village fell to ocean fury and the rage of the Lagos State government
last week. But tales of prostítution and drug peddling which defined its
exixtence have come to the fore, as insiders recount, reports SAMUEL
Beach, to its residents, is escapism of some sorts. Besides its regular
occupants, prostítutes and drug peddlers see the place as haven for
their operations. It was like an island on its own.
those who wanted to ‘feel high’ on illicit drug, Kuramo also gave them
that illusion of being on top of their world. Kuramo offered unending
music, blaring from speakers of numerous drinking joints that lined the
the music stopped early hours of Saturday, August 18, around 3:00am,
when ocean surge, entombed a large section of the shanties and cabins.
It was not only the shanties and cabins that fell casualties, about 16
persons were also swept away by the ocean rage.
Sunday, the picture became clearer, as government agents moved in, and
demolished the remaining shanties. As a result, the residents have
scattered. But some of them still wished it were a bad dream that would
soon go away. They were seen on Wednesday still hanging around the
Kuramo Beach extension.
of them lived there for over 10 years, and for those in this category,
it is difficult, having another place to call a home. One of them, who
pleaded anonymity, said Kuramo though offered them a shelter; it also
played host to a lot other negative indulgences.
to him, over 50 per cent of the inhabitants were prostítutes and they
were the main attraction, given the number of men who trooped in, mostly
said, “The prostítutes are the main attraction in Kuramo village. They
were there in all shapes and sizes. From 8:00pm, men would start
arriving. Some after gulping some bottles of alcoholic drink, would face
the commercial s*x workers.
prostítution, drug also came handy here. Whatever it was you wanted. Is
it marijuana or crack (cocaine)? They were available. A pinch sold for
N250, a wrapper of marijuana is N50. Again, there was another form of
marijuana, which a wrap sold for N200. That one was the concentrated
for those who wanted to enhance their s*xual performance, there were
those who sold the local aphrodisiac called Bura ntasi.”
source who spoke fluent English, said the prostítutes who lived inside
the cabins, where they paid between N800 -N1000 daily, depending on the
size of the room, were however, conscious of being infected with
HIV/AIDS, as they insisted their clients must put on condoms. But he
however, added that they had perfected some tricks, in which they
swindled some unsuspecting clients.
source said,“These prostítutes had agents, and the agents normally
lurked around. As soon as any man entered the room with any of them, he
would be asked to hang his trousers by the window. As soon as the client
got carried away by the s*xual ecstasy, the agent stealthily picked the
trousers from outside, and emptied the money and valuables therein.
patrons of prostítutes here had lost their valuables in that manner”.
According to him, the prostítutes charged between N500 -N1000, and all
depending on negotiation skills of the client.
“Kuramo ran on 24 hours basis, it hadly went to sleep.”
One of the former inhabitants, Mr. Samuel Adebayo could not be bothered about s*x hawkers and their antics.
concern was where he would start his tailoring business again. Having
lived in Kuramo for over 10 years, and being thrown out under three
hours, had left him puzzled for now. He was among those seen at the Bar
Beach sea front, about 100 metres from Kuramo, on Wednesday.
He denounced the claim of the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure that they were given four days notice.
had lived in Kuramo Beach for over 10 years, it was not true that there
was any notice. It was on Sunday (August 19) morning that the DPO of
Bar Beach police station led his men to this place and told everyone to
were given only two hours to pack our belongings. How many things could
one pack in two hours? So, some of us only took a fraction of what we
have, before the caterpillar moved in,” he said.
recollected that there were about 110 cabins, and they paid for
everything there. “There was no water, no toilets and no bathrooms. We
bought water at the rate of N50 per bucket. To bath, one would pay N100,
and to use the toilet, it attracted N100.”
his own part, Mr. Laja Obasi, who said he was a security man at Kuramo,
also said he lived there for almost 11 years, and he was almost
Obasi who explained that he earned N3,000 per week, stressed that his fear was how to get another job.
and his colleagues were for now, living at the mercy of friends and
passers-by. He moaned, “I’m still fit to work as security man, but who
can employ me?” He suffers a limp in one of his legs.”
former resident, who simply preferred to be addressed as Prince, said
he was a tourism promoter at the beach front, and all that had gone with
the wind. Dressed in a jeans trousers and ash-coloured sweater, he said
he was in the business of making those who visited the beach
comfortable, providing them good drinks and accommodation.
at Wednesday, Prince was still in a quandary about the way forward. “I
really want to retrace my steps by going back to God in a seven-day
prayer and fasting,” he began. “After that, I will now decide what next
to do. I have two options -either to raise money for my young wife to
start business, because I had been the one shouldering the family’s
burden or buy a car which I will be using to do kabukabu.”
commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Mr. Olusegun Oniru, who
visited the site on Monday reiterated that a four-day warning was given
to traders and residents. He said, “It is not that we waited for this
disaster to happen before we started acting. We gave them a four-day
warning of the looming ocean surge and high waves but they wouldn’t
listen. It is rather unfortunate that they waited for nature to force
added that the state government was faced with an Herculean task,
because some of the residents, had no place to go. Some have constructed
some shanties, directly in waterfront at the Bar Beach, and inside and
outside where they kept their wares and personal effects.
Besides, some traders who were equally dislodged displayed their wares inside their buses and cars.
most of the residents and traders ruled out compensation of any kind,
some of them were still bogged down by uncertainty of their future.