AEPB: From street cleaning to morality policing ~ By Alkasim Abdulkadir @alkayy

Published:6 Dec, 2012

AEPB: From street cleaning to morality policing.

By Alkasim Abdulkadir.

Abuja based actress and socialite Dorothy Njamanze didn’t bargain for the nightmarish experience she recently suffered at the hands of Abuja Environmental Protection Board AEPB, she had gone in search of her brother at a garden only to be accosted by armed men who shoved, assaulted her and pushed her into a bus. When Njamanze left later, she had undergone an ordeal that featured shouting matches, threats of being shot and wanton humiliation, but she was free to go home. Multitudes of women have gone through worse than her.
Wait, we are not talking about Kabul where at the height of the Taliban the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice instituted a strict state of Sharia law where women were subjected to all forms of degradation. This is Abuja.

According to the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund and the National Human Rights Commission their victims and litany of abuses range from assaulting law students attending mandatory Law School dinners, employees of Airtel attending a birthday party, a banker exiting a shopping mall, people sitting inside or exiting their cars, and even women standing in front of offices or residences at all hours of the evening have been forcibly abducted and taken to purported installations of law enforcement such as the Area 10 Sports Complex. There, the women either buy their freedom or are tortured into ‘confessing’ and forcibly transferred to an alleged rehabilitation camp for purported sex workers maintained by the Society against Prostitution and Child Labour in Nigeria (SAPCLN) in Arco Estate, Sabon Lugbe.

How did we get here? Abuja was once a sleepy administrative capital. The rhythm was the same monotonous beat every day, for the residents it was a linear movement between home and office. However, as the city grew so did more and more people come to share in the beauty and perception of city where the grass was greener, most especially it had the status of capital city that was a home to all Nigerians –within a short time the absence of leisure and recreation spots were felt. This heralded the opening of clubs, lounges and green areas morphed overnight into after-work drinking spaces.

The perception of Abuja as a land of Golden Fleece, has attracted people who have become AEPB’s greatest foes vendors of everyday merchandise on street corners and kerbs of the city; and also commercial sex workers who throng major spots like streets around Zone 4 Wuse and the long stretch of Adetokunbo Ademola amongst
It is these two aforementioned classes that SAPCLN claims to be waging its battle against however most residents of Abuja allege that both SAPCLN and the AEPB have overstretched their constitional limits. Ayisha Osori writing in The Tuesday Column of Leadership newspaper recently reported that under the pretext of ‘eradicating commercial sex workers in Abuja’, employees of the AEPB together with armed unidentified members of the security service have been abducting women from the streets. Without asking for any form of identification these armed men, sometimes in uniform and sometimes without, grab these women, shove them into waiting buses, beat them when they try to resist (as anyone would when taken by force and surprise) and take them to pseudo law enforcement centres.

It is interesting to note that by these actions the AEPB have jettisoned their original mandate of preserving the environment as according to the information on the AEPB website as stated on the organization’s website their mandate is to ‘make the city safe and clean’.

Osori further asked a rhetorical question in her opinion piece aptly contextualising the problem “While the Penal Code which is applicable in Abuja makes prostitution a crime, the definition of prostitution within the Penal Code clearly provides amongst other things that the person arrested must be found to be ‘persistently soliciting’. How many of these women abducted as they come out of offices, restaurants, houses, clubs or even sitting inside cars could be said to be guilty of ‘persistently soliciting’?”

The women’s Trust Fund and the National Human Rights Commission who have continuously raised awareness on the issue have also brought the attention of the federal government to ongoing persecution against women in Abuja
“There is no legal basis or justification for the actions of these personnel of the AEPB (with support from the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Army)– not in the AEPB Act of 1997 nor in the Penal Code which applies in the FCT. This conduct constitutes arbitrary and grossly unlawful invasions of the integrity of the Nigerian woman – denying these women their fundamental and constitutionally guaranteed rights under Sections 35, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution.
The actions of the AEPB egregiously violate the values of equal citizenship on which our country is founded. Above all, they are also acts of calculated outrage on the reputation and dignity of the affected women that cannot be supported by any responsible institution of government. The WF and the NHRC call on every Nigerian of conscience and all civil society organizations to raise their voices to call for justice for the victims of the AEPB and an immediate end to the war against women in Abuja”.

The coming months are a test to see if SACPN and AEPB will change their style of operations from their wanton arbitrariness to a more civil engagement, but before then their buses will prowl the city in their moral policing.

