We will quit begging if empowered, beggars tell government.

The Arewa Freedom of Blind Association of Nigeria (AFBN) at the weekend said their members are ready to quit begging on Kaduna streets only if the state government would empower them to be gainfully employed, since many of them are educated.

The plea by the beggars to be absorbed into the government’s workforce was made at Ungwan Rimi, Darika Mosque. They also said some members of the association have learnt one or two crafts and would only require grants for business startup.

One of the physically challenged persons, Mallam Muhammad Usman, who spoke to The Guardian, said: “We came to this place in order to pray to God to help Kaduna State government to have the interest of vulnerable people in mind. I don’t know why the state government holds us in high disdain. Anytime we go on the street either to beg or for something else, the next thing you will see are three to four buses, whisking us away.

“This is why I am calling on the state government to remember the time we stood in the rain and sun to elect them into office. If they don’t want street begging, they should help our people, because among us here, we have degree holders, secondary school leavers and diploma holder.”

In his remarks, the Public Relations Officer of the association, Mallam Muktar Salleh, lamented the constant harassment of beggars and destitute citizens in the state, which he condemned as inhumane.

“Recently in Kano, a man came and agreed to pay the fine for any one charged to court for begging on the street. Upon realizing this, the Kano State government quickly changed the penalty; saying that whoever is found begging on the street will henceforth receive 30 lashes of cane. That is not the solution, governments at all level must have human face to their policies,” he said.

He added that the body decided to embark on the prayer session as an alternative to confronting the state government, by praying for God to make the government change its hostile attitude to their members.

“We are calling on the government to fear God, because no condition is permanent. Even those who call for our evacuation today can fall into the same position we find ourselves tomorrow,” he said.


Source: The Guardian

The Senate Committee on FCT orders evacuation of hawkers, beggars.

The Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory has directed security agencies in Abuja to clear the city of beggars, hawkers and commercial sex workers.

Briefing journalists at the National Assembly, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye, said the evacuated persons would be taken to a rehabilitation centre in Bwari before they are sent to their respective states.

“We also (last week) summoned the Commissioner of Police of the FCT, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps because we are (as a committee and the Senate, we are appall with the security situation in Abuja.

“We are very uncomfortable with the number of hoodlums on our streets in Abuja.

“You have beggars, destitute and commercial sex workers spread across every nook and cranny of the city.

“We have also asked the FCT to immediately put in order, the rehabilitation camp in Bwari that has been specifically and specially built for those arrested on the streets,” the lawmaker said.

Senator Melaye also announced plans by the committee to transfer the maintenance of street lights and environmental cleaning to banks and corporate organisations.

He noted that the banks are to take over the cleaning of streets in the city centre, as well as maintaining public facilities as part of their corporate social responsibility.


Source: Channels TV

Beggars stab man six times for not giving them money

Two homeless beggars have been jailed for stabbing a man who refused to hand out a few coins to them in Newcastle.

The man reportedly was making his way to a cash machine to get some money for a cab when the beggars attacked him.

According to Metro UK,  they punched and kicked him before stabbing him six times while he curled up in a bid to protect himself for refusing to give them cash.

Keith Newbold was drenched in his blood, staggered to a nearby takeaway and drifted in and out of consciousness before he was picked up by an ambulance to the hospital.

While Newbold was fighting for his life, the attackers, who had taken his belongings, passed on his bank card to Sean Kelly, 23, who tried to use it at McDonald’s.

They were jailed for 12 years and 14 months respectively.

Almost All Beggars in Lagos Are Fake – Taskforce

The Chairman of Lagos State Taskforce, SP Olayinka Egbeyemi has revealed that a lot of beggars on streets of Lagos are people, who pretend to be sick to deceive innocent people and get money from them. He said this while parading a 40-year-old female suspect Chinagoro Uwenke and her 11-year-old son Sunny, at the Oshodi area of the state.

He said the woman had faked that her son had an injury. The taskforce chairman disclosed that there were many fake beggars pretending and deceiving innocent members of the public with different illnesses and diseases
“The rate at which these fake beggars operate in the state calls for concern. That is why the Agency is collaborating with relevant government Ministries, Agencies and Departments to get rid of these beggars on the streets and roads of Lagos. The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni has directed that the suspect be immediately charged to court,” he said.
The suspect who confessed to the crime said that she bandaged her son’s leg with two rolls of white bandages and poured Gentian Violet (GV) on the leg every day to deceive members of the public to give alms to the boy. Uwenke explained that she abruptly stopped her son’s education at a junior secondary level for street begging when she realised that she can make between N3,500 and N5,000 daily.
The suspect who stays at Oyingbo, pleaded with the government not to charge her to court, saying she was ready to go back to her town and re-unite with her family voluntarily.

House help Steals Madam’s Two Children, Turns Them To Beggars In Lagos

It was confusion galore in Ogere, Remo North local government area of Ogun State, when a-middle-aged Fulani woman, simply identified as Asmau allegedly disappeared with two female children. They were children of the mistress with whom she served as a house help.

Asmau, according to findings had stayed with the mother of the children as a house maid for four months before she bolted away with the two girls, Amina, 6 and Rukayya, 7. She was later arrested in the Ikorodu axis of Lagos State while using them as beggars.

The mother of the children, simply identified as Hawau, told Vanguard that the suspect had been
staying with her for over four months, assisting her with some domestic chores while being paid N400 or N500 daily.

