Ibadan: Home of teenage hustlers
Sir: Children, adolescents and youth constitute not only a chunk of the Nigerian demographics, but also make up the next generation of parents, workers and leaders. Hence, the state of their wellbeing does not only have implications for their lives, but also for the lives of children they bring into the world and for the organisations and societies they are supposed to build and maintain.
Bearing this in mind, children between the ages of 13 and 19, roaming the streets in traffic jams and in juvenile rehabilitation centres for crimes they committed to mention but few, have thrown me into a state of despair, because these children are supposed to be engaged in meaningful activities (be it education or apprenticeship has thrown many families into untold financial problems which have deprived their children the needed support.
Of course, the need to continually provide for the family in the midst of unfriendly conditions has led parents and children alike to engage in all sorts of activities for survival. Selling wares at traffic jams, washing cars’ windscreens, stealing and begging are some of the activities these children have resorted to all over Nigeria but especially in Ibadan, Oyo State. These teenagers can be found in places like Iwo road, Challenge, Sango, Total Garden, Ojoo and other areas, in the capital of “the pace setter” state.
However, common consequences of street hustling include abuse, rape which later leads to teenage pregnancy and early marriage.
Hence, parents and guardians should engage and monitor their children in their businesses or enroll them for apprenticeship in various businesses in order to build them towards being financially independent. In addition to this, the government and other concerned bodies should educate the people of Ibadan; especially the teenagers on the risk of engaging in street hustling.
Ibadan, Oyo State