25 Out-Of-School Child Hawkers Arrested In Anambra
By Nedum Noble
No fewer than twenty-five child-hawkers have been arrested by the Anambra state government within the Eke Awka market and Oye-Agu Abagana areas in Awka North council area of the state.
The state governor, Willie Obiano had earlier warned parents and guardians to desist from sending their wards to hawking during school hours or risk their being arrested.
Commissioner for Social Welfare, Children and Women’s Affairs, Dr. Victoria Chikwelu, who led the raid in conjunction with a non-governmental organization, noted that the exercise was an indication of government seriousness in implementing the law to the letter to create a child- friendly environment.
She warned parents and guardians who use their wards or children to make money by sending them to hawk during school hours to retrace their steps or be prosecuted.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the partnering organization, Sir Emeka Ejide, assured that the raid on out-of-school child hawkers and those being used for alms begging would be a continuous process.
“Between 10 am and 3 pm, the Ministry captured 25 children at different points selling sachet water and some who were being used for alms,” he hinted.
He further disclosed that the exercise would spread to all parts of the state in line with Governor Obiano’s resolve in making 2018 the year of the Anambra state child.
Some of the children who spoke to newsmen, revealed that they make between N600 to N1,000 daily.
While some blame their inability to go to school on the financial incapability of their parents to pay for their fees, others said they suffer physical abuse and molestation, among other risks, while hawking sachet water and other items.
“We love to go to school but because our parents are poor and could not afford our school fees, they send us to hawk to make ends meet,” one of them decried.
Some of the parents and guardians, who came to collect their children, regretted their acts and promised to desist from them.