By: Oluwatosin Adesola
Following the arrest of 18 commercial sex workers by the Ondo state government’s taskforce on COVID-19 pandemic, some of their colleagues have sought the attention of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to help them to alleviate their suffering at this emergency period of lockdown.
This is certainly not the best of time for commercial sex workers in Akure, the Ondo State capital, as they want government to provide palliative materials for them to cushion the effect of curfew imposed in the state.
The prostitutes who spoke with SUNSHINETRUTH, expressed displeasure that the state government neglected them at this difficult time when COVID-19 is ravaging the globe.
They wondered why government has refused to distribute palliatives to them when most hotels and brothels have shut down.
Our correspondent, who visited some brothels in Akure, observed that they are not being patronised during the day time.
It was observed that the curfew has made life difficult for them as no customer patronise them after 7pm
One of them simply identified as Janet, said: “This coronavirus has crippled our business. We rarely get a customer in a day.
“We want government to remember us at this crucial time of Coro. Like they have done to others, they should bring foot items to our brothels.
“We need government’s assistance at this time, we cannot feed ourselves again. We now beg for foods.”
Another prostitute, Sandra, a native of Delta, lamented the low patronage and lack of attention from government.
According to her, “All we want is our share of the palliatives. We need rice, beans and money for pepper and kersoine to cook.”
The state government had three days ago arrested eighteen of the commercial sex workers through the efforts of the State TaskForce on COVID-19 for violating the curfew imposed by the state government.
Governor Akeredolu had announced a dusk to dawn curfew as part of efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease.
It was gathered that the violators were caught in a brothel at the Shasha area of Akure around 10.30pm on Sunday, while the task force was monitoring compliance with the government order.
The suspects were said to have been placed in isolation and their samples taken to ascertain their COVID-19 status.
It was also gathered that they would be in the isolation centre pending when their results would be out.
Confirming the development, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties and Strategies, Dr Doyin Odebowale, said the women were caught in a brothel in defiance of the curfew
“We caught them around 10.30pm. We have brought the medical team to come and take their samples. The brothel has been shut. We will invite the owner,”
Odebowale urged residents of the state to always cooperate with the government by obeying instructions on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.