The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), has urged Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode and Lagos State House of Assembly to `show human face’ in the enforcement of the law banning street hawking in the state.
The group made the call in a statement signed by CDHR Lagos Branch Chairman and Secretary, Mr Alex Omotehinse and Olumuyiwa Kushimo respectively and issued to newsmen on Friday in Lagos.
It said that the government needed to do more on social welfare responsibility and unemployment before enforcing such a law.
The statement read: “It must be very clear to all that the CDHR, Lagos state branch, do not entirely oppose the government policies especially the street trading and illegal market law.
“But, in a society where government itself is lacking in its social welfare responsibilities, the law is nothing but anti-masses law without human face.
“We urge the governor and the House of Assembly to be pro-masses and reflect on the economic pains and challenges of the people who have been very patient and tolerant.
“The state government and the legislative body should consider and appreciate the good people of Lagos State who went all out defying the security and the risk they went through in the last transition.
“We urge the governor and the Speaker of Lagos Assembly to use their good offices to reconsider our position.
“The House of Assembly should show its true concern and love for the masses they represent by putting the law on hold.”
CDHR noted that majority of street hawkers were youths who designed for themselves alternative means of survival as a result of government’s failure in its social responsibilities.
It said that socio-economic challenges, unemployment, poor access to education, bad road network, poor traffic management and lack of affordable lock up shops across council areas were responsible for street hawking.
It warned that it would embark on mass protest to Government House and the Assembly Complex if nothing was done to reverse the law and its enforcement.
The NGO warned that it would not hesitate to institute legal action against the government to correct the situation if the state failed to act on its position.
NAN recalled that the government commenced enforcement of the law banning street hawking on July 1 following the death of a hawker who was crushed by a vehicle at Maryland on June 29.
The CDHR is a human rights and non-governmental organisation whose ideals are committed to equity, justice, democratic values and good governance.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate