Adams Oshiomhole, the governor of Edo State, who belongs to the All Progressives Congress (APC) likes to front as a “progressive”, and has been involved in a photo op to demonstrate his “man of the people” credentials.
He is seen, surrounded by flunkeys, as he buys plantain chips from a child hawker. The child is clearly of school age and should not be engaged in this type of labour in any country with pretentions of development.
The child is most likely selling stuff to help support her family. International conventions on child labour, of which Nigeria is a signatory, state that children should not start work before 15. The Nigerian Constitution states that: “The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that children, young persons and the aged are protected against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect.” The child here is clearly below 15 and the governor doesn’t seem to bothered by this fact.
That child should be in school, doing her homework or playing – if after school hours. A real “progressive” would have in seven years as a governor ensured that the conditions that drive poor parents to send their children out hawking were minimised. Oshiomhole has been governor since 2008 with precious little to show for it in his state.
A real “progressive” would have investigated why a child in his state is out on the streets hawking, rather than be photographed buying her wares and in the process also exploiting the child’s labour for political gain.