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Published On: Tue, Jan 13th, 2015

Abuja residents groan over influx of corporate beggars

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BeggersBy Stanley Onyekwere

Following the recent overrunning of the Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), by corporate beggars, who under different pretext constantly accost people on the street, and request for money to take them to their destinations, many residents are not comfortable walking the streets.

According to a cross section of residents, who spoke to Peoples Daily, although the issue had existed in the city, but the country’s rising political temperature seemed to have worsened the situation, thus expose people to incalculable discomfort.

They noted that these corporate beggars are now everywhere in the city, especially motor parks and busy government office areas.

A resident, Akin Oke, seen walking along Wuse-Berger Roundabout axis, in Abuja, said that daily he get accosted by some of these corporate beggars in classy suits and other attires roving the streets, claiming to be stranded half way, and ask for cash to take them home.

He adds, “But, the next day, you go to a different spot, you will find them there doing the same thing, without showing any remorse,” says a resident.

Another resident, in Jabi, Uju Igwe, who described the situation as very alarming, labeled individuals, who engage in such acts as lazy bones, because they are not willing to take up tough work, so as to earn a living for themselves.

“They won’t even work if you manage to find them a good job. They just want free cash.

“But the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) should intervene immediately, before this gets out of hand, as the beggars are defacing the beauty of the capital city.

“The FCT minister should see that these lazy people are sent packing from the city, to their various villages, as the city cannot accommodate them, she said.

In the same vein, a civil servant, Ade Olu, said that it beats ones imagination to see a lot of well-dressed jobless people especially young men begging like the way they are doing in the city.

He observed that it is not as if they are not able to work, but they are only interested in having money to spend.

“Often than not they (corporate beggars) more often than not use the money the gather for drinking, smoking and other social vices in the Territory,” he stressed.

Similarly, another resident, Umaru Abu, who was seen around FCT minister’s office, in Area 11, said the menace has become an everyday affair, as the beggars hang around, waiting for people to be asking money from.

He said in the wake of high political temperature in the country, the number of people in the ‘business’ has increased, especially at political gatherings and offices within the city.

“It’s not as if these guys are illiterates, as they not only communicate in good English, but they appear intellectually sound.

“What do you expect when politicians throw money at their supporters; this has attracted a lot more people to start corporate begging,” he stressed.

Also, a student, Kingsley James, these days, we see them (corporate beggars) around schools in the FCT, asking for any form of financial assistance from students and teachers.

“But for me as soon as I spot anyone of them (corporate beggars), I even walk faster, as I have been warned by my parents not to pay attention to them,” he expressed.

Not left out, a trader, Hamza Kamal, said the government should be held responsible for the raise in corporate begging in our major cities, as there are no jobs for the teeming populace.

“For me, what these people (corporate beggars) are doing is not a serious wrong doing, as they don’t force anyone to give them money.

“At least is better than stealing or engaging in other nefarious activities.

“When they (government) have failed to provide employment for her populace, how are the people supposed to survive, without committing crimes, that’s why some of them thought it wise to beg those who have, in order to survive,” he explained.

“These people (corporate beggars) are everywhere; at the bus-stops, motor parks and busy streets, pretending to be stranded or facing one challenge or the other.

“Because of these corporate beggars, who constantly harass people, with their lies, I’m always anxious waiting at the bus stops, as rarely you wouldn’t have them approaching for one thing or the other,” Kamal recalled.

According to a resident, Ibe Onyeukwu, who was spotted at a bus stop in Wuse, some of them will even dictate to people the sum they want from them, “but in a polite way like “Pls sir, I’m stranded, can I get N500 from you, to take me home.”


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