Narrating her ordeal, mother of the stolen children, further explained that, it all started on the last Muslim festival day, Eid-el Fitr which was held July 6, 2016. According to her, she had planned to send the children to Lagos for holiday with their grand parents, a move she discussed with her brother, which prompted her brother to visit her during sallah celebrations. Hawau said:

 “My brother came to pick them (Amina and Rukayya) but did not meet me and my children at home on Sallah day because we had gone to the Eid ground to pray. He did not wait for me as he left for Lagos.

When my children knew that he had come and gone they started crying. Asmau used the opportunity and told me she was going to Lagos that day and that she will help me to take them to their grandparents, so, I agreed and asked the children to go with her.

After two days, I found out that the children were not at their grandparents’ house, I called the woman but her number was not connecting. I checked her at her house, I did not find her and my children.

I started to go round to check out till I spent all what I had and yet I did not find them. I then reported to the Sarkin Hausawa of Ogere Alhaji Abdullahi Saminaka, who organised a prayer and informed the people.

Luckily for me, a woman came to the palace and told the Sarkin that she saw Asmau with my children begging in Ikorodu in Lagos state. So, he (Sarkin) sent his men to go and bring them; one of them, called Ali told us that he found the children with the woman begging for alms in tattered  clothes.”

Continuing, she said:

“We were also told that the woman removed their new sallah clothes   and gave it to one woman, who was a food vendor, in exchange for food. The children told us that the woman used to beat them if they cried or refused to go and beg for alms. She told people, while they went begging for alms  that she is their mother.”


El-Rufai Denies Arresting Beggars, Hawkers

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has denied rumours that the state has started the enforcement of the law prohibiting begging and hawking.He said the law will not take effect until after 60 days.

A statement by the Media Aide to the Governor, Mallam Samuel Aruwan, added that the police is currently arresting suspected criminals within Kaduna as part of security operations directed by the Inspector General of Police.

According to him: “The Kaduna State government has not directed the police to enforce the begging law, which is not in force yet. Malam Nasir El-Rufai has repeatedly stated that opportunities for rehabilitation would be offered to the disabled. The State Executive
Council has just approved a Disability Policy, which is a necessary precursor to the drafting of any bill or other measures to promote the rights of the disabled.”

He also remarked that: “The Kaduna State government is not in a position to impede security operations that are adjudged necessary by the relevant agencies. As part of preparations for the regional security summit, the police commands of states within Abuja, which includes Kaduna, Niger and Nasarawa states and the FCT, are undertaking security operations.

“This includes actions to remove street beggars, hawkers and all abandoned vehicles along the major roads. These actions have nothing to with the Kaduna State government. The government is engaging the police on behalf of all residents of the state, including the disabled, for proper management of the situation.”

He added that: “The Kaduna State government wishes to appeal for calm.
It commends the people for the orderly response to the fuel price adjustment by the Federal Government, and requests their continued patience until the supply of petroleum products to improves.”

Credit: Guardian

Jamilu Maiwada: The Begging Conundrum, Taking A Second Look

Former House of Representatives Member representing Katsina Federal Constituency, Late Badamasi Kabir Usman was approached by a beggar and asked him for help; that he and his family didn’t have anything to eat. Badamsi having been a son of an Emir, couldn’t believe that in Katsina, there would be a person who doesn’t have anything to eat. Out of curiosity, he asked one of his staff to follow that beggar to his house and confirm the narration. To their amazement they did not find even a single grain in the man’s house. Yes, that’s how bad poverty in Nigeria is.
Former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and Governor Nasir Elrufa’i were applauded for the banning of street begging in both print and social media, which is a very good initiative because begging is one of the main challenges of Northern Nigeria. Unfortunately, most people that can afford a newspaper and or an Internet bundle are just like Late Badamasi Kabir, who never experienced poverty and don’t have any direct contact with the poor.
Begging is prohibited by prophet Muhammad (SAW) except on three conditions;
1) When a Person vouches for someone to settle a dispute;
2) When a Person is overwhelmed by a disaster that he lost everything he owned;
or 3) Someone that is in abject poverty.
Therefore, Northern Nigeria, which is predominantly Muslim, should be the first people to kick against begging. But before you applaud any leader for banning begging, you should first ask the leader what he has done to take care of this category of people I have mentioned.
Begging is bad, but poverty is real! There is this old woman who was too weak to work and didn’t have any son or daughter to take care of her; there was this blind man who didn’t have anyone to take care of him; there was this young man who couldn’t find even a laborer job; and there was this Almajiri boy who had no one to feed him just to mention few….. These people don’t beg for fun neither are they are trying to accumulate wealth, they just want to eat! Unless the government provides a system that will take care of these people, they shouldn’t be applauded just for banning begging.
The Government should first improve the economy by providing an enabling environment for industries and developing mining and agriculture where even the uneducated young men/women can have a job they can feed on. Secondly, it should provide an effective social welfare agency that can take care of the old and people with disabilities; providing them with an option other than begging. Lastly, the Government should restructure the Almajiri system by integrating it into the universal basic education, employing the teachers (Alarammas), feeding the kids (Almajirai) and training them with a skill that they can use when they grow. If government provides all these options for the people they don’t even have to tell them to stop begging, that would sort itself out naturally.
Jamilu Maiwada is a Pharmacy Intern from Kano.
Views expressed are solely that of the author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its asociates