Commercial Sex Workers In Amasea, In Anambra State, Go On Rampage And Burn A Market After Their Brothel Was Demolished
A cattle market at Amansea in Awka-North Local Government Area of Anambra State has been burnt down by commercial sex workers who went violent while protesting the demolition of their brothel by the Anambra State Urban Development Board (ASUDEB). Over 2000 of such sex workers were rendered homeless, and flushed out of their business abodes by the ASUDEB, which however spared the cattle market.
The UNION reports that State Urban Development Board rounded up the market vicinity as at 3:12pm, with over 50 armed police personnel, alleging that the brothels had become hideouts for kidnappers and other criminals, before moving in bulldozers. Angered that only their brothels were destroyed, the enraged prostitutes quickly mobilized and set structures in the cattle market ablaze, while accusing the ASUDEP officials of bias.
One of the prostitutes who gave her name as Rachael said the government officials were wicked and inhuman as they destroyed their brothel without notice, leaving behind some huts, kiosks and canteens that belong to cattle traders.
Addressing newsmen, General Manager, Anambra State Urban Development Board, Mr. Enemmuo Nathan Chinedu, who led the operation, said the exercise is part of Governor Willie Obiano’s resolve to rid the state off all forms of crimes and criminalities adding that the structures demolished were illegal buildings.
He alleged that commercial sex workers haboured kidnappers and armed robbers there. Chinedu however noted that the demolition exercise would be extended to Nnewi, Onitsha and other cities where brothels, and illegal structures. According to him, the exercise will be sustained until the state is rid of commercial sex workers.
He also debunked allegation of not giving the victims prior notice, saying that a three-week notice was given to them to vacate the vicinity before the operation. “A lot of prostitutes live around Amansea cattle market, spoiling our children and constituting nuisance in the area and you know that anywhere there is brothel, criminals and kidnappers hover around there.
“In my capacity as the ASUDEB GM, I will ensure that this doesn’t exist anymore in the State and our activities are in line with our amiable governor’s policy on zero tolerance to criminals and kidnappers in the State”, he said.
On the allegation of bias in the demolition exercise, the Secretary of the cattle market, Alhaji Bello Maigari, said all illegal structures in the market were earmarked for demolition by ASUDEB over 21 days ago, saying that canteens operated by their wives were not part of the ones marked for demolition.
“Ashawo is not part of our business here. Our main business is selling and buying of cows only and the idea of the demolition is to remove all illegal structures used for prostitution. “The ones they did not demolished are the places where our cattle dealers that come from the North stay and canteens where our wives cook for our customers but those ones have been razed by the inferno”, he regretted.
Operatives of Anambra State Fire Service later came to the place around 5:11pm to extinguish the fire. Before then, most of the buildings had been razed.
-Raymond Ozoji, Awka