By Isaac Anumihe
An Abuja resident, Musa (surname withheld) closed from work on a Friday night and decided to pick some snacks at an eatery in the AYA axis of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). As soon as he pulled up his car, two girls rushed to him, one standing by the driver’s side and the other by the passenger’s side clutching some weather-beaten bottles of cough medicines.
But as he later found out, that was not their main product. “Kindly help us buy, sir”, the girls pleaded. He could not fathom why the girls would expect anyone in his right senses to buy drugs that have outlived their shelf life and the relevant authorities did not bother to arrest them.
Just then, the girl standing by the driver’s door saw another car pull up and rushed towards it, leaving her colleague at the other side of the car.
Real product for sale
Before Musa could say a word, the girl opened the door, sat inside the car and introduced another product, which explained why they were there.
With innocent smile, she said: “Sir, we also sell manpower. Try out this one and you can have fun with a woman for four hours non-stop!”
Narrating his experience, Musa stated that in his bid not to dismiss her rudely, he told the girl that his wife was not in Abuja and so he would not buy the drug.
“As if that was what the girl waited for, she quickly replied: ‘But I am here. If you can buy this drug, you can test the efficacy on me without paying.’ It was about 9 pm and the girl insisted to go home with Musa! He refused to say what followed the unusual offer.
Daily, and in many parts of the FCT, young girls, many in their teens, hawk sex power-boosting drugs, and offering to be used to prove their efficacy.
Investigation by Abuja Metro revealed that buy-drug-for free-sex is one of the various strategies adopted by wayward and desperate girls to survive the hard times after the official ban on prostitution in Abuja in June 2013.
The girls usually position themselves strategically in busy areas in the metropolis such as AYA, Area 3 (where there is a cluster of banks), Banex Plaza, Wuse Zone 4 (near Shagalinku Hotel, and old Sahad supermarket), Area 3 and Gimbia Street in Area 11parts of the capital city.
Sexual service imbedded in drug price
One of the girls (names withheld) told Abuja Metro that she sells the ‘manpower’ drugs for between N1,000 and N2,000 depending on the bargaining power of the buyer. According to her, the fee for free sex with interested buyers is padded into the cost of the drugs.
Some men reject the offer
Another sales girl in the team said not all men jump at the weird offer. She confessed that some of their customers would simply believe the efficacy of the drugs and buy them without using them as guinea pigs, while some men pick the drugs because of the sex bonus attached to the purchases.
Efficacy of drugs in doubt
A man who simply identified himself as Haruna, told Abuja Metro that he had patronised the girls but, he doubted the efficacy of the drugs. His words: “One of those girls deceived me to buy the drug for N2,000 and lured me to a nearby guest house where I took the brownish powdery substance but I could not perform beyond my normal rounds.
“Forget those girls. They are just extorting money from unsuspecting people. The drugs do not work. But there are two deals in one. So, you can have one and lose one. At all at all na him bad”, he said in pidgin English.
Ban on prostitution
Open prostitution was banned in FCT during the tenure of Bala Mohammed as the Minister of FCT. In June 2013, Mohammed gave sex hawkers 48-hour ultimatum to leave the nation’s capital or face the wrath of the law.
The minister, who decried the steady rise in the population of prostitutes in Abuja, had stated that they constitute a nuisance because their services add no value to the beauty of the city.
Speaking through his Secretary for Social Development, Mrs. Blessing Onuh, the minister warned men who patronise the girls to desist from the filthy act or risk being treated as accomplices if caught in the act.
Consequently, he set up a special task force, which raided most of the notorious parts, including a hotel regarded as the headquarters of commercial sex workers, Zone 4, Area 11; Gimbia Street and other hotels.
Due to the daily raids and in a bid to beat the ban, some of the sex hawkers rented apartments for their illicit trade. Some of them who could not cope with the harassment, moved to neighbouring towns like Mararaba, Masaka and New Nyanya, all in Nasarawa State.