By Kelechi Esogwa-Amadi
The impact of the Corona virus pandemic in Rivers State and the strict measures taken by Governor Nyesom Wike to contain it, resulting in the closure of markets, hotels, night clubs and brothels as well as the lockdowns that followed, appear to be biting hard on prostitutes operating in Diobu, a densely populated axis of Port Harcourt.
Most of the prostitutes, TPCN investigation revealed, are now selling corn and peas by the road side to survive, as their main means of livelihood has been closed.
TPCN checks also showed that some of the prostitutes are selling vegetables, periwinkles and other menial items at the makeshift markets at Timber and Bishop Okoye Streets, Miles Two and Three respectfully.
It was gathered that the prostitutes used to live and operate in the brothels at Azikiwe Street, Mile 2, Diobu, before the Covid19 period set in.
When TPCN caught up with one of the prostitutes selling scent leaves, uziza and utazi leaves at the Timber Street makeshift market, she admitted that life had become very hard since the Corona virus scourge started, with the subsequent lockdown and closure of markets and public places that followed.
Unaware that TPCN had already got hint of the type of work she does, she added that she was still looking for job despite selling vegetables in the market.
Dressed in tight jeans trousers and sleeveless with both ear and nose rings, the fair-complexioned young lady said: “My brother, market dey dull. This one no be work, we just dey manage am for now make hunger no kill person. Make this Corona pass make we look for better job. But thank you for patronizing me. Since I came here today you’re the third person buying from me.”
One of the call girls now selling corn by the road side around Ikoku junction was also approached by TPCN correspondent pretending to be a customer.
In the course of buying corn from her, a friendly chat ensued and she opened up on the impact of the Covid19 on her means of livelihood.
“Thank God for this corn that came out, hunger for finish person. Corona don comot food from our mouths. I used to work in a very good hotel before Governor closed all hotels because of coro. God go punish China people. Na this corn dey help me. My sister wey I dey live with dey sell Isam (periwinkles) at Bishop Okoye. It’s well Sha.”