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Following a raid of major spots in Anambra State by a joint task force from the Anambra State Ministry of Women and Social Welfare and Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra Brigade, no fewer than 50 street beggars and out-of-school children hawking from the streets of Awka and environs were reported to have been picked up.
The action, according to the ministry, was to sanitise the state and create a way for free flow of traffic, and rescue out-of-school children in order to achieve the present administration’s clean, green and sustainable megacity agenda.
The Eastern Updates gathered that areas visited by the task force included Arroma, Regina Ceali Junction, UNIZIK temporary site, Akwata Junction, Amawbia Bypass, Eke Awka market, among others.
The men, women, and children raided were said to hail from different parts of the country.
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Speaking to journalists during the exercise, the commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, said the action was carried out because the ministry observed a daily increase rate of children hawkers within Awka and its environs.
Obinabo said, “This is evidence of child labour and exploitations that contradicted the Child’s Rights Law which the Anambra State is a signatory to.
“Anambra State Government frowns at child labour in any guise. Any child seen at school hours during weekdays would be taken and sent to school.”
Some of the beggars raided, who identified their names as Uju Obie, Afam Nweke and Ifeoma Chukwu said hardship and lack of assistance led them into begging as they could not fend for their children.
They pleaded for assistance, saying that they would quit begging if they get assistance to enable them start up some businesses so as to fend for themselves.