By Ebele Orakpo
But tell me, how can a woman decide that selling her body for money is the best way to make a living,” asked a commuter in this commercial bus heading to Ikeja from Oshodi.

He was referring to a group of scantily dressed young ladies in a house that looked like an abode for women of easy virtue.

At this comment, everyone turned to look at the speaker, by name, Tosin, with questioning eyes.

Said Tosin: “They behave as if it is the most natural thing to do, not giving a hoot about sexually transmitted illnesses and HIV/AIDS.”

“It’s different strokes for different folks,” said Shade. “They see it as a lucrative business. In any case, every job has its hazards so theirs is not an exception.” “You call this a business?” asked Toby.

“Of course! What is it if it is not business?” asked Shade.

“Even robbers are business people,” stated Isaac. At this statement, everyone started to laugh. Continued Isaac: “I heard the story of a gang of robbers that visited a house and at the end of the operation, they left their key behind.

And within a few minutes, they were back and one of the occupants of the house who saw the key, handed it over to them and in appreciation, they gave him their business card on which was written: General Merchants. We deal in all kinds of goods.”

“Can you beat that?” Ify asked, laughing.

“I read in one of the national dailies recently that 35 prostitutes and two of their customers were arrested in Abuja by a task force because they defied the order to quit the city,” reported Nike.

“I wish they would give armed robbers and kidnappers the same order,” noted Tosin.
“Who wan give them?” asked Toby. “The politicians or the Police? Are they not all corrupt?”

“I think it’s poverty. Poverty can make a person do what he will not ordinarily do,” intoned Ify.

“No, I don’t believe that. To prove that point, the report said that those arrested included daughters of serving senators and state assembly members, and one of the customers is a driver of a General in the Nigerian Army. So tell me, was it poverty that drove them into this?” asked Tosin.

“Those people are above the law. Who wants to prosecute the daughter of a serving senator of the Federal Republic. E no dey fear?” noted Isaac.

“As if you knew what happened. According to the report, they were taken to the police station and in less than 30 minutes, different types of state-of-the-art cars flooded the place, all coming to plead on behalf of the girls for them to be released.

Not only that, calls were coming from highly placed individuals in the society, including a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and a female member of the House of Assembly in a neighbouring state, ordering that the girls should be released,” added

Tosin. “Of course, the FCT minister ordered for their immediate release and said that would be the last warning as anybody arrested in future would be handed over to the law enforcement agents for the law to take its course.”

“On a more serious note, what would make a rich young lady go into prostitution or any lady for that matter?” asked Toby.

“Come on, you guys talk as if it’s only the women plying the trade or have you forgotten that it takes two to tango? If the men are not patronising them, they won’t be there,” sated Nike.

“But don’t these people have a right to do their business without harassment? I know some of them did not become hawkers by choice. They were lured to the city by unscrupulous elements who promise to send them to school but whose real intention is to use them as hawkers and make money for themselves,” said Ify.

“In fact, the report stated that one of the girls said their arrest was an infringement on their fundamental human rights, saying that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing because  it was nobody’s business what she did with her body.

She even advised the authorities to register them and give them identity cards and tax numbers like their counterparts in other parts of the world, so that they could become a source of revenue generation for the government,” said Tosin.

“O my God! One day, armed robbers will form an association and rake in revenue into government coffers,” concluded Ify, eliciting laughter from every corner.

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