By Henry Umahi, Sam Anokam (Lagos), Nwabueze Okonkwo (Onitsha), Geoffrey Anyanwu (Awka), Chuks Onuoha (Aba), Petrus Obi (Enugu), Tony Osauzo (Benin) And Dennis Mernyl (Abuja)
Universities are called the ivory tower. This is where intellect is sharpened and minds are developed. However, the country’s universities appear to have figuratively added a new course: “Sexology.” Although this infamous course does not earn anybody a degree, it’s so popular that many female undergraduates go for it. And they are making fortunes.
Indeed, Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning have become citadels of sex, as female students run riot with their bodies for money. They have become more daring and devise new and diverse strategies to not only market themselves but also excel in an increasingly competitive trade. As a matter of fact, the sex trade among female undergraduates is booming on campuses and even extending to brothels and elsewhere.
Saturday Sun investigations revealed that the story is the same all over the country. From institutions in the fringe of the Sahara to the Atlantic coastline, female students are doing incredible ‘runs,’ a euphemism for sex-for-cash. As it were, they hawk their stuff with impunity, to the extent that those who are not involved are called “bush meat,” among other derogatory names.
It is not really difficult to identify the student sex hawkers on campus. They give themselves away with their provocative dressing. They could also be identified by their body language or general mannerisms.
The Lagos Sex Boom
In Lagos, the sex business among female university students is big. The most notorious in the state is University of Lagos (UNILAG), where ladies strut their stuff without a care in the world. In the university, female sex hawkers have elevated their trade to an art. They compete, like professional prostitutes, to attract the attention of men.
Saturday Sun gathered that with the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has left schools almost empty, the ladies have since moved on with life, having unrestrained fun in private hostels scattered across Sabo down to Onike Iwaya axis and Bariga, all located around the university. When our correspondent visited UNILAG recently, hostels, like Moremi, Makama, New Hall, Madam Tinubu Hall (MTH) and Amina, Newest Hall were deserted. It was gathered that this is always the case in the day. In the evening, especially weekends, the female hostels begin to bubble, as exotic cars bearing randy men scouting for girls stream in. As the day gets darker, the vicinity of the hostel would start witnessing the presence of a handful of ladies looking for men to sleep with for a fee. Their patrons take some of the girls away, while some others end up with them in nearby joints.
The New Hall, in UNILAG, is arguably the hottest of the lot. The Makama and MTH are second and third in the rating of the sex spots. There are also pimps, who coordinate the sex trade, arranging girls for men at a fee. These pimps live in such places as Computer and Masaba, among others. Sources revealed that the pimps arrange for the girls to meet their patrons in hotels around the school, especially those who want short service.
Saturday Sun gathered that one of the criteria to get a girl is to own a car and enough cash to spend. In the word of one of the female students: “No car, no parole.”
Asked how a new comer can engage a girl for a ‘parole,’ she said: “ Once you have a car, it’s easy, especially if you park the car and come out where the girls will see you. As you walk towards the girls they know that you are there for business and they will give you signs.” She also said that another easy way to get girls is “to know somebody who knows somebody.”
In one of the popular joints, where the girls flock, one of the pimps told Saturday Sun that girls come in, at the pretext to groove, but end up going home with men.
He said: “As you can see, there is no activity here. Even the restaurant downstairs is empty. At the end of the groove, some of these girls go home with as much as N50, 000 and above. Some even come back with brand new cars. But it doesn’t happen all at once.”
Some of the girls have also taken their trade to a higher level. It was learnt that following constant harassment of their clients who visit at odd hours, girls prefer private hostels around the university to school hostels.
One of the big girls on campus told Saturday Sun: “Aristos (wealthy men) do not come to school again to pick girl; they now camp their babes in private hostels.”
Directly opposite UNILAG gate is a twin brown three-storey building, known as Emerald Hostel. It was built for off-campus accommodation for students. However, many of the female students who live in the hostel have devised a way of making money with their bodies. The place reeks of class, as automobiles of different makes are parked there even at noon. The girls keep to their rooms in the day, but from 7pm, the place would become a beehive of activities, as they come out for the day’s market.
American Mola Hostel, which accommodates university students, is another action spot. It is notorious as abode of wild girls, who ply their sex trade at higher levels. As someone noted, “it is mainly for hardcore classy prostitutes.” In Abule Ijesha, there is also Hall 9 on Moore road as well as Blue Haven and Hall 36, which has four female hostels. Skyfield, a unisex hostel at Sabo Yaba, is also a sex haven.
Just as in UNILAG, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin and Lagos State University (LASU) are also hot spots for sex trade. The female students in these institutions of higher learning serve mainly customs officers and other paramilitary officers in the Badagry axis. Also these girls service traders in Alaba International Market. The Lagos Polytechnic, Isolo and Epe campuses are also centres of sex.
