A final year student of the Niger Delta University (NDU), in Bayelsa State is currently trending on social media after pictures of her project topic went viral.
Miss Charity Augustine of the Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Social Science, undertook her research thesis on the topic; Poverty and Prostitution in Bayelsa State: A case study of Yenagoa Local Government Area.
The topic has generated mixed reactions among residents of the state, some say it is unnecessary while most think it’s an important issue that needs to be given more attention.
Maxwell Willie in his comments praised the thesis for being novel, saying the choice of Yenagoa was a good one as prostitution, especially among under-aged girls is very common.
He said, “Academic research is about identifying a problem. Raise questions why the problem is there. Make hypothesis for possible solutions via set objectives, and then draw some inferences from the data so far gathered.
“Nobody has any reason to vilify this researcher so far as the topic identifies a problem while the content applied the appropriate method for gathering facts for the subject. Of course, she must have suggested solutions to the problem she personally identified”.
Another social media user, Kester Wilcox wrote, “Kudos to her. I need a copy of this project work. I’m from Yenagoa, and using Yenagoa as a case study is brilliant, where else could have been better if not the state capital surrounded by lots of different ethnicities?
“Lastly, the essence of the project is to solve societal issues, and I believe this will do that, also considering the lifestyle of young girls from Jss 3 already warming up to join the big girls @15 years and above; the business of prostitution is very disturbing and alarming. Maybe with this project government can look for a way to curb poverty”.
However, Samuel Brisibe expressed doubt that the topic would bring any positive impact on the society because it might be ignored by the government.
He said, “Most times the recommendations of these works are pushed under the table. Those recommendations are supposed to be a framework for solutions to such problems of society”.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the rate of prostitution in the state is quite high even among teenagers, which has been traced to the high level of poverty in the state.
The state also has an HIV pravelence rate of 1.9%, which is to say two in every 100 people are HIV positive.
A senior lecturer at the Federal University, Otuoke, who pleaded to be anonymous suggested that the thesis should be looked into by the relevant government authorities, which should take up the recommendations and effect ways to curb the rate of prostitution in the state.
“There is nothing wrong with the project topic. We shouldn’t shy away from that twin societal problem affecting us. Poverty and prostitution are social problems, so the research work I am sure provided sound academic solutions to tackle them”, he said.