Outraged by the harassment of women in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, a coalition of concerned individuals/organisations humbly requesting your help and support in signing  a letter to the Honourable Minister of the federal Capital Territory to stop the barbaric act.

The Abuja Environmental Protection Board had in the last couple of months picked up young women in various parts of Abuja, under the guise of weeding the streets of prostitutes. These women are subjected to harrowing conditions, harassed and detained without protecting their fundamental human rights. Quite a number of innocent women have fallen victim of these maltreatment by a Government agency

Please find the letter below. If you’re interested in signing this letter, please drop a comment with your name, name of organisation and email (where applicable)

As soon as we have 100 signatures, the letter would be physically delivered to the office of the Honourable minister of the Federal capital Territory and 5 other Government agencies to include: The Minister for Youth Development, the National Human rights Commission, The Minister for Women Affairs, The Attorney General of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary,  Federal Capital Development Authority.


September 23, 2011


Senator Bala Mohammed

Honurable Minister of FCT

No. 1 Kapital Road

Area 11, Garki

Abuja, FCT


Dear Sir,




Honourable Minister, our attention has been drawn to complaints that young women in Abuja are now constantly harassed on the streets of Abuja by your operatives from the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB). These agents, usually reinforced by a detachment of heavily armed Police and other security personnel, violate innocent women’s dignity and rights under the guise of curbing the menace of prostitution on the streets of our beloved city. While we abhor prostitution and condemn it as an immoral activity not be tolerated amongst youths, we worry that the current strategy of the AEPB has been to arrest every woman and young girl they spot at certain hours and in specific locations without any evidence or proof that they have been engaged in prostitution. Thereafter, the young women are subjected to detention and insulting treatment by the AEPB while waiting for family and friends to bail them from detention.


Honourable Minister, in this day and age when all stakeholders are working hard to improve gender equality at all levels we find the agency’s activities, which subject women to undue harassment and harrowing conditions, contradictory and retrogressive. If the goal of the AEPB patrol is really to curb prostitution (a responsibility that is not a part of its mandate), it would be useful for the agency to widely publish the laws guiding its actions to ensure that innocent youths are aware of the law and are not mistaken as prostitutes.

We call on you to use your good office to look into the activities of the AEPB. It is rather ironic that the agency responsible for policing the environment has not had reasons to investigate those indiscriminately polluting the environment nor has it effectively mobilised resources to clean up our dirty neighbourhoods. Rather the agency spends its time picking up young girls on the street and tagging them as prostitutes.


In fighting prostitutions, we want to highlight the much touted ‘Swedish Example’ as one instructive to our present plight. With this regulation it is not criminal to sell sex, but it is criminal to purchase sexual favours. The strategy here is to discourage the patrons of the prostitutes — who number much more than the prostitutes themselves. If such a strategy were implemented in Nigeria, we think that the men (and women) who patronise prostitutes would be discouraged (or prosecuted if they persisted) and gradually, the ‘sex industry’ in Abuja and elsewhere in Nigeria would come to a standstill, and prostitutes would be forced to find alternative employment. While we support the effort of your administration to give Nigeria a befitting national capital that is secure, beautiful and a tourist delight, we would advise that this quest to root out sex workers must be pursued within the framework of the rule of law and without compromising the freedoms of movement and association of all Abuja residents. We would be grateful if a decisive action is taken on the issues highlighted in this letter and we are open to engage in follow up discussions with the Honourable Minister and your officials.


Should reports of blatant violations of human rights persists on the streets of Abuja, we fear that we might seek legal action. We appreciate your audience.


Once again, please accept the assurances of our highest esteem and warm regards.





Rotimi Olawale




Deshola Komolafe

Executive Director

Save Our future



Rosanwo Babatunde

Global African Dialogue (GADO)


Anwo-Ade Babatunde

Cobweb Solutions


Ewajesu Asala

Country Director

Africa Women and Youth Organisation


Samson Itodo

Head, Research, Policy and Advocacy,

Youth Action Initiative Africa



Esther Essiet


After School Peer Mentoring Project


Bisola Edun

Creative Director



Chime Asonye



Charles Omofomwan


Noble Missions for Change Initiative (NMI)


Damilola Ade


Sprout Consulting


Wale Salami




Ajani Olumide Faith

Director, Advocacy

Blood Drive Initiative


Ukwo Joy Michael

Senior Programs Manager

MMSHF, Abuja


Akinbo A. A. Cornerstone

Project Director

Saving Lives Nigeria (SALIN)


Omowunmi Kuye

Gender and Violence officer

Super Network for Adolescents and Youths of Africa (SUNAYA)


‘Gbenga Sesan

Executive Director

Paradigm Initiative Nigeria


Wahab Isiaka

God Bless Nigeria Project



Abigail Odogun


Nigerian Women Resource Centre

Akure, Ondo state


Ajoyo Sowande



Babajide Aroyewun

Damaroy Foundation



Joycee Awojoodu

Solar and Alternative Resources (SOAR)



Iyinoluwa O. Aremu

sustain Nigeria Research Project



Bella Anne C. Ndubuisi

Centre for Public Policy and Research



Ifeanyi Kelly Orazulike

International Centre on Advocacy on Rights to Health


Chukwu Mary

Actors Guild of Nigeria


Amara Nwankpa

Light Up Nigeria


Abimbola Ojo

Olayiwola Joshua Aduroja

Paul A. Ben-Niboro

Roseline A.

Joy Mbalaso

Marvellous chikezie

Agbai Emmanuel Agbai

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Rotimi Olawale, co-founder of is a youth development expert. For more than six years he has been involved in leading youth advocacy efforts mainly around the Millennium Development Goals. In 2006, he represented Nigeria as a youth ambassador at the United Nations Global Youth Leadership Summit held at the UN Headquarters in New York. Rotimi has held several global leadership positions including; member, UNFPA Global Youth Advisory Panel for 2 years; member, African Youth Panel. Rotimi is currently involved in shaping local, national and global policies to benefit youth and also leverage opportunities for young people. He was listed by the Nigerian government as one of 15 Nigerian youth on the world stage in 2008.