Federal Capital City of Sex
The case of Abuja seems to be a bad one. Student sex hawkers are on the prowl, running riots in relaxation spots and highbrow hotels. For these girls, the face-off between ASUU and the FG can continue, so that they will go on with their business.
It was gathered that the female undergraduates hire rooms in major hotels, where they bring in men. Sources at these hotels say the female students contribute money to pay for the hotel rooms and, in most cases, keep the room for weeks. Operating from the hotel room, they will have access to male lodgers.
Linda, who claimed to be a final year student of the University of Abuja, told our reporter: “Some of us have nobody to take care of us and we even have our younger ones to cater for. We come to hustle in Abuja to be able to raise some funds for our families.”
She said that such places as Hilton Hotel, Sheraton, Chelsea Hotel, Agura, and many other big hotels are hang out spot for the girls. Also, they hang out in Lagos Street at Garki. In the same vein, they mill around in Gimbiya Street as well as eateries, like Mister Biggs, Chicken Republic and Southern Chicken Fries. According to her, business in these places start around 7pm, with the girls hanging around the vicinity or taking time off in the hotels’ clubs.
Apart from Abuja university students, those from Nasarawa State University, Keffi, just some 40 kilometers from the city centre, also storm hotels in Abuja.
Another tactics the female students employ, it was gathered, is to visit construction sites, banks and corporate organizations in the guise of looking for vacation jobs.
Halima, an indigene of Kaduna State and a 300-level Accounting student for Nasarawa State University, said she makes an average of N15, 000 to N20, 000 daily. According to her, level of patronage depends on weather condition. She said that more men come out to pick girls during good weather and stay indoors when it rains. She however, said that those who come out for girls when it is raining do not pay much for the services of the students because “we in this business just want to go home with anybody at whatever price when it is raining. We consider it luck to even get anybody at such weather condition”.
The Onitsha Sex Trade
Saturday Sun investigation revealed that higher institutions within the commercial city of Onitsha and environs, such as the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe (NOCEN), Anambra State University, Igbariam campus, Federal Polytechnics, Oko are under the vicious grip of what could be described as a form of sexual madness. Although, authorities of these institutions are said to be fighting to control the unwholesome sexual activities of some of the students on campus, it is obvious that the war has not been won.
When Saturday Sun visited the above-mentioned institutions recently, some of the female students were hanging around looking out for men. The more desperate hang around hotels and other fun spots in town hoping to be picked by wealthy businessmen and politicians. It was gathered that politicians and government officials are the biggest patrons of the student-prostitutes in the commercial city. A source said: “When prominent politicians and government officials visit Anambra State, their pimps invade higher institutions to pick girls for them.”
It was further learnt that to take any of the girls home, for a night, costs between N5, 000 and N20, 000, depending on the man’s bargaining power and the girls’ desperation for cash. Also, female students leave their pictures and telephone numbers with hotels attendants. This practice is rampant in Awka and Oko. All it takes a lodger, who needs a woman, is to tell hotel attendants, who will, in turn contact the girls. The hotel attendants, it was gathered, also keep the pictures of the female students in the sex cartel. Male patrons look at the pictures and make their choice.
It was gathered, however, that although the practice is considered illegal by hotel managers, it is rampant. Two pimps in Awka gave Saturday Sunnames and telephone numbers of female students involved in sex-for-money business. Out of the six girls contacted, two said they travelled out of Awka but introduced our correspondent to their colleagues in the business. They apologized for their non-availability and assured that those they had introduced were equally good. The other girls said they were in town and accepted to meet the reporter at an agreed location.
Investigations revealed that the girls are into networking. A student of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, who gave her name as Lizzy, said: “We stand in for each other. If you are not in town or you are doing some runs elsewhere and a new run comes up, you can call your friend to stand in for you. She can do the same for you. We call it networking.”
The Abia Angle
It was gathered that sex trade is booming at the Abia State University, Uturu, University of Agriculture, Umudike and Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, among other schools in the state. According to a lecturer, it is worst with children of religious leaders, who run riot once they get out of the sight of their parents. He likened it to birds freed from the cage.
Felicia, a student at UNIAGRIC, Umudike said: “The students who do this business go out when they want and come back when they want. They form cliques and work together. They don’t attend lectures but make fantastic results at the end of the day. There are some nights when you will see girls freshening up and you will be wondering what is going on. Before you know what is happening, everyone would have left the hostel and only two or three people will be left behind. As early as 5.30 am the following day, they will all return to their rooms pretending as if nothing had happened.”
A male student of Abia Polytechnic, Aba, who spoke to Saturday Sun recounted what one of the girls told him on their escapades. He said: “She told me that some of them do it to catch fun while others do it to meet up with the financial demand of the lecturers, who would either want your money or your body. Some don’t just go into it but are lured into it by friends and get hooked to it.” He revealed that Aba-Owerri road; Ogbor Hill and Ama Hausa areas are among places these girls operate in Aba.
