Street Children Threaten Calabar’s Serenity

Calabar, the Cross River State capital’s credentials as the safest and cleanest state capital in Nigeria, may be under threat if something is not done to curb the menace of street children who have suddenly appeared on the streets of Calabar.
Sources say the children, aged between nine and fifteen, walking in large numbers are often seen around the Marian Road by Ekong Etta junction, soliciting for alms from motorists and passersby. As at midnight the other day, investigations revealed that most of the children retire to streets adjoining the ever busy Atekong Junction, huddled together for warmth while being exposed to weather elements.

Residents of the city are expressing concern that these children may in a short while become the pillars on which crime is built because of their vulnerability. Some of them have become aggressive beggars, harassing residents for food and money, while the girls among them form the bulk of the teenagers offering themselves for money. The bulk of the children discovered are predominantly from the neighbouring states of Akwa Ibom, Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River and Benue states.
Street kids
It seems that government’s attempts at checking this menace may be losing steam as their numbers swell in the face of harsh economic realities and the gradual erosion of family ties.

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