Lord have mercy. What would you blame for this: greed, poverty or just “open eye”?
Oba junction near Onitsha, which leads to Nnewi, called ‘Japan of Africa’, along the Onitsha-Owerri expressway in Anambra State, is a mere stop-over relaxation spot for mainly drivers of heavy-duty trucks and trailers on long distance travels. This explains the concentration of makeshift shops and drinking joints competing for space on both sides of the road.
But behind the façade of eating and drinking, is a big sex market that would make the biblical people of Sodom and Gomorrah green with envy. Here, sex sells like hot bean cake. The shops serve dual purposes – the front serves as food and drink joints while the back serves as a brothels. Some of the female shop owners display only television sets for movies and offer their bodies for sale.
As Sunday Sun correspondent alighted from the car this cool evening, a lady in a tight red top barely concealing her breasts stood up from a plastic chair to welcome him and a colleague. Posing as the storeowner, the visitors looked forward to being invited to sit down and make their orders for the delicacies on display. But surprisingly, they soon discovered that her body was the product on sale.
Encounter with ‘merciless’ Mercy
In the conversation that ensued, the lady who introduced herself as Mercy from neighbouring Delta State, told her guests that she has ‘no mercy’ for men when it comes to sex because she could guarantee maximum satisfaction that could make the client beg for more. Shaking her breasts provocatively and rubbing her body on this correspondent, she said she was ready for the night’s business once the fee was settled.
Mercy assured that for N1000, her client was guaranteed maximum touching and sucking of breasts and the main treat. Pointing at the next shop, she said: “That is where I lodge. My room is the one behind the shop and you will like it when we enter. I can also take two of you at the same time.”
The guests soon disengaged themselves on the pretext that they wanted to take some drinks to enable them get in the mood. By this time, darkness had set in but the lights from passing vehicles, lanterns and electricity from few shops with generating sets provided visibility. Both sides of the road had been taken over by prostitutes in several shades and forms. Some stood by the cabin of the parked vehicles, for customers, others strolled along the road while some others stayed in front of the shops, beckoning on male passers-by.
The spectacle became more interesting and captivating at the main junction leading to Nnewi. Young girls between 13 and 18 years openly hawked their bodies on the main road. Some held their clients tight, kissing and wriggling their waists behind the parked vehicles. One of them who identified herself as Chiamaka from Obollo Afor, picked offence when the reporter asked her how business was going. She retorted: “I take exception to that statement. This is not business, it is rather a game. You can call it catching fun or playing games. It’s just like I play with you and you appreciate me for being a good player or a good dancer, that’s all. Please, don’t call it business.”
Chiamaka who would not be drawn into explaining why at her age, she came all the way from Obollo Afor in Enugu State for prostitution, said that on a very good day, she could take up to 20 men and that she collects a minimum of N500 for ‘short time’ service.
The pregnant prostitutes’ corner
At a section of the sex market, Sunday Sun noticed several heavily pregnant prostitutes who despite their protruding bellies, are dressed in seductive wears competing for clients.
One of them, who introduced herself as Chy Chy, stated that some men prefer them to those not pregnant. The pregnant sex hawker, who later collected N400 from the reporter, said that she also belonged to the category of women who get high on sex while pregnant. Asked about what would become of her baby after delivery, she dropped another shocker when she said that the unborn baby was already penciled for sale.
“I enjoy sex only when I’m pregnant. If I’m not in this state, I only do it for the money but when I’m pregnant, I gain on both sides because you will pay me for my service and I will also get high when you touch me. There are men who look for our type and it suits us that way. As for my baby, what is your business about that? Well, if you must know, this is the third pregnancy and I sold the previous two for N80, 000 and N120, 000 respectively. Prospective buyers are already waiting for this one (touching her belly) and na so e go be”, she said.
Inside the hotel
Further checks by Sunday Sun reporter later revealed that the main prostitution dish is served in a hotel close to the junction.
The hotel (name witheld), it is a gateway to uncontrolled illicit sex and debauchery. With several semi-nude girls and boys high on marijuana milling around the entrance of the hotel, the first hint of what to expect, occurred inside a patent medicine store located near the gate of the hotel. It took the chemist owner about 20 minutes to attend to the reporter’s request for N20 worth of Vitamin C tablets because of a long queue of people buying sex-related items.
A young man jumped the queue and apparently borrowing slang from the lyrics of popular artist, Flavor, he told the chemist in Igbo: “Oga doc, biko nyem ifem na eri kam puo (Doctor, please give me what I eat, and let me move out of here).”