By Abdullahi Safiyanu
For quite some time, street beggars constituted an embarrassment to the Kano State Government, particularly to the State Governor, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, whose ambition shortly after the mounting the leadership saddle is to stamp out begging from the metropolis. The governors’ desire to get rid of street beggars from the metropolitan city caused him endless sleepless nights, particularly on what measures to adapt, so as to accomplish his mission.
However, at the close of the day, after deliberations with stakeholders, he succeeded in achieving his mission to systematically get rid of street beggars from the metropolis by sending them back to their various states of origin, majority of who are from neighbouring states, like Jigawa, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi, among others, while those of them from Kano state were resettled at Marriri camp at the outskirts of the commercial city of Kano. Prior to the on-going evacuation of street beggars in the metropolitan city of Kano, they constituted nuisance to the general public, following their daily soliciting for alms from both the rich and the poor on the streets of the pyramid city.
For now, all that is now history, as the State governor, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in collaboration with the State Hisbah Board personnel eased them out of Kano with ease, many of who were relocated to their respective states of origin. Worried by the menace of street begging, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso mandated the state Hisbah Board to relocate them from the commercial city of Kano to the Marriri from where he initiated economic empowerment programme for the indigenes, while those identified to have hailed from the neighbouring states were relocated to their various states of origin.
However, the credit of getting rid of Street begging should go to Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for initiating and supervising strategies that accomplished the mission and for now, only a negligible number of beggar can be found on the streets soliciting for alms but without impunity as was the practice in the past.
To date, according to our findings, the state government in partnership with Hisbah Board personnel are daily adopting fresh strategies, aimed at discouraging and keeping street beggars at bay, which has largely restored sanity and decorum in the pyramid city of Kano. Before the introduction of these measures to sanitize street begging, Kano State used to be the melting pot of beggars who converge in the metropolis from neighbouring states to scramble for crumbs that fall from the tables of the privileged few in the society to keep their body and soul together.
Prior to the introduction of recent stringent measures to curb street begging in the commercial city of Kano, not less than 20,000 street beggars can be found on the streets on a daily basis soliciting for alms but following the fresh measures, the number of street beggars has nose-dived to less than 2000, all of who solicit for alms in the remote areas of the metropolis but not at strategic locations of the city as was the earlier practice. The Director General of Hisbah Board, Abba Sufi attributed the success story of getting rid of street beggars in Kano to the relentless efforts of his personnel, who daily comb the nooks and crannies of the metropolis to smoke out beggars from their hide outs and send them back to their respective home states. He assured that Hisbah Board personnel will not relent in its efforts until all street beggars are sent packing from the ancient city. Also, the DG commended the efforts of the State governor, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for the logistic and financial support extended to the Board to accomplish its mission in getting rid of street begging in the city.
It is gratifying to note that the measure is paying off as the streets of Kano metropolis are as today free from the embarrassment of street beggars, which other state governors need to, take a cue from Kano State experience from to get rid of street beggars in their various states and localities. Initially, residents of the city on more occasions than not struggle for the right of way with street beggars, who are busy roaming the streets daily in search of food and alms to remain afloat.
In order to maintain the status quo, Kwankwaso has vowed to continue to mobilize men and resources to ensure that street beggars do not find any hiding place in the commercial city of Kano, which has already been restored to its glory.
Abdullahi Safiyanu wrote in from Sabontiti, Kano