In years past, the practice was for these girls, in groups of two or three, for fear of being recognised by friends, neighbours or fellow classmates in the case of university students, to select secluded areas or dark spots along the red light zones to display their wares, like buttocks, breasts or faces or whichever part of their bodies they felt hold the best attraction for men.
However, things have since changed and that era seems long forgotten as the girls now have become wary of some clients or watch out for hoodlums who attack them at night. Many of them had gone through very harrowing experiences in the hands of some of the clients. These days anyone who dares to stand in a secluded area is either new in the trade or is simply courting trouble and would have herself to blame as she would most certainly be attacked.
Any attempt to resist, they are usually inflicted with machete or razor blade cuts on their arms or faces to teach them a lesson. In some instances, the girls are deceived to board cars by rapists after striking a bargain with them and take them to secluded areas, rape them and thereafter dispossess them of their phones.
These attacks have left many of these daughters of the night with scars of different sizes on their wrists, faces and breasts as they attempt to resist rape or robbery attack. These frequent attacks by hoodlums have scared the girls to abandon the shame of being recognised away and keep within limits of crowded areas or of bright light.
“I did not know that this business comes with high risks; I thought all I needed to protect myself was to insist that every customer puts on a condom and pays me before service but, when the boys repeatedly attacked me during the first three nights and took away my ipad and phones, I decided to call it quits until I met one of the girls who taught me the rules on how to stay safe while doing it”
Supreme, a six-footer, whose ubiquitous presence and glittering dark skin on Atekong Drive each night cannot go unnoticed by anyone seeking the service of commercial sex worker, said she and her friends had been raped severally by the hoodlums who, after satisfying their sexual urge, carted away their phones and valuables. “When I started some months back, any man that came my way and offered to pay me good money I simply followed the person which was a big mistake.
Some three boys, without much haggling, gave me and my friends N5,000 each even before we agreed to enter their car. But when we got to some dark spot along Iso Oqua where they claimed they lived, we were ordered out of the car and they serially raped us. After that, they collected their money back and our phones- it was a very painful experience”,
“I thought it was a classy thing to go out with a handbag until I met one man whom I thought was responsible who took me to a hotel and drugged me and had sex with me the whole night and, the next morning, he left with my handbag and the money he pretended to pay me; since then, I keep my bag at home and do not take any drink offered by my customer”, she stated.
Even with these sordid tales, the girls keep flooding the streets every night with new ones joining the easy virtue trade for reasons bordering on survival, or to raise funds to live flamboyant life styles or simply out of uncontrollable sex drive.
Ms Augusta, a resident of Effangamkpa in the State Housing Estate where the girls parade every night, told Sunday Vanguard that it is hard to tell what keeps the girls swarming the streets inspite of the risks and dangers involved in such practice.
“We hear their cries and wailing each night seeking for help as they are attacked but there is nothing one can do in such circumstance because you would be exposing yourself to attack too if you venture outside at midnight or 1.00 am to try to rescue someone who obviously has no respect or regard for womanhood”, Augusta stated. She said some girls had lost their lives as some people pose as customers and lure them to secluded areas, murder them and remove their body parts and yet that has not stopped the girls from going into the streets every night.
“We have had several cases where some of these girls are killed and parts of their bodies cut and taken away for ritual purposes and yet that has not stopped others from coming out each night, which shows some level of desperation or lack of respect for their lives”.
“Some nights ago, I found a respected lawyer having sex with one of those girls inside his car beside the road and, when I challenged them, the girl had the effrontery to tell me it was none of my business; I almost smashed her head if not for the man who did not want any scandal and appealed that I took it easy with her”, Ken added.
According to him, though the man and the girl were allowed to go, the man had to part with some money which was to teach him a lesson. “I had warned that girl and many others to keep away from this place but they won’t listen and as long as men keep patronising them there is no stopping them from the shameful act.”
Mr John Eluu, the Cross River State Police Command spokesman, said a team of policemen is stationed in areas the girls parade each night but cannot arrest them since they are not in a brothel.