The trending prostitution among teenage girls and boys under 18 in Akwa Ibom State is alarming. More worrisome and debasing is the prostitution among girls who are seen as future mothers, guardians of moral ethos, and progenitors of humanity.
Before now, some women of easy virtue were seen as the culprits in this unholy affair, which is turning to an endemic disease. But today, the table has turned, making the teenage girls record breakers in the amorous act.
Candidly, the teenage whores are societal derelicts: orphans, homeless, jobless, school drop-outs, and hoi polloi as well as products of broken homes. This trend has actually deepened debauchery among some mature female seducers with multiple partners but aggravated taste of most male patrons who prefer what they call ‘fresh tonic’ to ‘old wine.’
Like aphrodisiac, sexual escapades among teenagers both males and females are assuming unusual dimension. Yet, there are factors promoting the amorous desires. These are caused basically by the advent of social media, financial hardship, hedonistic lifestyles, poor religious knowledge, lacking formal/informal education, lack of parental care, secret cultism, hereditary factor, spiritual manipulation, and parachuting influence of paedophiles.
It is commonly seen that some of these teenagers hang around Ibom Plaza, some streets and red light corners in Uyo to solicit food even drinks from men older than their parents. Some throw themselves on their church members even some randy pastors, using seductive camouflages of ‘’Daddy,” ‘Father” and other friendly obeisance.
Some birthday parties are later turned to sex parties. In some market corners and hotels, some are seen cuddling men older than them. At funerals and political parties’ rallies, some seek undue patronage from their elders in the name of uncles. Yet, the shameless men spare them not in enticing them with gifts to satisfy their sexual orgy.
For instance, some hotels in Eket Local Government Area were shut as some suspected cultists brawled over a girl, resulting in the death of three persons. It was alleged too that Casanovas patronised the hotels because of the young girls.
Unfortunately, the teenage prostitutes in the inappropriate trade are exposed to early pregnancy, robbery activities, initiation into secret cultism, diseases, drug addiction, smoking of Indian hemp and Tramadol, unfavourable economic conditions, political thuggery and murder. Even some fall prey to ritual killers, organ harvesters and human traffickers.
It is advisable for the government to rid the streets of these emerging trend of girls who are spoilsports and products of our ebbing moral value.
Government has to enforce the domesticated Child Rights Act, 2009 to punish paedophiles and rapists as well penalise parents who abandon their children by tagging them witches and wizards to dodge their responsibilities.
The law enforcement agents have to live up to their responsibility by arresting, detaining and prosecuting the culprits to serve as deterrent to others.
Let parents wake up to the primary role of giving their children and wards sound moral upbringing to checkmate the ravaging prostitution in our society.
Our religious leaders and teachers must inculcate sound moral and religious ideas in the teenagers as well as mount empowerment schemes for them to reduce moral decadence. Much as it pays to preach prosperity messages, the religious leaders have to organize more seminars on sex education for the teenagers.
Let marriage counsellors engage the teens on meaningful dialogue particularly on the implications of early sex and pregnancy.
The state Ministry of Women Affairs should organise more workshops for the teenagers to help them to re-direct their energies, time and talents and focus to useful self-development projects and economic ventures.
On its part, the government must do everything at its disposal to curb joblessness, hunger and lack among the poor and less privileged in a bid to restore the land to the path of moral rectitude and reservoir of prosperity and peace.
By taking proactive steps and definite actions to mitigate the menace, our state will be made a better and peaceful place for humanity and generations yet unborn.