News

Lawmaker reassures constituents

The member representing Oru East in the Imo State  House of Assembly, Barr Greg Okemili, has reassured his constituents of effective representation.

Barr Okemili gave the assurance when he received both the delegation of Oru Students Association, Imo State University (IMSU) chapter and those of the National Parliament of Igbo students on courtesy call at the House Assembly.

He commended them for being in tertiary institutions and urged them to ensure that they use the golden opportunity to prepare themselves for greater heights in life.

Barr. Okemili, advised them to always pray to God for their sustenance and enjoined them to be courageous as well.

Speaking earlier, the president of Oru Students Association, IMSU chapter, Comr. John Nkemakolam, informed the legislator of their forthcoming cultural day celebration and appealed for financial assistance to enable them hold a successful ceremony, urging him to continue to give them effective representation and assured him of their unalloyed support.

In response, Bar Okemili promised to attend and support their (Oru East) cultural day ceremony.

Similarly, the speaker of the National Parliament of Igbo Students, Comrade Samuel Chukwubuikem, on behalf of the association, presented an award to the lawmaker based on his lofty contributions in the legislature.

The legislator also expressed gratitude to the National Parliament of Igbo students for honouring him with an award as a legislative icon and assured them that he would always cherish the honour done him.

Opinion

Fighting the monster of prostitution in Owerri

Prostitution, one of the oldest professions in the world, regardless of its moral decadence and negative trailing effects, still thrives even with the interference of religious injunctions and countless laws enacted against it. A malignant scourge and a threatening ill in the society, eating deep like cancer across all class and strata from the younger generations to the older ones, taking its negative toll in different ways. Countries around the globe suffer this ugly menace at varying degrees depending on the extent of repulsiveness the act has on the citizens, not forgetting also the psychological reactions, psychosocial damages and the political implications which the imprints leave in such nations.

Prostitutes have being in business from time immemorial, and are most times viewed as social outcasts by all generations from way back to date. Though the act is still practiced in brothels and streets of major cities all overNigeriatoday, the dark trade has shifted and is now flourishing in the country’s higher institutions of learning, right under the very nose of the authorities concerned. This high level of patronage coupled with the usual excuse of ‘poverty’ has made students of higher institutions of learning embrace the ungodly act, often times re-branding the ugly act with disguised names such as  ‘Runs’ or ‘Hustle,’ simply to fine-tune and hide the originally evil-branded form for the sake of carrying out their nefarious acts freely. The predominance of this degrading act among our youths today points out to a number of factors which have directly or indirectly led these youngsters towards this ungodly path unworthy and condemnable in the sight of God and man.  In Owerri today, this act of sex-peddling has proven to be a chronic societal ill, flowing undeterred, gradually becoming a norm among our beautiful young girls, and like a virus, it is gradually percolating its tentacles un-relentlessly around the town. The situation has become so worrisome and it isn’t a rare sight to find our young girls on a daily basis frolicking and hovering at nights around hotel lobbies, guest houses, club houses or even beer palours as sex peddlers, seeking for interested ‘patrons’ to ‘trade’ their bodies with for money. The situation has become even more dire and pathetic as some greedy hoteliers and club owners within the town, in the bid to spun more money for themselves, open up their fun gates to every Tom, Dick and Harry, ignoring the minimum world accepted age exclusively accorded to adults only (18+), simply to satisfy their insatiable love for money at the expense of the eventual victims. Even with the gory tales of ritual killings and manipulations, unwanted pregnancies, and the increasing wave of sexually transmitted infections which befall some of these unlucky victims involved, the status-quo surprisingly still remains the same.

Quite disheartening to know also that some marriages and relationships break up as a result of the condescending attachment of supposedly married men to these young ladies of easy virtue who in turn make use of material benefits gotten from these men to graciously complement whatever they must have mustered through the same ill means.

But, where did we go wrong, and how did we end up in this sorry state? Must pre-marital sex become a fad among these youngsters not just in Imo state alone butNigeriaas a whole? Why has prostitution eaten so deep in Owerri, the Imo state capital, and where lies the future of these ladies of easy virtues? How hard is the government of Imo state fighting the scourge, and to what extent? Are there binding laws and punishments ruling against the menace and the perpetrators of the act? All these questions should abound in the hearts of well-meaning Imolites who are fed up and determined to turn around this unwarranted development for the better, for the sake of proffering lasting solutions necessary to restore dignity back to the Eastern Heartland. While trying to curb this sorry situation, there is the utmost need to retrace our steps back to the basis, which is the home, as this platform provides the first and direct link between these young ladies and the outside world. The family institution needs to be re-invigorated. If parents were at home performing their parental responsibilities, their daughters would probably not have taken to the streets to prostitute or make cheap their bodies to just any stranger. ‘Poverty,’ a common excuse, should never be a reason to commit such a degrading act, instead adequate efforts ought to be channeled by guardians and parents towards sensitizing their wards on the dangers and life threatening consequences linked to indulging in such an unholy duel.

This is also a wake up call for the state government, as stringent rules and stiff modalities need to be set up to see to the close monitoring of such activities in the town in order to curb its widespread encroachment. Stiff penalties should be enforced on men who patronize these ladies, while persons trading directly or indirectly in prostitution should be arrested and prosecuted instantly to serve as a deterrent to other intending individuals. Public awareness/ Rehabilitation programs also need to be set up in the state not only to equip our young ladies on the negative effects of indulging in prostitution, but also to help those already in the act have a positive turn-around, either engaging themselves in respectable businesses or concentrating more on acquiring serious education to make a better future for themselves.

Dear Imolites, Prostitution has never being in our culture, and as such shouldn’t be tolerated in any form. Imo state possesses an enviable rich cultural heritage which includes living a chaste life and according utmost respect for the body. The truth must be told, and the time to revolt against this disturbing issue is now. Let’s heed to the clarion call and join hands in fighting prostitution in our land to a standstill.

 

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