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Governor Ayade of Cross River Moves to Legalise Street Hawking

The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, says he is proposing a bill to legalise street hawking and protect hawkers in the state.

Ayade, who said his decision was informed by the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country, said it would be insensitive of any government to ban street hawking.

The governor said rather than ban street hawking and deny the poor the right to earn living, he would regulate their activities.

Ayade said this in Calabar, while signing the Homeland Security Service bill and eight other bills into law.

He said, “The Hawkers’ Protection Bill is one bill after my heart, which I must ensure its enactment and implementation within the shortest possible time.

“The supremacy of government does not allow it to know the agony of the downtrodden which is why hawking is being prohibited and hawkers subjected to merciless whips at all times by law enforcement agents.

“Why must we deny a man or woman the right to earn a living simply because he or she does not have money to rent a shop?

“We want a law that will make hawking legal and provide clear terms and conditions under which you can hawk. I will provide specific hawking corridors to protect the rights of the down trodden.

“The hawkers’ rights bill is key to Cross River State government. All I need to do is just to regulate it. Hawking is an African thing and we cannot shy away from the fact that at some point in our lives, we have been at our lowest levels. Personally, I have hawked before.”

The governor said he was conscious of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which he noted had since been domesticated in Cross River State.

As a result, he said the proposed bill to be known as Hawkers Protection Bill, would allow only adults of 18 years and above in reflective vest to hawk at designated time and locations to guarantee survival devoid of violation.



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