FEAR-STRICKEN HAWKERS DESERT LAGOS STREETS!
YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine toured the mega city on Sunday, July 3, 2016 and noticed the drastic reduction in the number of hawkers that used to cluster everywhere, jostling for customers, militating against the free flow of traffic and sometimes constituting a menace on the roads.
Moving from Agidingbi Road, in Ikeja, to Alausa, then Obalande and eventually Victoria Island, the whole place was devoid of hawkers. Except for the few sighted adjacent Bonny Camp and on Awolowo Road, in Ikoyi. Mostly of Northern extraction, and clutching more of carrots and cucumbers, we asked them a few questions which unearthed their ignorance about the July 1, 2016 now super effective Section One of the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law of 2003.
The law stipulates a 6-month jail term or a fine of N90,000 for both the hawker and buyer! Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, stated categorically days back and while on a television programme that Lagos has had enough of the hawkers as well as their excesses. And will henceforth move heavily against them.
‘Walahi, me I no know wetin I dey talk about’, one of the few hawkers on Awolowo Road told us sincerely. Another hawker whom we also spoke with, this time from the East, added that ‘Man must wack. Yes, I don hear about the law, but one still get to hustle. Abi Ambode wan make we become robbers? Na to just dey more careful, my oga’.
The new law, interestingly, has continued to receive mixed reactions ever since Ambode injected it with fresh blood. While many see it as being very harsh, others think otherwise. One of those in the former category asked rhetorically: ‘Why hasn’t the government tackled the issue of power like it’s handling this one? Abeg make dem take am easy with the poor o because their revolt no go get part 2’.
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