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Ayade The Ideologue

Ayade, EFCC, legalisation
Posted: Aug 30, 2016 at 1:08 pm   /   by   /   comments (1)


By Magnus Ugwubujor

 As several other states are clamping down on street hawkers, the Governor Ben Ayade-led Cross River State government has sent a bill to the House of Assembly for the legalisation of street hawking in the State. The Bill tagged, “Hawkers Protection Bill”, seeks to protect the rights of street hawkers from any form of intimidation when carrying out their hawking activities in the state. The bill is predicated on the fact that hawking is part of the African life and tradition, and therefore needs to be sustained and regulated. In this case, hawking must only be done by adults 18 years and above and within designated times and locations.

 Recall that Lagos State, for instance, outlawed street hawking on the bases that it was a menace in the city; especially as the State is billed to be upgraded to a mega city status. Besides, hoodlums hide behind the radar of hawking to perpetuate crimes.

Somehow, the Cross Rivers state hawkers protection bill has elicited some polarised argument among analyst s along the lines of its hazardous tendencies and its humanitarian posture.

 But the latest governor Ayade’s hawker’s protection bill is undoubtedly humanitarian. Some analysts have argued that the governor is right in recognising the different circumstances that may have led people into this most popular form of trading.  The truth is that most of these people cannot afford to rent shops, and therefore, must be given a chance to earn a living at that level. However, there are also other critics of the bill who argue that hawking may have been part of Africa’s history, but in the 21st century, things have changed, the world has changed and Nigeria must key in to this wave of change and civility. Our cities need to be descent and better organised devoid of the menace that hawkers constitute as they tend to deface the city and commit crime under the guise of hawking. Certainly, different strokes for different folks.

 Meanwhile, for most residents of Calabar, the move is a welcome development and must be supported considering its human face. However, for this bill to see the light of the day it would, certainly, depend on whether or not the House of Assembly would see it from the governor’s perspective.


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