By Citizen Wilson
Men of various police divisional headquarters within Abuja and its environs are smiling to the banks in various illegal deals with Abuja commercial sex workers who are banned from operating within the capital by the Federal Capital Territory administration.
Bala Mohammed, FCT minister, clamped down on these women early last year and used the police for enforcement of the ban.
But findings have revealed that efforts of the FCT to achieve results are being sabotaged by the police. The men in black were initially arresting the girls, taking them to their police stations where collecting money from them before their release. Those who can’t pay gave free sex to police officers in the wee hours of the morning before regaining their freedom.
Most innocent girls who stay late on Abuja streets have been harassed by police leading to extortion also.
After resisting arrests on several occasions, the police recently arranged a meeting with the sex workers at the Garki Divisional Police HQ where certain agreements were reached. Part of the deal is that the women should be staying in certain spots to avoid further harassment. The spots include Sheraton junction Wuse Zone 4, Gimbiya street junction by Garki Area 11 and Eagle Square bus stop not earlier than 10 pm.
These spots are very close to where police often park their vans in case of security breach.Now, these women are noticed every night gisting with policemen by their parked vans. It was also confirmed that each lady is expected to now pay a sum of N5000 per week to the police, through an agent, for police protection. The pay, it was gathered, also caters for police linking them up with clients, politicians and hotel owners who may need their services.
It was also agreed in the deal that every contributing lady must have the phone number of an agent who facilitated the deal in the event of their `wrongful` arrest.But the arreangement is said to displease some of the girls who claimed they can’t meet the terms. Mercy Albert, a commercial sex worker, told me that she would soon relocate to Lugbe axis of the metropolis where police collect less. She complained that despite paying such amount last week, some policemen will not stop abusing them sexually.
Now the trend is worrisome, as police continue to arrest decent women having struck deals with real offenders.The aim is to deceive the FCT authorities that police officers are effective on their beats. My sisters were arrested last Friday on their way to their church vigil. Even their ID cards as NYSC members and employees of a bank didn’t help. Despite carrying Bibles, they were kept in the cold inside police van for four hours before they were eventually released. Police authorities should please intervene to stop this trend now.