The state’s Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, says he has sent a Hawkers’ Right Bill to the House of Assembly in a bid to legalize hawking in the state, saying that it’s insensitive for any state government to ban hawking without providing an alternative.
The governor, who added that any decision to ban hawking amount to infringement of the rights of the hawker, pointed out that:
“You cannot tell a man not to sell his goods because he does not have money to rent a store. And you tell the man not to steal?
Just provide a regulatory framework. There should be reflective outfits and there should be a minimum age of 18 to hawk. You will have a time frame when you come out so that you don’t constitute nuisance. But to prohibit hawking is to tell a man, ‘I don’t want to give you food and I want you to steal.’
It is unfair. They have the right to seek and determine how they choose to live within the ambits of the law. Cross River would be the first state that would officially recognise hawking.