it was increased to N2,000. And after they are released, they go back to the streets immediately.”