By BENJAMIN NJOKU
A fifteen year old girl emerged from nowhere, and whispered into your ear, “I will do you well. Just N500 for short time.”And before you knew what was happening, a horde of other ladies descended on you, displaying their sizes, shapes, heights, and flaunted their boobs at you, all in the bid to gain your attention and patronage.
This is Obalende at nightfall. In this Lagos suburb, sex, drink and humanising are the three deadly habits ruling the area.
Despite the face-lift the Lagos State Government gave the area last year when it demolished illegal structures and parks under the overbearing bridge. Obalende has not changed its spots as a hotspot for loose ladies.
At night, while most Lagosians go to sleep, Obalende awakes to dusk to dawn business. Like Ayilara, another hotspot for loose ladies, nightfall in this area is punctuated with episodes of flirtation.
Residents of the area have come to live with the situation they found themselves. “It is no longer a new thing to us, because we have been used to it over the years. Here people don’t go to sleep. At night, Obalende comes alive with all manners of activities taking place under the darkness of the night.
Some of us who work late at night sleep here till the next morning. The place is peaceful and crime free. ” a taxi driver, Alhaji Munuru Aldanji said.
Alhaji Aldanji, says despite the relocation of the seat of power from the nearby Dodan Barracks to Abuja, Obalende is calm and devoid of any criminal activities. “Because of its closeness to Dodan Barracks, police barracks Obalende is peaceful and such that is exonerated from any criminal activities.
It is no longer the hidey-hole for hoodlums and parks for commercial motorists. Lagos State government moved in last year to rescue the place, and you can see that the roundabout here is evacuated.” he added.
Now known as a hotspot for loose ladies, Obalende in the past, used to be a beautiful residential area, decorated with various recreational parks because of its closeness to Dodan Barracks. But gradually, the place degenerated to a hideout for notorious robbers, street urchins and commercial sex workers, following the relocation of the seat of power to Abuja. It became the hidey-hole for hoodlums and parks for commercial motorists.
And like Oshodi,Obalende has lost its beauty to the crowd of street urchins, sex workers and traders who nakedly defecate and urinate on it in broad daylight. Even at night, Obalende still stinks.
The place has not given off its notoriety as hotbed of illicit sex trade in Lagos. The centre of activities at Obalende at nightfall is the popular Obalende road, leading to the Dodan Barracks.
Here, women of different sizes and shapes, old and young, students and workers throng at odd hours to practise their illicit trade.
As early as 7pm, they start taking position along the road to solicit customers. A place they call Suya bus stop, and not too far from Dodan Barracks serves as the slaughtering ground.
Bubbling with life, this place not only houses a lot of make-shift beer parlours, but also, has in-built chalets, where illicit sex acts are accomplished with easy. Here the young ladies in their early 20s, and late 30s, half-naked flood the place. While some did what they called solo soliciting men, some smoked and drank ceaselessly.
With N100, you are allowed for a short time at the chalets, which contains with a six-spring bed and low profile foam to your disgust. And what is their charges? Depending on what time of the day, you could be asked to pay about N500, for a short time during peak period, and when it is getting late, anything goes for loose women.
However, the disheartening thing about the whole activities that goes on, in this place is the fact that under-aged girls are involved in the illicit sex trade. One of them, about twelve years old, and from Benin city, as she claimed was seen puffing off her cigaret, and soliciting patronage. She seemed to be unmindful of what she was doing and never gave a damn.
Saturday Vanguard investigation revealed that, most of the prostitutes come from far and near places to Obalende to carry out their nefarious activities under the shield of the night. More so, majority of these sex workers prefer short times to going for all night. “I don’t like going all-night.
I prefer a short time and it’s quicker and less risk.” said one of the ladies who identify herself as Vivian.
To ladies, every man they see at that hour of the day is a potential customer. They take their clients to any of the brothels located around the vicinity, where they are meant to pay a token for a short time, ranging from N100, depending on the size, age and class of the lady you choose.