Sex workers operating along club road, formerly known as Abakiliki Street, Awka, the Anambra State capital, Tuesday night, were seen hurriedly rebuilding their ‘business’ shanties demolished by the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, last week.
The state government through its agency, the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, ACTDA, had pulled down structures erected under high tension cables and other unauthorized positions at the Club Road.
ACTDA, a state-owned local regulatory authority, that monitors housing and aesthetic development and outlooks of Awka town and other communities that make up the state capital territory, had issued removal notices to the owners of the demolished structures weeks before the action.
Such demolitions had happened many times in the past under the Willie Obiano administration, but not in the same magnitude as what was experienced last week.
Abakiliki Street is regarded as the red light district of the state capital, with many high and low profile sex workers soliciting patronage in the area at night.
When our correspondent visited the area on Tuesday night, it was discovered that the demolished shanties had been rebuilt.
In front of one of the chanties, ladies of easy virtue were seen sitting on side stools, making passes at men, to solicit patronage.
Daring Governor Soludo on the matter, the women of easy virtue said the governor would not deprive them their means of livelihood in the prevailing economic circumstances in the country.
“It’s our fundamental right to earn a genuine living in any part of the country with what we have. We are not criminals; we are humanitarian caregivers,” one of them told our correspondent.
It was however gathered that most of the shanties were not owned by the sex workers but were only rented for sexual services.
A source said: “They are not the owners of the shanties. What they do is that if they have a customer who wants their services, they negotiate with him and use part of the payment to pay the owner of the shanty.
“If a man also brings a girl, he pays to use the shanty for short time with the girl. They are mostly patronized by touts.
“It is just a short time service apartment, and they collect N500 from the men to use it, but the girls who are prostitutes negotiate lower prices, because they are regulars.”