By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—EBONYI State government has urged sex workers in the state to embrace the ongoing empowerment programme of the current administration to enable them become self reliant and useful to the society.
Speaking on government effort to achieve this in Abakaliki,Special Assistant to the Governor of Ebonyi State on Capital Territory, Stanley Okoro Emegha, stated that the prostitutes had been engaged in series of sensitisation to enable them have other alternative means of livelihood.
According to him, activities of the prostitutes encourage criminal activities in the capital city since criminals are using the residences of the sex workers as hideouts and take-off points to perpetrate their heinous acts.
He said: “The state capital is not supposed to be identified with such thing. We want to put a stop to it. They have to go and learn trade. The office of the wife of the governor is doing a lot to make sure she keeps everybody busy. There are a lot of soft interest loan; somebody can get himself engage doing something.”
On why they must leave Abakaliki city and efforts made to stop the sex workers, Emegha said: “They are aiding criminals. Not only that they are sex hawkers, criminals see those places as a place they can sleep and where they can take off from and that is why we have to put a stop to it. They can go into agriculture which is a good business.
“I have visited them in their places and I have talked with them. We discussed and we agreed on something. They said they were not doing it because it is good but to help themselves. I told them there is a better avenue they can use to help themselves.
“I told them that some of them can get good husbands that can help them in the long run. It is not good and we must do everything to stop it.”
“They are complying. Sometimes, we do it as counselling work by talking to them. We preach Christ to them by letting them know that one day they will die and face God’s judgement. Two, you are following a man you do not know. Somebody will just come and say excuse me and you will follow the person.
“What if you have accident and die in the process. Accident might not be only if you have motor accident. What if the person slaughters you? Things are happening and it is happening real in this life, so we try to tell them there is a better way of making money”
He expressed the hope they would through sustained sensitization have a changed live, but said no deadline was issued on them, “We did not give them any deadline to stop it because it has become part of them. Ours is to keep sensitizing them and getting them engaged in some meaningful ventures and you will see the person will change”.