N5 Billion Vote For Prostitutes Is Subterfuge for Embezzlement- Says HURIWA



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HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has upbraided the minister of Federal Capital Territory Mr. Bala Mohammed for insulting the sensibility of right thinking Nigerians by presenting before the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the 2013 budget proposal with a nebulous component that contained a purported vote of N5 billion which the ministry said it will spend this year to ‘rehabilitate’ commercial sex workers in the Federal Capital Territory even as the Rights group charged the minister to account for how much was voted for the same purpose last year, how many of such commercial sex workers have so far benefitted.

Besides, the group lambasted the Federal Government for planning to spend a whooping N4 billion to build the office complex for the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan just as it reminded the Federal Government that it will amount to an impeachable offence if the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria goes ahead to blow away N4 billion for erecting an office for the wife of the the President when it is clear that the office of First lady is unknown to law, and therefore approving public budget to run the office or erecting a hall for the first ladies of Africa in Abuja as currently contemplated is both unconstitutional, illegal and atrocious and therefore must not be allowed by the National Assembly. HURIWA also condemned the plan to spend several billions to build another City Gate for Abuja which is irrelevant to the economy of Nigerians and is therefore a white elephant project particularly when the former City Gate was demolished just so as to create another avenue for officials to divert public fund in the guise of building a so-called city gate to no where.

In a statement made available to Journalists and jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Officer Miss. Zainab Yusuf, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] however expressed apprehension that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria may cave in and capitulate for selfish and pecuniary reasons to the mounting pressure by Federal Government officials to approve these illegal, unconstitutional and outrageous budget proposal by the officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration just as it stated that the Senate has the notorious antecedent of approving similar outrageous budget proposals for the same ministry and others including the recent approval for the President to waste N2 billion to build another Presidential Banquet Hall even when the existing one is still in a very decent international standard.

HURIWA stated thus; “We completely condemn the officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration for abusing our sensibility as rational human beings by presenting a budget proposal which contained some of the most atrocious components including the unexplained and obscene budget proposal to spend N5 billion to rehabilitate commercial sex workers in Abuja in the year 2013 when in actual fact the same ministry lacks the professional statistical competence and efficiency to determine the precise population of commercial sex workers who voluntarily wish to be rehabilitated and in fact the same ministry have gone on wild goose chase in the past year pretending to be rehabilitating prostitutes when in actual fact what most of their officials including armed police operatives were doing was to arbitrarily arrest innocent women, girls and other passer -by and label them as prostitutes and blackmail them to bail themselves after paying through their noses or even rape them. We believe that this N5 billion budget proposal is only a scientific subterfuge to embezzle public fund entrusted in the custody of officials paid with tax payers money to deliver good governance. We urge the Senate to throw away this shameful component of the budget and to task the Federa Capital Territory administration to partner with the federal ministry of women affairs and the national anti-human trafficking agency [NAPTIP] to conduct science -based statistical data gathering and survey of the precise number of commercial sex workers in Abuja who have voluntarily given up the trade and also state how Government and other stakeholders in the private sector would actively partner to completely transform and rehabilitate these repentant commercial sex workers”.

Convinced that the current programme by the Federal Capital Territory Administration to rehabilitate commercial sex workers in Abuja is cosmetic and bereft of detailed scientific evidence of the level of success so far achieved, HURIWA asked the Senate of the Federal Republic not to betray the trust of the Nigerian electorate consistently by approving bogus budget proposals sent to the National Assembly by Federal Government officials because according to it, posterity will judge the current National Assembly harshly should the members continue the trend which has cost the public treasury humongous amount of money that have gone down the drain in the last couple of years in the execution of white elephant projects such as the Abuja city gate and the feeding of Government officials in the Presidential villa.

“We propose that the National Assembly look at the ways and means of legally allowing female adults who wish to adopt commercial sex trade as a profession to so practice it decently, paying tax to Government and embarking on frequent health screening to check the spread of sexually transmitted diseases that are deadly and are ravaging the nation. Pretending to be rehabilitating prostitutes when in actual fact most of the Government officials are the patrons is irrational and a deliberate subterfuge to embezzle public fund”, HURIWA stressed.

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