0 thoughts on “AEPB: From street cleaning to morality policing ~ By Alkasim Abdulkadir @alkayy”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Recent Posts

We Fought Corruption Without Making Noise– Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration fought corruption in the country without making noise about it. Mr. Jonathan said this on Monday while speaking at the Oxford Union of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The immediate past Nigerian leader spoke on the theme “Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship”. Responding to inquiries by some of the students regarding his administration’s fight against corruption, Mr. Jonathan said he would not like to...

EFCC Arrests Reuben Abati Over N100 Million Funds

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Reuben Abati, a former spokesman to former President Goodluck Jonathan, over allegations of financial crimes. According to an EFCC source, Abati is being interrogated over allegation of collecting about N100 million from the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki. The source added that Abati is likely to be detained by the EFCC in its Abuja detention facility. Credit: dailytrust

I Beheaded My Victim To Avoid Running Mad, Arrested Man Confesses

The Police in Abia State have arrested a man, Emmanuel Effiong, who said he beheaded a woman in order to prevent himself from running mad. Effiong, who pleaded guilty in an interview with newsmen in Aba during his parade by the Abia Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade, said he beheaded the woman in the night and threw her head into the Aba River. He said a spiritualist had advised him to perform the act as a sacrifice to avert...

Police To Create Special Unit To Tackle Cybercrime

The Nigeria Police Force on Monday said it would create a Specialists Unit to deal with the rising cases of cybercrime in the country. The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, disclosed this at a three-day Training Workshop on Cybercrime for police officers in Abuja. Idris was represented by AIG Umar Shehu, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Intelligence department. He said that the training further demonstrated the commitment of the force to check cybercrime...

Jay Z to Perform Ohio Concert for Hillary Clinton

Jay-Z is set to perform a “get out the vote” concert in Ohio, prior to Election Day, with the aim of getting black voters out for Hillary Clinton in the key swing state. The date nor the venue of the performance have been confirmed but a Clinton aide confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Monday that the show will take place in Cleveland. The gig comes as part of Clinton’s effort to lock up key battleground states, with...

EFCC Recovers Over N325m From Politicians, Individuals In North-east

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has recovered N325,181,919.00 from politicians and individuals the Northeast zone and secured five convictions in its operations across the states there.   Aminu Ado Aminu, EFCC Head of Operations, made this known in Gombe at the weekend while recounting the successes from January 2016 to date within the zone. It comprises Adamawa, Bauchi,...

What Buhari, APC Governors Discussed In Closed Door Meeting (SEE PHOTOS)

The All Progressives Congress on Monday said the lingering economic crisis in the country should no longer be blamed on the 16-year streak of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The party said it could no longer continue to blame past administrations for the enormous hardship Nigerians are grappling with. The...

Video: Reminisce Ft. Seriki, Ola Dips & Ice Prince – Feego

Reminisce Releases the official video to his ‘street hop’ titled “Feego”, the second song off his Cypher Sessions project. “Feego” enlists the creative madness of veteran Ibile MC Seriki; the young king of the new school Ola Dips; and the indomitable Ice Prince. Watch as rappers exchange punchlines on the jaw dropping beat. This is certainly a must watch video for all Hip-Hop lovers. Check the visuals out below and share your views! AUDIO DOWNLOAD Watch “Feego” Video by...

Manchester United vs Man City to Be Refereed By Mike Dean

Mike Dean has been appointed as the referee for the midweek EFL Cup fixture between Manchester United and Manchester City. The 48-year-old will be overseeing his third Manchester derby, his last being in 2013 as City defeated United 2-1 at Old Trafford with goals from James Milner and Sergio Aguero. Dean has shown 38 yellow cards thus far in the 2016-17 Premier League season, whilst the one red card he has dished out was to United loanee Adnan Januzaj...

Protest: Benin-Lagos Highway Totally Shut Over Plans to Relocate Traders

Protesters on Monday blocked the Uselu/Ugbowo section of the Benin-Lagos highway over plans by Egor Local Government Area of Edo to relocate traders. The protesters, under the aegis of Uselu Market Women Association, were resisting the directive to move to lock-up stores built by the council. The women, displaying placards, blocked both sides of the highway, preventing motorists from continuing with their trips. Some of the women said the N1.2 million charged for the stalls was too expensive for them, especially...

“I belong to the kitchen, living room, other room”– Mrs Wike

Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike backed the President, by saying that she belongs to the kitchen, the living room and every room created by God while speaking at the 10th Biennial Diocesan Women’s Guild Conference Thanksgiving Service of the Anglican Diocese of the Niger Delta North in Saint Thomas Anglican Church, Diobu, Port Harcourt yesterday.   According to her, “All women have been through a lot as they strive to build the society.   “Our contributions to societal development cannot be underestimated.   “I belong to...

