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Metamorphosis of street Begging: The Nigeria Example

Blackface Media Correspondent, Rachel Okporu, in this all-encompassing article, analyzed the activities of street beggars in Nigeria using Lagos, the commercial headquarters of the federation as an example. She affirmed that from direct and indirect observations, many Nigerians have adopted begging as their chosen career thereby leading to insecurity. She appealed to government at all levels to ensure that steps are taken to nip begging in the bud before degenerating into state-terrorism.

Excerpts;

It is a known fact that bustling cities across the world are confronted with diverse and complex problems which have posed a great challenge on city dwellers. One of such manifestations of these problems, especially in Nigeria, is street begging, where individuals’ walks under the scorching sun begging for alms.

The act of begging is not only degrading, but a social menace which has a negative implication on the socio-physical environment of the society especially with the influx of professional beggars from other states of the federation to Lagos state.

It is also saddening to know that some parents also push their children to the streets to seek for alms using their innocence to prey on the emotions of people. These children are encouraged to approach well dressed men and women for money while their benefactors lurk around waiting patiently to collect the money.

This ugly practice is contrary to section 166 sub-section 1 (b) of the criminal code which prohibits street begging with adequate penalty for defaulters. So it is not only morally unjustifiable but criminal for any adult to exploit the innocence of children and the weak for selfish financial gains.

The increasing population of beggars in Nigerian cities constitutes an eyesore and environmental nuisance particularly those carrying camouflages, pretending to be sick as they prey on the emotion of people in order to get them and part with their hard earned money.

The professional beggars have hyped up their games that they sometimes put up public performances such as sudden fainting spells, cardiac attacks, asthmatic attacks and the likes to deceive unsuspecting passersby just to get their attention and eventually get financial favor from them. They have become an eyesore as they litter every nooks and crannies of different areas in the state creating an impression of an unkempt society.

It is high time that Government at all levels ensure a possible means to curtail the activities of these (individuals) beggars parading fake medical bills, fake drug prescription note, harassing people and throwing a show of helplessness during day while camouflaging as robbers at night.

People should be law abiding and respect the State law against street begging by desisting from patronizing beggars.

 


@rachelokporu on twitter, rachelokporu@gmail.com

 

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