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“There are people whose sustenance comes from daily grind. When the government clamps down on them, they are often left with no means of livelihood. One of such persons is Ahmed and he shared his experiences with us.
“When I heard the Task Force has been disbanded, I was very happy. They made life really difficult for street traders like me. When they seized my goods on two occasions, I pleaded and pleaded yet they wouldn’t let me go. The first time, I paid 5,000 naira before they let me go. The second time they caught me, they recognised me and said I was stubborn to still be trading even after they had caught and warned me to stop the first time. I do not understand why they had to stop us from hawking in the first place. Everyone cannot stay in the market to sell. This second time, they demanded 20,000 naira before they would let me go. I didn’t have that kind of money. I stayed with them till evening hoping they would take what I had and let me go, they didn’t. I had to call my brothers to loan me the money and come bail me out. After that incident, I stayed at home for a few days but still had to come out to trade as I had nothing else to do. Now that they are no longer here, I can trade freely.”

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