***We’ll change our lifestyle if government support us ― Prostitutes
By Charly Agwam – Bauchi
The Bauchi State Shariah Commission has disclosed plans to repatriate non-indigenous prostitutes in the state back to their states of origin while it will marry off indigenous prostitutes to tackle immorality in the State.
The Permanent Commissioner of the Commission in charge of ‘Hisbah’ (Islamic police), Aminu Balarabe Isah, told journalists on Tuesday that the Commission is concerned about the activities of commercial sex workers in the State.
He said this during a pre-Ramadan sensitization meeting organized by his office for prostitutes at their settlement in the Bayan Gari area of Bauchi metropolis.
He said instead of arresting and punishing them, the Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Religious Affairs would return non-indigenous prostitutes willing to stop prostitution to their respective states and reunite them with their parents, while the indigenous prostitutes will be married away to their future husbands.
Aminu noted further that those who do not want to marry but are ready to give up prostitution would be supported by the government to start businesses or learn trades to earn a living.
“Hisbah is known for arrests of prostitutes, but this time around, we deem it good to preach to them, rehabilitate them and look for ways of bringing them out of the ugly act.
“Many of these prostitutes during my discussion with them revealed that they indulge in such act as a result of the problems they had with their stepmothers especially those whose mothers died or got divorced and were under the custody of their stepmothers.
“Others indulged into prostitution as a result of being in abject poverty and lack of having guardians that can cater for them.
“They are not comfortable with their current situation. That’s why we are going to sit down with them, identify the natives and non-natives among them with a view to rescuing them and those who are not indigenes, we will liaise with their governments to see that they are taken back home and rehabilitated,” he said.
He added that many of the girls and women that indulged in the act of prostitution had problems with their families and others due to unwanted marriages, promising that the commission would broker reconciliation between them and their parents so that they could be resettled into their various places.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Religious Affairs, Ahmed Jalam who commended the Permanent Commissioner in charge of Hisbah for organizing the sensitization meeting urged the prostitutes to cooperate so that the rehabilitation program would succeed.
Responding on behalf of other prostitutes, Hafsa Aliyu, assured that as far as the government will reconcile them with their parents and support them with capital to engage in businesses, they are ready to quit prostitution.
She expressed appreciation to the organizers of the sensitization event for showing love and empathy to their condition, stressing that they too do not enjoy their present job.