The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said that the renewed enforcement was in line with Section One of the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003.
The governor, while sympathising with the family of a street hawker who was knocked down by an articulated truck while trying to evade arrest from officials of Kick Against Indiscipline along Maryland Bus stop on Wednesday, regretted that the situation led to the destruction of public assets
He said, “It is not in our DNA to allow someone to just die by road accident or the way it happened in respect of the incident. But beyond the fact that we lost one person while crossing the road as a result of evading arrest by KAI officials, I need to tell Lagosians that over 49 buses were actually destroyed and it is costing us like almost N139m to put those buses back on the road.”
The governor added that the state executive council consequently resolved to enforce the law, which according to him, makes hawkers and buyers liable of the offence.
Ambode said, “The issue is we need to enforce our laws because we already have a law in respect of that and then there is a clause in it which says the buyer and the seller are both liable and that we are going to fine them either N90, 000 or a six month jail term.
“What we are doing on traffic is that we are introducing new strategies to eliminate traffic, but Lagos, being a cosmopolitan city, you cannot totally eliminate it but now this is the case, in the next few days, you will see on the street of Lagos signs that will be warning you that buyers and hawkers should be aware that there are consequences.”
As at press time, 6 am on Tuesday July 5, the hashtag #LagosHawkersPolicy is trending and while some people think it's high time the hawkers got off the streets, others want the government to ensure that an alternative is arranged for the hawkers in a bid to reduce crime rates as a result of their sudden 'joblessness'.
Here are some tweets:
Some 1 selling gala/plantain chip on d road will pay 90k fine if caught.— A Child Of Curiosity (@yekeme) July 4, 2016
Pls how much is d carton of gala?#LagosHawkersPolicy is anti-pple
I wouldn't blame @AkinwunmiAmbode for enforcing the law, yet no one wouldn't be angry at destruction of state properties#LagosHawkersPolicy— Eniola Opeyemi (@eniola_opeyemi) July 4, 2016
Part of the problem we have in Nigeria is a refusal to admit that the masses are ACTUALLY POOR #LagosHawkersPolicy— Imoh Umoren (@ImohUmoren) July 4, 2016
#AdForumCo When you keep pushing the poor with these policies; the poor will soon start eating the rich as food. #LagosHawkersPolicy— AdForumCo (@AdForumCo) July 4, 2016
Hawkers have even become a key supply chain for some businesses here in lagos...alternatives should be provided #LagosHawkersPolicy— Snap: Femifactor (@femifactor) July 4, 2016
She isn't a criminal. Govt is the one to be criminalised for abandoning d 'welfare of d people'. #LagosHawkersPolicy https://t.co/wVwg2AHO4c— Betty Abah (@bettyabah) July 4, 2016
2. If your mother had trained you up with this type of hardship, am very sure you'd know what the #LagosHawkersPolicy is all about— Slord Dha Viper (@richie_slord) July 5, 2016
If the #LagosHawkersPolicy was implemented, how would Olajumoke meet her helper when selling bread?— Nuatin☕️ (@AreYourOrLah) July 4, 2016
Bakeries, farmers, manufacturers, industries, factories, hustlers ... like wow!!! How many homes won't feed tonite. #LagosHawkersPolicy— Daniel Emeka (@realdanielemeka) July 5, 2016
Just like other policies, the #LagosHawkersPolicy will soon be forgotten. The Police is weak in enforcing laws; they're too corrupt!— Ben Fidelis (@BenFidelisCrib) July 4, 2016