More than 500 commercial sex workers rallied in Abuja, demanding to legalize their trade in wake of recent police raids, when more than 3,000 prostitutes have been arrested.
The prostitutes gathered under the slogans “Legalize prostitution now” and “Allow us to hustle for our daily bread”, protesting discrimination and harassment from male law enforcement representatives.
No fewer than three thousand commercial sex workers have been arrested for the last 90 days in Abuja in raids carried out by the Special Task Force on City Cleaning and Management. Women representing the National Association of Nigerian Prostitutes expressed their dismay at what they call indiscriminate arrests and the way they are molested by different task forces on a daily basis.
“We are Nigerians too and we only go about seeking our daily livelihood, so I see no reason why they should be harassing, arresting us and extorting money from us,” told one of the female rally participants. “These same men are the ones who patronize us but during the day, they will be molesting us.What crimes have we committed? Many of us are graduates who could not secure jobs, so we hustle to make ends meet. We have families and responsibilities to meet, so they should allow us to work and make money.”
She also claimed that the prostitutes are better people than thieves and corrupt politicians. Sex workers demand from the government either legalize prostitution or provide them with some decent jobs.
The Special Task Force on City Cleaning and Management in the Federal Capital Territory, has arrested no fewer than three thousand commercial sex workers in the last 90 days in Abuja.