Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
No fewer than fifty individuals have been arrested by the Anambra State Government for allegedly indulging in alms begging and hawking in the streets of Awka, the State capital.
The arrest was made Wednesday by the joint task force team from the Anambra State Ministry of Women & Social Welfare and Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra, OCHA Brigade.
Among those arrested were street beggars and out-of-school children hawking along Arroma and Regina Caeli Junctions, UNIZIK Temporary Site, Kwata Junction, Amawbia Bypass, and Eke Awka Market, among others.
The action, according to the team, was aimed at sanitising the state and paving the way for easy flow of traffic and rescuing out-of-school children to achieve the present administration’s clean, green, and sustainable mega-city agenda.
Speaking shortly after the raid, the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Mrs. Ify Obinabo, said the state government observed that there is an increase in the rate of children who hawk within Awka and beyond, increasing evidence of child labour and exploitation that contradict the Child’s Rights Law which the state is a signatory to.
Mrs. Obinabo restated that Anambra State Government frowns at child labour in any guise and reiterated that any child seen during school hours would be apprehended and sent to school.
In their comments, the beggars who hail from different parts of the country blamed the act on hardship and lack of financial assistance.
They solicited financial assistance to enable them to start up some businesses and put their children back in school.