Commercial sex workers in Umuahia, the Abia capital, have gone into hiding to evade police arrest, following state government’s order shutting down brothels in the city.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the enforcement of the government’s directive, reports the sex workers now lived in palpable fear.
NAN reports that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Monday ordered the immediate shutdown of brothels located on Orlu, Kaduna, and Arochukwu streets, among others, in the capital city.
Mr Ikpeazu also directed the immediate prosecution of proprietors of such facilities, including joints where illicit drugs were sold.
The state government alleged that the brothels and joints had been turned into a hideout for hoodlums from where they rob and molest innocent citizens, especially in the night.
It, therefore, directed security agencies in the state to urgently rid the areas of suspected hoodlums.
Meanwhile, some of the major brothels that used to be a beehive of activities were empty and under lock and key when NAN visited on Wednesday.
The facilities included Classy Guest House, National Hotel, Daba-in, and Freedom Hotel, all located on Orlu Street.
Other brothels vacated by the girls are Amala Guest House, located on Lagos Street and Universal Social Centre, also on Cameroun Street.
However, at Connection Bar, located on Imo Lane, a number of the sex workers were seen attending to their male customers.
It was a comic moment when the girls took to their heels when they heard the sound of a siren, unknown to them that the sound came from a bank bullion van.
“Hey, na bank people o. I see those police, I think say they don come again to arrest us,” one of the girls told her colleagues in Pidgin.
They described their experience as horrifying, saying that security operatives had been ‘preying’ on them since the order was given by the state government.