By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
Lagos—Members of some Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs and petty traders, yesterday, stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly, protesting against the state government’s ban on street trading in the state.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, recently ordered the law enforcement agencies to implement the ‘Street Trading Law and Illegal Market Law, 2003’ after an incident between Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, officials and a trader resulted in the death of the latter along Ikorodu Road.
According to the law, anyone convicted of street trading offence would pay N90, 000 or six months imprisonment. The punishment is for both the seller and buyer.
The protesters lamented that many market men and women in the state cannot afford the exorbitant fee charged on renovated shops, hence the resolve to hawk on the streets to make ends meet.
The protesters in a petition sent to the House of Assembly, signed by the Chairman and Secretary of The Committee for Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Alex Omotehinse and Kushimo Olumuyiwa, respectively, stressed the need for immediate review of the law to have a human face.
According to the statement: “It is important to state that the industrious market men and women’s shops in various markets across Lagos State were taken away from them by the state government under the disguise of market renovation only to contract such markets to their cronies who are building/property developers.”
The Speaker, represented by the Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade, assured the protesters of immediate investigation of their demands, adding that the process through which the law came into effect would also be applied if there was need to amend it.