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A City of sin Where sex is legal tender

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For the uninformed first-time visitor, the serene atmosphere could be deceptive. Everybody seems too busy either minding or going about his or her legitimate business. But that is how far the good story about Itiro (pronounced “Interior”), a tiny fun spot tucked away in Agboju community in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, goes.

Except for the initiate, Itiro is not a popular place. Even for the very few who are conversant with Agboju, the name is out of it. But though an obscure area located behind the roots and herb market near the Mile 2-Badagry Expressway, Itiro bubbles 24 hours every day. It is a beehive of flagrant immorality and lawlessness; perhaps Nigeria’s version of the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. Itiro thrives in the bad and the ugly, harbouring prostitutes of the weirdest class, serial rapists as well as drug and alcoholic addicts.

At both sides of the Itiro’s dark alley are two long and windy face-me-I-face-you structures that serve as home and workplace for the sex hawkers. Both the young and the old, some of them pretty enough to harass the scarecrow, literally dot the scores of doorposts displaying their fleshy wares. Itiro is home to seemingly retired prostitutes even though activities in the sex marketplace suggest that age is hardly a barrier.

Within a stretch of the gangway in the area is a sharp bend on the left (if the visitor came through the Expressway) and on the right, if through the Old Ojo road, that leads to another dark enclave where marijuana and other hard drugs are freely consumed. A source told Sunday Sun that serial rapists also operate at the same dark spot where hard substances are sold and consumed. Here, the only law that operates is lawlessness.

After a good dose of hard drugs, the usually male clients would move over to the beer palours that adorn the place to drown themselves in hot drinks and beer before patronising the flesh hawkers. Those who cannot afford the beer and hot drinks usually go for the comparatively cheaper local dry gin otherwise known as ‘kai kai’ or “Ogogoro” in local parlance. Many inhale a powdery substance they ignorantly refer to as ‘solution,’ which is highly intoxicating.

When our correspondent visited the enclave pretending to be a passerby as strictly instructed by his guide, three haggard-looking old whores with flabby breasts closed in on him, displaying their traditional seductive antics. Here, the women come in various complexions, shapes and sizes. You have the old and the young; the big and the small; the heavily breasted with highly endowed buttocks, the tall and the short; the fair-skinned, dark-skinned or chocolate coloured.

Also, there are the ‘old horses’ and the tenderfoot scrambling to stay afloat in the business. One of them was so daring that she nudged this reporter with her breasts signalling him into a cave-like room for business discussion.

Though our correspondent was surprised, it was obvious that the action was not novel and so, he played along. The old lady was shapeless, huge and tall with intimidating stretch marks on the essential parts of her body. As she was busy twisting her waist, displaying her flabby and stretch-marked breasts, lubricating her lips in a sexually enticing manner while manipulating her eyes salaciously, our correspondent asked her what she wanted.

She said she wanted hot and scintillating sex and that the price was affordable. On further inquiry, she told our correspondent that having it with the lady completely naked or ‘pull clothes,’ a it is tagged in the trade, goes for N1000 while half nakedness attracts a paltry N700.

When our correspondent protested that the price was too high, she came down to N500 and eventually volunteered to offer her services free if he did not have any cash, provided the rest of the negotiation was done inside her room. At this point, our reporter sensed danger and asked to be excused for some minutes to enable him go and eat before the real business.

She obliged and the reporter escaped. But that smart move was soon aborted by another ‘grandma’ who accosted him. It was around 10:30am. This time, Clara as she was later identified didn’t waste any minute in telling him how she would give him any style he wanted. She said she was ready to take the reporter to ‘cloud 7’ and prove to him that ‘there are prostitutes but there are prostitutes.’ Asked about her state of origin, Clara debunked the popular belief that women from a particular riverine state in the country are more proficient in sexual acts pointing out that some people could disappoint you when the chips are down.

“This has got nothing to do with tribe. Let me tell you, I know what I can do. Tribe doesn’t matter. It is not a determinant in this game. It’s just a personal effort at being the best of what you do. It is a personal skill that is learnt over the years; that’s all. I will give you whatever style you want,” Clara promised.

Asked to mention the styles she knew and which one she was expert in, she retorted: “Is it the front, the back, the side-by-side, the squatting, the acrobatic or what do you want? I know that most men like back style. Whichever style you choose, you will not regret knowing me, and you will ever come back to look for me; I promise you. Just try me.”

Apparently suspecting that this reporter did not have the N1000 she had demanded, she also volunteered to render free service to prove the old saying that, “One good turn deserves another”. But the reporter quickly applied his earlier strategy. “Let me go and eat first because the way I am seeing your eyes, if we go into that room, you will rape me and I have not eaten today or do you want to kill somebody?”

Protesting the request, Clara wondered how a young man like the reporter should be talking about death because of simple early morning sex, which according to her, should be the safest because in her reasoning that is when the energy of every able-bodied young man ought to be at the maximum, breakfast or no breakfast.