NJC plans to stop publication of petitions against judges.

The National Judicial Council is set to bar media reportage of allegations of misconduct levelled against judges and employees of the judiciary. This is contained in the National Judicial Policy to be launched by the NJC on Monday and which will widen the dark veil that shields disciplinary proceedings against judges. Under the new policy, the NJC or any institutions of the judiciary shall discard a complaint sent against a judge or employee of the judiciary for investigation if after receiving...

Military operation won’t stop us – Militants

Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA) has said military presence in the Niger Delta will not stop agitation for control of resources. The ABA said hostilities will soon break out in the Niger Delta but held out that it is ready for a dialogue process that would be led by Chief Edwin Clark. “All we want you to know is that hostilities in the Niger Delta region will soon begin because the time that was given to you was enough for any meaningful...

Ondo guber: I remain PDP candidate – Ibrahim

The factional candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the November 2016 Ondo State governorship election, Jimoh Ibrahim, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of trying to exclude him from the election by not accepting his papers as the authentic candidate of the PDP. Addressing a press conference in Abuja, yesterday evening, Ibrahim, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not an appeal court, therefore, cannot determine who is the PDP candidate in the election. The business mogul’s...

14-Year Old Girl Connives With Soldier Boyfriend, 20, To Kill Mom Because She Was Against Their Relationship

Young Jamie Silvonek might have only been 14, but her intelligence and grown-up mannerisms defied her age. Adults spoke to her like an equal and her teachers accelerated her learning. So when the young blonde caught the eye of an army cadet at a music gig in Pennsylvania in October 2014, Jamie had no problem persuading him she was about to turn 18. Caleb Barnes was 20, and very taken with Jamie. She lived in Allentown and soldier Caleb has based...

Father Sentenced to 1,503 Years in Prison for Raping Teenage Daughter

A 41-year-old man in Fresno, Califonia was sentenced to 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a four-year period. The man was sentenced Friday, October 21, to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history. The Associated Press is not naming the man because it could identify his daughter. They also don't name victims of sexual abuse. In announcing the punishment, Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. told the man he is a "serious danger...

Police Nabs Child Trafficking Syndicate in Akwa Ibom, Rescue 2-Month-old Baby Sold For N450,000

The Akwa Ibom Police Command has arrested a child trafficking syndicate and a woman for allegedly buying a 2-month-old baby for N450,000. The suspected traffickers were paraded to journalists on Saturday, October 22, at the state police headquarters in Uyo. Those paraded included a homeopathic doctor, Eneyo Nyang, who is accused of running the baby factory, two teenage girls and a twenty-four year- old mother Comfort Effiong, who had sold her two-month old baby to a 51-year-old woman, Rose Edwardfor...

Meet UNILORIN Medicine Graduate that Bagged 19 Awards at her Convocation

Yusuf Ololade Faidat, bagged 19 prizes at the University of Ilorin 32nd convocation ceremony that held yesterday. Faidat, who is in her early 20s beat the men in her department to win the prize for the best graduating student from the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences. She received the prize of N20,000 awarded each session by the Senate to the student adjudged to be the best in each faculty. She also got another prize of N10,000,...

Former IGP Solomon Arase Denies 19 Vehicles were Recovered From Him

The Immediate past Inspector General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase has denied allegations that 19 assorted vehicles belonging to the police force were recovered from him. A Special Investigation Panel set up by Arase’s successor, Ibrahim Idris had revealed over the weekend, that vehicle to include sedans, Sports Utility Vehicles and pick-up vans were recovered from the former police boss. The ex-IGP, in a statement he personally signed on Monday morning, stated that it was clear that some...

Falz & Simi Spark Marriage Rumours With Yet Another Photo

Falz The BahdGuy and singing sensation, Simi, have sparked marriage rumours among fans after the release of yet another photo this morning on their instagram pages. And they both have refused to write a caption on any of the photos. Fans are asking questions on whether it is a pre- wedding photo, while others have jumped into conclusion already; saying that the two are getting married. See previous photos they posted below:

Jay Z Says He ‘Misses The Old Kanye’ Following West’s Recent Rant

Here’s something we all have in common with Jay Z: He misses the “old Kanye.” Roc-A-Fella co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke revealed as much following Kanye West’s surprising rant against his idol last week. Kanye blasted Jay for not personally visiting him after wife Kim Kardashian got robbed in Paris, for never setting up a playdate with their kids, and for Tidal politics preventing him from linking up with Drake, an Apple Music artist. “I...