From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Most streets and strategic areas in Minna and environs have continued to witnessed street begging barely one week after a law banning the menace was announced by the Niger state government after the state executive council meeting.
It was reliably gathered that the Niger law seems not stiffed enough to end street begging as most of the beggars claimed not to be aware of any law stopping them from duh activities.
Although, government claimed the persistent insecurity situation behind the ban, our correspondent report that is still business as usual as beggars especially Almajiris have dared the Niger state government as they seen at every strategic places begging.
Consequently, Government is aimed at bringing to the barest minimal the menace of street begging, most especially the Almajiris were found in some strategic areas like filling stations, restaurants, traffic lights, banks, junctions and other places rather than be in their schools.
Speaking to beggars (Almajiri), who is an indigene of Katsina state who simply gave his name as Rilwan said “Begging is our only means of feeding and my Mallam sent us out to beg after our Quranic lesson in the morning and nobody told us that there is a law stopping us” he stated.
In same vein, a source told our reporter that, “the parents of the beggars (almajiris) are supposed to provide for their upkeep while in the Almajiri School but because they failed, their wards are left with no options than to invade the streets begging for survival” he said.
A furious15 year old beggar identified as Abubakar called ‘Abacha’ in an interview stated that, “the government cannot stop us because this is part of the north and Almajiri system is acceptable here. Moving around and seeking for alms is part of us; not everyone can go to Tsangaya schools”.
However, the state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Alhaji Mohammad Sani Idris during the press briefing noted that credible reports from security agencies has necessitated government to begin the vigorous enforcement of law on street begging in the state.