By Our Correspondent
Residents around Flour Mills area of Calabar have told CrossRiverWatch that they are very happy about the demolition of the Peace Garden Hotel, a very notorious brothel in Calabar.
The brothel is a very notorious hang out for hardened criminals who have been linked with several crimes that are committed in Calabar metropolis and water front communities in the state capital.
But the State Security Adviser, (SSA), Mr. Jude Ngaji, September 22, led detectives from the Cross River State Police command Headquarters in Calabar to raid the hotel and 54 prostitutes were arrested along with 69 of their male clients while the place was shut down.
Residents had expressed concerns to CrossRiverWatch that the place may soon be reopened as that was the usual practice where security agents raid the place, close it down and after the owners go and pay money, the place is reopened.
But that hope seem to have been dashed with the eventual demolition of the place and when our reporter visited the scene, residents who spoke said they can breathe a sigh of relief and can be sure that the place may have finally shut down.
Some of the respondents did not want to be named for fear of victimization. But one of them who simply identified himself as Effiong said “Last week when they came and raided the place and locked up, I told my friends not to mind them because we have been seeing that from the time of Donald Duke and after sometime, they will reopen the place after collecting bribe. But this one that they have demolished the place, this is the first time we are seeing this and we can now say that Flour Mill ashewo hotel is finally gone and we are very happy with the governor Ben Ayade.”
A lady who says she sells provisions opposite the place at night said, “Though my business will affected but I must tell you that all of us around here are happy with this governor Ben Ayade for taking the decision to bring down this hotel. The kind of violence and the armed robbers that hide here are a problem even to us who live here and come to talk of the small small children who come here to do ashewo. All the noise and the fighting and sometimes dead bodies that we see around can now stop. God will bless the governor.”
Another female respondent told our reporter that, “I have been robbed by people from that hotel twice on my way to the catholic church across for morning mass. I don’t know how to thank this governor for this demolition other than to say God will bless him.”
The State Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji told CrossRiverWatch that: “Its true residents said they were not sure the place will be closed. They said several attempts to close the place in the past had failed. But we were determined to end that menace. That place became a security risk to the entire state and there was never a time the owners got approval from government to build a brothel there so we had to bring it down.
“There is a second place like that which is also as bad and infested as the flour mill brothel that we will also hit again very very soon. That one is somehow hidden but terrible things happen there too. We are hitting it very soon and bringing it down too. We are not saying adults who want to do prostitution cannot but when a brothel becomes a security threat to an entire state, we must act accordingly.
“A total of 69 male clients and 54 prostitutes were arrested in the raid. Out of the 54 prostitutes, 52 are Igbos, 1 is from Akwa Ibom and 1 from Cross River State and not more than 3 of them are up to 21 years old. The rest are all minors between 14 and 16 years.”
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