Open Letter To Gov. Wike On Growing Number Of Underage Prostitution In Brothels In Rivers State
His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike, The Executive Governor, Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt,
YOUR SUPPORT, NOD TO RID RIVERS STATE OF GROWING UNDERAGE PROSTITUTION
We are a rights advocacy group with head office in Port Harcourt, primarily devoted to protecting rights of citizen’s irrespective of their status in the society.
We request your approval and support to rid brothels in Rivers state of a growing number of minors, underage girls who are lured into forced prostitution, shattering their lives.
We have been monitoring developments on underage prostitution in brothels in the state and sharing actionable intelligence with necessary security agencies in the last two years .
We are worried that despite our efforts which have resulted in several arrest of suspects, there remains a steady rise in recruitment of underage girls into prostitution in many brothels across the state. We want to believe this is due to poor or clock enforcement, particularly in prosecution of suspects.
For a lasting solution, Your Excellency, we have no doubt that the story would be different if you intervene with your support and deployment of legal instruments through the Office of Attorney General of the State to ensure honest prosecution of brothel owners where it is discovered that girls below eighteen years, even adult females are being recruited and forced into prostitution.
Your Excellency Sir, on 29 October 2022, a joint team of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) rescued fifty (many underage) girls forced into prostitution by suspected human traffickers at three brothels at Azikiwe Street, Mile 2 Diobu, Port Harcourt.
In August 2022, detectives from Iwofe Police Division of the Rivers State Command rescued underage girls from a brothel at same Azikiwe Street, Mile 2 Diobu Port Harcourt who were forced into prostitution.
The common revelation by majority of the underage girls is that they are lured from some villages outside Rivers State on guise of coming to be employed as house helps, but they end up as commercial sex workers under duress to be sleeping with men who pay their mischievous coordinators.
His Excellency, most disturbing is the revelation made by some of the rescued underage girls that their recruiters torture and subject them to all manner of inhumane treatment if they fail to meet up target of sleeping with at least fifteen men a day with expected revenue of thirty thousand naira.
Your Excellency, we are aware of the vigor you brought into the fight against illegal oil bunkering in the state and the recent pronouncement to sanction hotel owners where suspected cultists hold political meetings.
Sir, we request that the same vigor be exercised by your office to ensure sealing or acquisition of brothels buildings and prosecution of owners of such brothels found using underage girls as sex slaves. Such genuine intervention will go a along way in discouraging other intending perpetrators.
It is our firm believe that aside arrest and possible prosecution of the racketeering commercial sex workers leaders often referred to as ‘Madams’ who act as guardians to the underage girls in this
act of forced prostitution, the brothel owners who from our investigations move with escorts should be prosecuted too using necessary legal instruments, because they are a big part of the problem here.
Sir, assist us, give your nod to helping in reducing to barest minimum, this social menace that shatters the lives of young girls and endanger society.
Afudoza Jennifer Stephens Esq
For: Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign.
CC: Attorney General of Rivers State.