The nine year- old Somtoo Nnakaa, who was seen in a viral video hawking oranges at Ultimate Plaza, Awka, Anambra State has finally met the Governor of Anambra state, Chief Willie Obiano.
Somtoo was received alongside his mother at the Governor’s lodge, Onitsha.
As requested by Governor Willie Obiano, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Chief Uche Nworah led Somtoo, his mother Mrs Ogochukwu Nnakaa, and some ABS staff on the visit.
Receiving them, Governor Obiano expressed displeasure over the reckless attitude of Somtoo’s mother who was not bothered that her son was allowed to be outside by that time of the night selling oranges.
Governor Obiano reprimanded her for being careless with the boy’s life and future, regretting that many children are being abused by their parents and guardians. He cautioned that using children to make money for the family is a taboo and should not be encouraged, and also is against Child rights laws and other laws.
He explained that he requested that the boy’s family be brought to him so that he can hand them over to the police, but because Somtoo’s father is no longer living with the wife, leaving his six children behind. Prosecuting the woman will expose the children to more hardships.
The Governor promised to help the boy’s mother secure a better means of livelihood in addition to awarding Scholarship to Somtoo up to university level.
He also directed the ABS MD/CEO, Chief Nworah to investigate the family to see if the rest of the children are suffering similar fate, and if such is the case to notify the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs to take care of them as he said that every child has right to good food, shelter and quality education.
He warned that going forward, any child caught hawking on the streets especially at night will be taken away and their parents will face the wrath of the law.
He gave them a parting cash gift for their upkeep pending a full assessment of the family’s requirements.