Thursday, August 19, 2010

Arresting teenagers for hawking

Authorities in Calabar, the capital of Nigeria's Cross River State, recently arrested 100 young street hawkers for selling legal goods in unauthorized places, Next newspaper reports.

The products they were selling: food items such as eggs, plantain chips, peanuts, potatoes, sachets of water, vegetables, garri (toasted, ground cassava), beverages, plus desirable consumer goods like mobile phone recharge cards and clothing.

Authorities contended, without offering any evidence, that some of those arrested were violent criminals.

But a parent of one of the kids arrested insisted that they were just trying to help their families make some money in a traditionally acceptable way. "How can a government stop street hawking when our tradition encourages it?"

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