In this report, SAMUEL ABULUDE writes on his encounter with commercial sex workers, popularly called ‘runs-girls’ at Lekki Beach road, otherwise called New Kuramo.
At night in different places in Lagos, mostly low-income and densely populated areas, women of ‘easy virtues’ are a common sight. Prostitution, a trade that is as old as early biblical times has become a disturbing trend in Lagos, Nigeria. The vice has unwittingly become part of Lagos’ social life.
Commercial sex workers otherwise called runs-girls, opos or aristos are increasing and becoming more daring business-wise, no thanks to the harsh economic conditions of young adults with no meaningful sponsorship or deviants desirous of life on the fast lane.
LEADERSHIP Weekend correspondent embarked on a fact-finding mission on Independence Day to gather first-hand information and see the activities of the runs-girls in Lekki Beach environs located at Jakande round-about in Lekki-Ajah area of Victoria Island, lagos.
LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that the inhabitants who have made Kuramo beach their abode relocated from Lekki Beach as a result of the tumultuous ocean surge experienced two years ago which claimed many lives. Initially the homeless people and orphans who had no relations in Lagos and girls of easy virtue from Kuramo Beach had moved to Marwa Beach located at Lekki Phase 1 but due to the inconvenience and nuisance they posed to the people who reside there, they were finally moved to Lekki Beach road.
At 8.30pm, our correspondent got to the area which was bustling with life, with all kinds of trade going on, from the snooker joint to the noodles sellers, viewing centres where football fans were watching a live-UEFA Champions League football match to marijuana smokers-hang out and other businesses. Indeed, Lekki Beach now referred to as New Kuramo Beach is a haven that is full of life. As our correspondent approached, stern-looking boys starred at him while girls lined on both sides of the dilapidated road leading to the beach, beckoned.
Pat was the first prostitute who approached our correspondent and they began talks; exchanging pleasantries. She was dressed in a yellow skimpy outfit with her boobs bare. “Bros make we go do na? You are looking good oh,” she said in pidgin. He stopped to listen to her. After asking for her price, she responded N2,500. He was not to fall for that and responded. “Haba, that one too much now; how about N500? As you de see me so, I fit be fine boy but plenty money no dey for hand oh.” She laughed and turned down the offer and asked for N1000. “I no even get that N1,000, as I dey here now, na N400 I get for the show because I must go house and here no be my place,” he requested. Pat from Kwale part of Delta State (they don’t normally say their real names) had earlier discouraged me from going to the beach side giving reason that at this time of the night, the place was filled with dangerous people and touts who would rob me. She finally agreed that I pay the N400, adding that I was her first customer. This meant that one could have a night-stand with Kuramo babes for as low as N400. The girls on the hundreds of metre stretch along Lekki Beach road were numerous as one could find them everywhere along the badly-lit area of the sprawling community. They were not alone in this, young teens were everywhere on the street and our correspondent’s inquisitiveness was aroused as to what they were up to. A man from the northern part of the country, doing business there, revealed that the community was still developing as more people come to Jakande-Lekki Beach road on a daily basis. Another girl, Joy, beckoned on our correspondent to come for a ‘sex game’ without mentioning a price tag and he played along. She was beautiful and looked matured wearing a red t-shirt. Her room was tucked inside the wooden stalls where each one of them had their clients. About 10 rooms were created in a partitioned space made of wood. Joy disclosed that she just arrived the area about a week and a half ago from Benin. Her price was N1,500 and she wouldn’t go lower than N1000. Our correspondent told her that he couldn’t afford that as he was not residing here. On leaving her room, he playfully but mindfully asked how much she charges for a night, what they call ‘till-day-break’ (TDB). She said that when he was ready, he should come. He pressed further and she opened up that she charges a minimum of N5,000.
This abode of prostitutes can better be imagined as young girls travel far from their villages and towns to seek greener pastures in Lagos. Prostitution is the easy way out for them as some of them make as much as N10,000 daily, depending on the number of customers.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that the girls pay N1,000 per day for the usage of the place, apart from other sundry charges that arise from time to time.
The northern man disclosed that Kuramo girls are everywhere and they were what made the area lively. “Na different business dey here oh. The okadas (motorcycle riders) are here as you can see, (pointing to the numerous motorcycles parked by the road side). Everybody wey you de see for here live here and do business here; some pick pockets but some also de do good business. This place don dey here since but the Kuramo girls came here last year after the Marwa beach managers chased them away. Here they can enjoy themselves so far dem de pay the chairman here,” he said. There were stalls being built at the opposite side of this community and the aristos would eventually rent them for their trade. As our correspondent glanced at some of the boys hanging around like the prostitutes, he concluded that it won’t be out of place if some of them indulge in homosexuality apart from touting around this place because there are few legitimate jobs in Lekki-Beach-Along. As is typical of such places, barber shops, restaurants, viewing centres and paraga joints are everywhere on this stretch. A hotel is even located not far from the Jakande-Lekki round-about. The community in few years time could be a bee-hive of a potpourri of different activities; the good, the bad and the ugly.
As time wore on and our correspondent started to trek the long stretch out of the area, about 400 metres distance, more girls had come out, all looking for customers. One named Stella beckoned and begged him to follow her. When he asked how much, she said N1,000 but was later ready to settle for less complaining that they were struggling to survive in Lekki Beach as many girls have flooded the area for the same trade. “What a pity for these girls who could trade their God-given virtue which supposed to be for their would-be spouses for just N400 – the price for a meal,” I thought.
A counsellor, Mrs Adebimbe Ajayi, lamented that this was the trend in 21st century Nigeria as girls were now prostitutes losing their virginity as early as 10 years of age. “Something must be done to save the lives of these girls because they are a reflection of how our moral values in Nigeria have degenerated. Relevant agencies should come to the rescue of these ones because a lot of them are in it because they need to feed and survive in Lagos though some have just decided to defile their bodies even when there are skills they can learn and do for a living. The state government through the local government and also religious organisations should come to their recue because the parents are no longer there for these ones,” she concluded.