Street Beggars Aid And Abet Criminals – Lagos Perm. Sec
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October 13, 2016 ( Post 1 )
Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Youths, Sports and Social Development, has advised residents of the state to be wary of giving alms to beggars to enhance security.
He gave the advice on Wednesday in Lagos when four women, who used their children for street begging in Iyana-Ipaja area, were arrested and paraded.
He decried the uncooperative attitude of the residents to efforts by the government to rid the state of beggars and street traders.
He said: “there are places the government has provided like we have in Okobaba, where beggars are in clusters; people can go there and give them alms.
“We also have orphanages, churches and mosques where the citizens can also go to give assistance to the needy, not on the streets.
“These beggars habour guns for criminals; aid and abet kidnappers, rob people on the street and even provide information for crime operations.
“We advise people to be security-conscious and see this call as a way of protecting lives.”
Muri-Okunola said that government had a responsibility of protecting the dignity of children and would not allow them to be used as tools for begging.
“It is evident that the Nigerian economy is taking a toll on everybody, but we cannot sit back and allow children to be used as tools for begging.
“These children will be handed over to Child Protection Unit until the Family Court decides their fate, while their parents will be handed over to Law enforcement agency for prosecution,” he said.
One of the women, Abosede Ayuba, 35 year- old hairdresser, said she used her 18 month-old twins for begging to make a living and feed them.
Shakirat Olatunde, 37 year-old trader from Oyo State, said she resorted to using her two children who were below three years to beg after her husband abandoned her in 2015.
“I was hoping to make money from begging to enable me start a trade and cater for my children,’’ she said.
The third woman, who simply identified herself as Hadizah Nokali, from Kano State, said she used her two year-old son to beg, because her husband is blind and they had nothing to eat.
The fourth woman Fatimah Saleh, 50, from Kastina State, said she used her eight month-old baby for begging, as she could not secure the job of a cleaner.
“They refuse to employ me because I am a nursing mother; I have to take care of my children,” Saleh said. (NAN).
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