THE candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State, Mr Akinloye Ayegbusi, has said that he will criminalise street hawking by children in the state just as he called for greater government attention to the plight of Nigerian children.
Ayegbusi said while felicitating with children on the occasion of this year’s international children’s day, at Ikole-Ekiti, that if elected governor, he would sponsor a bill to ban street hawking by children of school age during school hours.
He said the bill would also ensure that parents of such children would be sanctioned.
The SDP candidate lamented that children still suffered child labour, domestic violence and deprivations he said were occasioned by poverty and ignorance in Nigeria and beyond.
He said: “We must devote more care and attention to the well-being of the children. If the children are not properly catered for, the society does so at its own peril.
“Children and the youth are described as leaders of tomorrow, but when they suffer neglect and they are not given proper education, what kind of leaders will they become?
“I think it is in our interest to pay proper attention to the well-being of children so as to secure their future and rid our society of social ills.”
He lamented that Nigeria was one of the countries with the highest number of out of school children and school drop-outs, saying that “such is unacceptable in this modern day.”
Ayegbusi also promised that if elected governor, all legislation that would promote the right and well-being of children would be domesticated in Ekiti State.