Young women engaged in prostitution also referred to as “night workers” or “sisters” are gaining notoriety at Madina, a suburb of Accra, as they connive with their pimps to rob and harass unsuspecting members of the public at night.
This situation has forced drivers, who operate at a lorry station close to the market area, to close at 7p.m. instead of 9p.m. since passengers are afraid to go near the station after 7p.m. due to the activities of these commercial sex workers and their male gangs.
The GPRTU Chairman for Madina Market Area trotro station, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, who disclosed this to The Mirror in Accra, said the commercial sex workers and their male gangs, who also robbed people at night, had pitched camp around the market close to the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly (La-NMMA).
“This place has become a-no-go-area after 7p.m. Recently, a man, who was coming to board a trotro, was robbed of his mobile phone and an amount of GH¢2,200. Several others have been robbed by these criminals,” Alhaji Fuseini noted.
He said the drivers’ union reported the menace to the La-NMMA and the assembly issued a letter to them to lodge a complaint with the Madina Police Command.
He said the Command assured them that they would extend night patrols to the area but they were yet to see the police there at nights.
“These criminals operate two drinking spots here, known as ‘Soldier Bar’ and ‘Smiler’ where they play loud music, as well as smoke and drink. They have also raised unapproved make-shift structures where their female counterparts serve their customers,” he said.
Due to the poor visibility and the poor road network at the market area, a driver, Mr Moro Adams, said the sex workers and their pimps often attacked and snatched mobile phones of commuters in the area.
“Some even throw stones at our cars when passengers look at them whenever we drive through the market at night. The situation is getting out of hand and we are appealing to the police and the assembly to act swiftly to avert any eventualities,” he stated.
Kwasi Asiedu, the man who allegedly attacked and killed the former member of parliament for Abuakwa North, J. B. Danquah-Adu, is believed to be a member of a notorious gang operating within Madina and other suburbs.
Some passengers and residents of Madina who interacted with The Mirror expressed worry about the growing activities of the commercial sex workers and other criminals at the Madina Market.
Samuel Tetteh, a shopkeeper noted that he had been compelled to close his shop early because of the increase of criminal activities in the area.
“At first, I used to close around 9p.m.-10p.m., but I was nearly attacked by these criminals but for the timely intervention of a passerby,” he explained.
Adams Mohammed also told The Mirror that he has stopped going to Madina Market lorry station to board trotro lately because of the commercial sex workers and their accomplices.
“Sometimes the way they openly smoke and drink even scares me not to go and pick a car there. If you are not careful, your mobile phone or any valuable item could be snatched from you,” he said.
Some market women who spoke to The Mirror noted that they always find used condoms on their tables every morning and called on the assembly to step in and save the situation.
The Madina District Crime Officer, DSP Michael Happy Addae, admitted receipt of the GPRTU’s concerns, and said efforts were underway to act on it.
Mr Addae admitted that some arrests had been made but the command was preparing for a full scale operation that would wipe out the commercial sex workers and their accomplices.
“Prostitution by law is illegal and we cannot allow it to thrive. Besides, we have received several complaints about how these commercial sex workers and their male counterparts terrorise residents there,” he stated.