When Sunday Sun went back the second time around 7:30pm to observe nightlife in Itiro, another chapter was opened. The prostitutes were at their element. Each displayed her entire arsenal except the ‘sacred forest,’ all in a bid to lure men to bed and make some cool cash. Also paraded were different shapes and sizes of breasts, some of them very flat that one could mistake their bearers for men, if not for the skimpy pants they put on. Some have extra large and loose boobs while others flaunt long paw-paw-like breasts with heavy stretch marks.

Also on display were seemingly standing boobs which on enquiry, turned out to be false, papier-mâché breasts meant to hoodwink and attract customers. One of the hawkers came out with heavily built ‘front arrows’ dangerously sprouting, with the nipples pointing sharply, an indication that they were supported with groundnut as our reporter later found out.

It was also discovered that the prostitutes at Itiro offer breast sucking for a token. Some men, Sunday Sun checks revealed, go there to suck breasts only for a fee. It was further gathered that such men either suffer poor erection or are afraid of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

To confirm this finding, this reporter approached one of the women and demanded for breast-sucking only. The young fat hawker in her 50s, who later gave her name as Rose demanded for N300 for 10 minutes of breast-suck. She said that most of them dislike the idea of sucking their breasts without doing the real thing but they would readily oblige but for a fee, if that is what their customer wants. According to her, the women are averse to breast-suck alone for three reasons.

One, the money is small. Two, it takes longer time and three, it causes emotional discomfort for them because they would have been taken to “cloud 7 and ready for action” only for the customer to end the fantasy midway. This, according to her, has often forced a good number of them to offer free sex just to stabilise their erotic emotion.

“The breast-suck no be am. We just dey do that one just because of bad market. If market dey, nobody get time for that because e no dey pay big money and e dey make our body one kind after the man don suck finish. “Many of us go even look for men wey go do us even if they no get money. We no mind but make our body cool down first. So, no be say we like am like that but just bad market,” Rose explained in pidgin English.

Talking of Itiro and its notoriety, a young man who sells recharge cards at Agboju bus stop, described it as small but mighty. He shared his experience on a particular day. “That very fateful day, I decided to take that route to my house at the other side of Old Ojo road having closed for the day’s work. While on my way home, one hefty woman just grabbed me by the waist from behind. Though it was about 8pm, I wrestled to extricate myself from her grip and I told her that I was a child of God.

She called the attention of her colleagues and they were laughing and booing me saying, “Pastor wey dey pass where Ashawo dey live, wetin e dey find; no be sex?” They laughed but I hurriedly escaped and since that day I have not passed through the place again.”

Continuing, he said: “It is not only those Ashawo you see there that made Itiro a very bad place. If you look at the alley very well, you will see an adjoining entrance by your left. If you went in through the Badagry-Mile 2 Expressway, it will lead you to another point where the bad boys smoke all kinds of Indian hemp and what have you.

“The place is also known for rape. There are rapists prowling around, though that normally happens at night. If you are a female and maybe you are a stranger and you go near the place at night, they would just descend on you. I think that is because having taken much drugs and alcohol, they would naturally want to have sex and if they don’t have money to pay those prostitutes, they would descend on any innocent girl they see around.”

Another man who identified himself as Clement and sells clothes at the Old Ojo Road side of Itiro said the class of prostitutes that the place parades are mostly women in their late 50s and early 60s. He told a story of a young man who visited her mother-in-law living in the place. The woman saw nothing wrong in the visit just as her daughter and husband did not see anything wrong in what the woman was doing. Clement saw everything wrong with such actions.

Speaking about rape in the vicinity, a man who lives in the neighbourhood told Sunday Sun that people are raped virtually every day. “There are serial rapists in that small enclave called Itiro. They would be at the Express side of the jungle to direct ladies who are looking for a connecting road to the Old Ojo road. They would appear as real helpers but they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. As soon as their target enters, they would signal their accomplices at a dark spot before the other side of Old Ojo road.

Those ones would whisk the unlucky lady to their base threatening her to submission with weapon. And the most surprising thing is that unless you are told, you can never suspect that such a place exists. There is no sign that such evil is perpetrated in the place but if you put your ear to the ground, you will get more than you even bargained for. It is that bad,” he said.

Investigation revealed that aside prostitution and rape, another bad side of Itiro is drug business. Substances such as Marijuana or ‘Igbo’ in local parlance and other hard drugs as well as local gin (kai kai) are sold and consumed with reckless abandon; thus, making Itiro a breeding ground for criminals and a hide-out for hoodlums.

Checks also revealed that the police are aware of the place and the level of crime that goes on there but chose to do nothing because they are also alleged beneficiaries. It was gathered that each time they stormed the place, they would be offered free sex, after which, they would look the other way. It was also learnt that sometimes, the law enforcement agents would force the women to sleep with them or risk being arrested.

As for the drug peddlers, it was discovered that they are allowed to carry on with their trade unhindered because some of the policemen also patronize them. Each time they go there, they are offered the hard drugs and some bottles of beer-free-of-charge and with that, the illicit business goes on unhindered.

Checks also revealed that Itiro, as small and obscure as it is, bubbles with activities round the clock. A source aptly captured this way: “Night is day and day is night at Itiro; but Itiro is only known to very few persons. Not even many people who do business in Agboju market or around the market know about the place. It is indeed small but very mighty.” He is right

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