One of the sex queens, whose nickname is African China, said that she and her friends are having fun sleeping with men for money. According to her, the girls see men, who patronize them as mugu (fools), who have money to waste. Therefore, the girls go for the money.
The Enugu Story
Enugu could pass for the town hosting the highest number of higher institutions in the country. Therefore, sex trade among female students is really big. From the Institute of Management Technology (IMT) to the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Enugu Campus (UNEC), Enugu State College of Education, Our Saviour Institute of Science and Technology (OSISATECH), Caritas University and Renaissance University, Nigeria Law School, among others, female students are running riot in prostitution. At the gates of these schools, the girls hang around in the evenings waiting for customers. Some of them are so daring or desperate that they practically woo men who get close to their school gates.
At IMT, for instance, the girls would almost pull any passing man by the hand, as they seek his attention. For them, every man is a potential customer. Sex-for-marks are also rampant in some of these schools, hence most of the female students who indulge in this have no business attending lectures.
“They have no business with lectures or assignments. All they need is to go out there, make their money, pay for a hotel room and invite the lecturer. It is in that hotel that she will earn whatever grade she wants in the examination,” a source said.
The girls also go to hotels to solicit customers. A waiter in one of the hotels in New Haven, who gave his name as Moses, claimed that some of the students drop their telephone numbers and, in some cases, photographs with hotel attendants to show intending customer. He however, revealed that display of pictures is a last option to convince a doubting Thomas that the shape, size and curves of the girls are not being exaggerated.
Our source disclosed that the point men at the hotels receive tips from the customer, while the girls also settle them at the end of the transaction.
The Edo Sex Business
In Edo State, there have been two particular spots noted for sex trade over the years. In these places, female students from higher institutions indulge themselves in sex-for-money. The spots are at Aviele, near Auchi on the Auchi-Benin highway and Oluku on the Benin-Lagos highway. At these spots, which serve as transit parks for haulage vehicles, female students of higher institutions are often seen at night in their numbers either waiting for drivers of the heavy duty vehicles, who are regular customers or other men looking for fun. Also, these female undergraduates operate in a network, within the campuses. There are always contact persons, who link up the girls, especially when politicians and government officials are having night social gatherings.
Owerri for Show
In Owerri, the Imo State capital, the sex cartel is a booming business. Female students from Federal University of Technology, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State University and the state university ply their trade around the Imo Concorde Hotel, where there are a legion of hotels. These girls hang around from 7pm, waiting for men to pick them up.
Bad Business for Pimps
Saturday Sun gathered that pimps are losing their relevance in the business. Unlike in the days past when they practically ran the show, many of the patrons now seek self-help. A retired pimp, who gave his name as Boy George, said: “The fun days for pimps are gone. Men now drive into schools and get what they want. There are no restrictions anymore. I got into this business by accident. An old student of this school asked me if I could get babes for him and his friends. As an adventurer, I asked my girlfriend if she knew how to get babes for Aristos? In fact, I used my girlfriend to get girls for them. I got up to 17 girls and we took them to a club in Ikoyi to meet with their prospective clients, who are old enough to be their fathers and grand fathers but they are rich. That day, I entered the VIP section, which ordinarily I wouldn’t have. They gave me an air-conditioned bus to ferry the girls to the club. We ate and drank and at the end, I went home alone. I lost my girlfriend to one of them. They have a clique.”
Analysing the characteristics of men who patronize the girls, he said: “Yahoo Yahoo boys do not spend on women. They don’t give a dime because they don’t work. Aristos are more like fools. Aristos can spoil you silly with money and gifts but if you asked a Yahoo boys to give you even N10, 000, they could beat you up.”
He revealed that the girls he arranged for the men went home with N25, 000 each, from which each of them paid him N5, 000.
“From then, I started making money from them during the weekends. I even printed call cards, where I spelt out that pimping was my line of business. I was getting calls from men and girls. As I got deeper into the business, my GP nose-dived because I was no longer concentrating in my studies. I had to change course.”
George said sex trade is not all about fun and money. According to him, it could be turbulent sometimes.
Hear him: “Some of the girls too go through pains. A particular girl came with bruises and complained that she got beaten up because her client could not get erection and wanted oral sex, which she declined. According to some of the girls, some of their clients don’t sleep with them but demand oral sex.”
Another source told Saturday Sun that even after passing out from school, some of the girls come around and engage in the business. According to him, “I still see some of the former students here. It is just like cultism. Most people who leave school will tell you that they have left it. It’s a lie. These girls have a clique. Even after school, some of them still come back here to buy bed space or stay with some of the girls they trained. Only very few leave it completely.”
September 26, 2009.
Originally appeared on The Sun News.