Sex, illicit drugs deals and trade in all sorts of herbal concoctions are the three booming businesses around major bus-stops and other places in various parts of Lagos, investigations have revealed.
Last week, based on a tip-off, our undercover correspondent, Tony Ademiluyi stormed Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way in Ikeja, from the under bridge axis in the night on a facts finding mission.
At major bus-stops along the way, sex hawkers, petty traders dealing in illicit drugs, herbal and packaged concoctions, etc, are making money daily night.
At Onigbongbo bus-stop for instance, Iya Urhobo is a popular petty trader, selling all sorts of wares to people around the area.
Our undercover correspondent, who stayed overnight at the place observed that area boys, jobless people, under-cover police officers, DSS undercover operatives, newspaper vendors and agents, etc do patronize the woman as well as other petty traders in the area.
We confronted Florence, who claimed to be an indigene of Plateau state said she has been involved in sex hawking business around Ikeja GRA, Onigbongbo, Maryland for years.
Her words: “I work as a cleaner in the day time and come around at night to hustle for customers in order the augment my job”.
Findings reveal that Florence charges between N500 to N1500 for a round of sex which is always done around dark corners, abandoned street corners of uncompleted buildings around the area.
On a good day, I do make about N5000 or more, hustling as a sex worker.
The Vent Republic caught up with Sandra who resided in Maryland near Ikeja, an indigene of Akwaibom State in the South-South part of Nigeria. She was a secondary school dropout who initially had dreams of becoming a medical doctor but couldn’t complete her education after she lost her father and her wicked relatives stripped her illiterate mother of all the family assets. She was sent to live with an uncle who sexually abused her and took away her virginity. He then pimped her out to some of his wealthy friends. When the pain became unbearable she ran away from Eket, an oil rich town where American Oil Giant Exxon Mobil has a strong presence to Lagos for a better future. She took to prostitution to pay the bills as her primary school certificate couldn’t secure her a job in a country where many university graduates battle for survival decades after their graduation. She is fair in complexion and extremely pretty with large bosoms and a curvy shape and I was surprised when she told me she was only 18. In her words: ‘I sleep with at least seven men daily. Sometimes I sleep with one all through the night. I charge between 1000 naira to 1500 naira for a round of sex and 10,000 naira for a night of fun where I go four rounds. Sometimes the men could get violent with me and refuse to pay by threatening me with all manner of dangerous weapons. A customer once gave me fake money and I was nearly lynched when I wanted to use it to purchase foodstuffs. I am really tired of this life. I just want to save up some money and learn how to make women’s hair as it is a money spinner.”
Under the bridge of Ikeja is also a den of an underground drug trade which goes hand in hand with prostitution. The prostitutes need a huge amount of drugs to be able to do their job effectively. All manner of illicit drugs from Indian hemp or Marijuana, Codeine were sold there through a closely knit racket. Some street urchins popularly known as area boys or agberos in Yoruba language were big time clients of these dealers. A wrap of Indian hemp sold for 100 naira and the demand far outstripped the supply and so on some occasions the dealers got greedy and inflated the prices and they were guaranteed to make steady sales since the demand was inelastic.
Ahmed was a university drop out at the Lagos State University where he was studying business administration before he was rusticated for his involvement in cult activities where he allegedly murdered two cult rivals and had to flee for his life before his expulsion. He was now a drug dealer and he seemed to smile on a daily basis. He sold it under the popular bridge in ikeja, the capital of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve centre and former political capital. He said that he made 10,000 naira profit on a good day and about 4,000 naira on a bad day. He had plans to go into music promotion as a showbiz impresario as he had a great interest in music but it was capital intensive and the only way he could raise the capital was through illicit drug dealing since there were hardly angel investors to help finance great ideas and the interest rates of the banks at thirty percent annually made the Shakespearean Shylock akin to a Saint. He sometimes slept with some of the prostitutes who were too broke to pay for it and even sold to some police officers who in turn made him immune from any form of arrests.
Baba Ade was a popular seller of herbal drinks or concoction under the bridge. He sold different drinks for sexual performance enhancers, cleansing of the excess sugar in the body and a quasi form of blood tonic. He was patronized by the prostitutes and street urchins who testified to the efficacy of his elixirs. He sometimes sold on credit and had a hard time recovering his debts which left him cursing and swearing never to sell that way again but he seemed to always forget so soon as he had a jovial air around him. Most of his claims were far from scientific and two of his sons were being trained by him in the business. I noticed he had a monopoly under the bridge and it was discovered that he used the street urchins to threaten the lives of his competitors who attempted to set up shop there.
A community leader at Onigbongbo told our undercover correspondent that all the major bus-stops in the area are always invaded by fun seekers, people who are unable to get accommodation, due to the high cost of rent and sundry other reasons. Some of these people converted under the bridge into their domiciliary edifices as they slept there by night and left very early in the morning. The law enforcement operatives usually turned a blind eye to their presence as they had been compromised monetarily.