Nigeria: Is Campus Prostitution A Menace? – By Emmanuel Onwubiko & Miss. Sylvia N. Okonkwo

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Few days back, the Executive Council of the Federation headed by President Goodluck Jonathan decided to direct the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke [SAN] to dispatch an executive bill to the National Assembly to consolidate the extant anti-human trafficking law to make trafficking in persons punishable by 14 years imprisonment rather than the current 7 years sentence provided for in the legislation in operation.

Analysts are of the opinion that the decision of the Federal Government to so direct that the anti-human trafficking law be strengthened was done to demonstrate Government’s determination to change the bad international image of Nigeria as one place whereby girls and vulnerable persons are trafficked to Europe and other nations for the purposes of commercial prostitution and slave labour.



But concerns have been raised regarding the commitment of the Government to empower the agency that fights aginst human trafficking in Nigeria known as NAPTIP. Since the Chief Obasanjo-led Government set up the agency following the inspirational activities of the wife of the then Vice President of Nigeria- Mrs. Titilayo Atiku Abubakar, the Federal Government has only but reduced this important agency to the level of another government bureacracy and the business-as-usual gross underfunding of the agency [NAPTIP] has become legendary. The anti-human trafficking agency has become some incapable of fighting this dangerous menace so much so that foreign donor agencies are now the ones making donations of some form of funding assistance even as the political head of the agency is busy globetrotting and embarking on international trips with little or no bearing to the mandate of the body.

Few months ago, the international media reported the killing in the most gory and gruesome manner, of a young Nigerian female prostitute in Italy by her Italian client who made use of dangerous weapons to rip apart her stomach in an attempt to steal some vital organs probably for auction. Nigerian girls are now flooding smaller and poorer countries such as Togo, Benin Republic, Gambia and Ivory Coast to turn themselves into commercial sex workers.

Apart from bringing international opprobrium to Nigeria, prostitution has assumed a more sinister dimension with the invassion of the tertiary institutions by older male members of the privileged class to fetch girls from the schools to be used as commercial sex workers. The concept of ARISTOS [from the word ARISTOCRATS] came about when rich elite invade University female hostels in search of girls/students of easy virtue to satisfy their sexual desires for fees.

Prostitution began many centuries ago. In Nigeria today, prostitution has evolved from being practiced by women only; there are male prostitutes, who parade themselves shamelessly as the female do. Gone are those days when prostitutes hide or apply some decency to the way they hawk themselves.

They [commercial sex workers of both gender] now practice the trade with impunity, in some cases with encouragement from their parents, societies, authorities and friends. Thus the high rates of death through sexually transmitted diseases HIV/AIDS no longer constitutes any form of fear, apprehension or discouragement for these persons caught up in the web of prostitution.

The growing rate of campus prostitution in Nigeria’s tertiary educational institutions in the contemporary times is raising a serious concern among Nigerians, the level, of this immorality is alarming and it calls for sober reflection. Morality is losing its essence, which is as a result of the loss of value system which remains the foundation for societal renewal of sane communities, as knowledgeable thinkers would want us to believe and rightly so.

Campus prostitution has become a serious embarrassment to stakeholders of the educational sector in the country.

What then is campus prostitution, if one may ask?

Campus prostitution is the situation whereby female students hawk their bodies in order to secure underserved favours from men. The female students involved in this act, have no sense of decent dressing, they dress to reveal sensitive parts of their bodies, their manner of dressing and makeup is an advertisement and open invitation to men to abuse their bodies as long as there is money or favour to be made.

These young girls have began using the social media to reach out to wider prospective clients. These deviant students have even gone to the extent of signing on to various advertising agents on social networks like “Campus Divas for Rich men”, just as most of them (campus girls) have contacts with big hotels in the cities, where they act as “sexual care givers”. Some newspapers are also in the trade of helping to arrange customers for these young girls.

Politicians, especially law makers, business men and major office holders are the ones who patronize these female students even as government offices now have departments of protocol whereby female students of tertiary institutions are hired for high profile political office holders at the expense of the tax payers.

On a visit to the female hostels at night, one would be amazed at the kind of flash and expensive cars that come to pick these young undergraduates for one nocturnal function or jamboree party or the other even as female students now belong to cabals for prostitution whereby rich clients are supplied with enough quantityt of female students at the touch of a button.

This inordinate desire for affluence and desperation by many Nigerians, especially these young ladies in campuses are the mptivating factors for them to be consistently lured and engaged for sexually explicit acts and prostitution and these girls are unmindful of the present scourge of HIV/AIDS and the menace of ritual killers that prey on commercial sex workers.

The same set of misguided leaders that have thrown the parents of these female students into greater poverty through regime of misgovernance and corruption in political offices are the same rich clients that now turn these female students into commercial sex workers to satify their high libidos. This is indeed a vicious circle of evil.

Academic indiscipline has become the rule rather than exception in the tertiary institutions so much that universities go about scouting for rich clients to be conferred with the honorary doctorate degrees and thereby pay lip service to the ravaging effects of campus prostitution.

Psychologists believe that there is no doubt that campus prostitution in the long run corrupts the quality of the nation’s future leaders and affects their values, understanding that young females constitute appreciable percentage of the nation’s population, little could be expected from the productivity, if they are turned into cheap sexual machines with warped self-esteem and self-actualization.

The rising wave of prostitution among female undergraduates have become worrisome, that the “menace” is now ranked higher than social vices, like cultism, armed-robbery and drug-trafficking in the nation’s higher institutions.

Also because of the huge monetary inducement in this illicit business, these corporate and campus prostitutes often parade themselves in flashy and sophisticated cars, jewelries and costumes to the chagrin and envy of their fellow students thereby making it easy for other students to join the bandwagon because as the saying goes ‘if you cant beat them then you join them’.

We are indeed in big trouble in this country if urgent attention is not taken to address this crisis. But the question remains; who provides the platform for such reforms to take place? This is because it is the same political elite who are in a position to legislate against these social ills that are the people perpetrating these immoral and dastardly criminal acts. To break this vicious circle of sexual atrocity, it is necessary forNigerians to rise in unison to compel the political office holders and especially the National and State Assemblies to create the legal framework for ensuring that the menace of campus prostitution is eliminated and the clients among the political elite names, shamed and prosecuted for these crimes against humanity.

So it’s incumbent that campus female students should seriously try to stand tall and shun this God forsaken behavior that’s only a disappointment to the Nation and also a shame to the youth.

The religious leaders have a role in this national crusade against societal ills that are already destroying the pillars that hold us together as campus students and a nation at large, rather than engage in the current evil practice of buying up private exotic jets.

And our sisters in the Universities in Nigeria must understand that prostitution business is never and will never be a trade to or ways of solving any problems. Students should clothe themselves with the Spirit of hard work, dedication, moral up-rightness and raise the bar for the respect of the dignity of womanhood.

+Emmanuel Onwubiko & Miss. Sylvia N. Okonkwo wrote in from HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA VIA http://www.huriwa.org/.

 


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