The Rivers state police command has sparked outrage amongst Nigerians on social media over its comment on the recent killings of young women in hotels in Port Harcourt.
Since July, photos of different young women found dead in hotel rooms have been circulating on social media platforms.
The bodies of these ladies were said to have been found in similar conditions – strangled and tied with a white cloth around their necks.
In August, the police had confirmed three young girls were killed in a similar manner in hotels in different parts of the city.
A group of women, however, took to the street to stage a peaceful protest with respect to the killings and to draw the attention of the public to the “heinous activities of serial killers” in the city.
They also took the protest to the police headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Chucks Enwonwu, deputy commissioner of police in the state, who addressed the protesters, confirmed that they have been receiving several complaints about the serial killing of women in the state.
He, however, urged them to educate other women to desist from prostitution as it makes them easy targets to prey on.
“In as much as societal values degenerate, you need to go back to educate your fellow women and advise them against prostitution because they are the targets and victims of such crimes,” BBC quoted him to have said.
Enwonwu’s comment did not go down well with some Nigerians and they have taken to various platforms especially Twitter to vent their anger.
While a number of users slammed the police for jumping into conclusions — by describing the victims as prostitutes — others called for thorough investigations with a view to apprehending the killers.
“There’s a psychopath on the loose and @PoliceNG has the effrontery to blame “prostitution”. Y’all can prove the victims were prostitutes, but have no clue who the murdering bastard is,” a Twitter user said.
“Whether you are fighting for a just cause or not, this is indirectly justifying the serial killer even the said sex workers are human, they don’t deserve to die in such manner,” another user said.
Even if the girls being killed are sex workers, does it mean sex workers deserve such a thing? Aren’t they humans? Shouldn’t their lives matter? Please @PoliceNG do something. #PHCserialkiller. #Savephgirls.
This tweet is to bring awareness to the serial killings of women recently and in the past in Portharcourt by an unidentified serial killer. Their occupation matter little, we demand the government of Rivers move swiftly to #ProtectPHWomen & #ProtectPhGirls. We’re in Solidarity✊
So hotels were built for only men ? Women can’t go to hotels too? How dare you ask what a girl is going to do in a hotel. Your level of entitlement is extremely disgusting. You people are running mad!!!!! #ProtectPHWomen#PHCSerialKiller