The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello has disclosed that over 789 prostitutes and other destitutes have been repatriated to their various states of origin within the last two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Bello disclosed this to newsmen at a media parley in Abuja.
According to him: “Majority of these numbers were repatriated back to their respective neighbouring states after proper profiling and rehabilitation.”
He stated that government was determined to ensure that “women, youths, children and the vulnerable in FCT are adequately catered for.”
Acting secretary of the Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Irene Adebola Elegbede, who spoke on behalf of the minister, said it was almost impossible to eradicate the world’s oldest profession from the FCT.
She said: “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.”
The SDS boss seized the opportunity to urge members of the National Assembly to expedite action on a stiffer legal framework that would help in addressing the daunting challenge of beggars, miscreants and commercial sex workers.
Speaking more on the activities of commercial sex workers, she said: “We have a mobile court, where we take them to serve as 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.”