Thursday, 14 May 2015

As prostitution returns to Uyo


As prostitution returns to Uyo

BY PRISCILLA CHRISTOPHER

Prostitution is one of the oldest illegal  and demeaning jobs worldwide formerly  practised by destitutes considered to be helplessly homeless and hopeless. Even then, those involved in it were ashamed of admitting it or making advances at the opposite sex at day times. They kept to their cribs and were only seen at nights. Prostitution was indeed a despicable and scorned act in the days before now because of the societal values then which strongly opposed it and would not delay to discipline anyone caught or found in such act. The name (prostitute) itself- the trading of one’s body for money was not a name to be called as it cheapened, destroyed and muddied the reputation of not just the person in question but their families as well. Hence, because of what they were known for, no one wanted to be regarded as a prostitute either in conduct, dressing or utterance. 

As trends changed and years went by, prostitution began to wear new looks of class. Hustling became the name of the profession, trendy became the dressing and smart was the game.  Gradually, the shame and timidity associated with the job gave way to boldness and temerity. 

Today, prostitution is practised everywhere by almost everybody especially among the female breed. No longer is it practised out of joblessness, hopelessness or anything close to it but out of covetousness, greed and lust. Nothing about immorality seems immoral any longer and the crave to belong to those in this illicit act by bystanders is more than high. 


Perhaps this is due to the total sexualisation of virtually everything we see daily on our screens, billboards, banners, newspapers and what we hear on the radio. It is no news that no product or commercial moves the market today without a strong sensational and sexual appealing accompanying advertisement. Every opera, cosmetics and toiletry is advertised using a sexy lady with an intrapersonal message that portrays the female folk as sex tools. Even our local music videos have been so sexualised that producing a non-sexy video would seem obsolete. That however, is a discuss for another time.

As the trends in prostitution changed, it soon became the ‘in-thing’ among women as they found it the easiest way to make good money using what they had. Those who already had flares for hardwork became disciples of this awkward job and carried it out with all amount of zest. As they grew older in the job, the need to recruit workers to continue in the business became pressing and this saw the luring-in of very young women and teenagers in the business. They went to villages and towns with alluring gifts to young women with the promise of settling them financially after training them in various skill-acquisition programmes. Thus, the innocent ladies who couldn’t have wished for anything better readily accepted their offer and got launched into a world of give-and-take business. Their ‘madams’ oversaw the returns of their bodysale and only gave them what was enough for the next expedition. 

As prostitution returns to Uyo

This unfair treatment saw the eloping and relocation of many victims of this marginalisation to towns very far from their ‘madams’ as being at close range with such bosses could hamper their success in the vicinity. Unfortunately too, they cannot stop what they had started as that would amount to getting stranded in a land of no known person; neither can they return home to tell the story of their messed life so they continue in the business. These are those considered as primary prostitutes. 

The secondary prostitutes are those who being unsatisfied with what they have, provide succour to men old enough to father them in exchange of their insatiable needs.  Others in this category include the unsatisfied married man or woman seeking God-knows-what in the arms of one or more sexual partners. 

Prostitution has indeed come to stay and will take only the grace of God to curb. Reason is, many people have tried in a way or the other to curtail this unprofitable profession and have failed. The government, the clergy, NGOs and individuals have at various times taken bold steps to correct this wrong yet, it ends in fiasco. Infact, most of those who have publicly condemned the act have often been ridiculed by their own children who would not want to be tied down by any don’t ‘gospel’. Surely, there are a number of commercial sex workers from upright backgrounds while some others have had an apostolic training wherein, one would not expect them to derail from set patterns but alas, the reverse has often been the case. All have been let loose on the platter of cheap, fleeting and non-durable money.  

When the First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Mrs. Unoma Akpabio visited some commercial sex outlets in the state last year and swept away all sex workers, many heaved a sigh of relief believing that the end had come but that was not to be. The unrelenting workers went under cover for sometimes while others took to mini outlets in town. Today, Maitama is still bubbling and bustling with activities than ever. Closely followed by Maitama is Cephas Place at Enwe Street where strippers entertain their audiences with a top-of-the-mind joculation. Also included are Brown street off Udo Otung Ubo, Ikot Ekpene Road, Ekpenyong Street, Ikpa Road, Ekpri Nsukara Road, Udo Otung Ubo before Udoumana, Itam and Ewet Housing by Edet Akpan entrance respectively. The same goes for Afaha Ukwa Road in Eket, as well as other cities of the state. 

An investigative research on these places reveals that they are significantly closed at daytimes and only come alive at nights. Many of these ‘service providers’ are non-indigenes of the state who have come to tryout their luck in the Promise Land, having found nothing to make from their home states. More shocking is the fact that their clients are high-ranking politicians, journalists and those considered to be very responsible by the public. Infact, one can say that every married man who fails to return home in due time after the day’s work is probably chilling out at any of these grotesque places. Very shameful if one may ask!

That prostitution persists is perhaps a case no one may solve but at least, we can talk to the men patronising them. As a matter of fact, no product or community sells without a buyer and prostitution is not excluded so can the men stop ‘brosa-ing’? Can our men vow to remain faithful and committed to singlehood and to their wives alone? (For those who are married).
Definitely, this is the only way to stop prostitution. Prostitutes would not prostitute if no one recognise their mini, skimpy and enticing apparels. They won’t. But in as much as the men folk remain glued to fornication, there is bound to be an increasing boom in the business. 

Prostitution has returned to Uyo and let him that has ears hear what the spirit is saying. “Drink waters out of your Cistern and fresh running waters out of your own well. Should your offspring be dispersed abroad as water brooks in the streets? Let your children be for you alone, and not the children of strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant doe-let her bosom satisfy you at all times, and always be transported with delight in her love. Why should you... be infatuated with a loose woman, embrace the bosom of an outsider, and go astray?...” (Prov. 5:15-20 AMP).

There is basically no need fighting a lost battle so the issue of calling the girls to order is out of it. The men should stand their grounds and decency will be restored. Short and simple. 

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