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“They make more money than many employed people” – Lagos State Government says about Street Beggars

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The Babatunde Fashola administration has warned against the operation of beggars in several parts of Lagos state. The warning was taken to an elevated level yesterday when it arraigned 39 beggars at the Special Offences Court in Alausa, Ikeja for soliciting alms.

According to Punch, the government said the beggars constituted public nuisance, adding that it would no longer be business as usual as any beggar found on the streets of Lagos would be prosecuted.

Their charge sheet stated that the beggars were parading themselves as disorderly persons without viable means of livelihood, thereby committing an offence under the criminal law of Lagos State.

The report further stated that they were also accused of conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace as well as for receiving unauthorised levy from persons and thus committed offence punishable under the law on illegal collection of dues in public places.

The 39 beggars pleaded guilty to the offences and were consequently remanded in Kirikiri and Badagry Prisons. However, nine of them were then taken to the state Rehabilitation Home, Majidun, Ikorodu as a result of their disabilities. They were sentenced to several hours of community service, some with the option of N5,000 and N10,000 fines, and some without the option of fine.

The statement made by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Social Development Dolapo Badru defending the state government raises new grounds for a debate.

He said the state government decided to commence the prosecution of beggars because it had exhausted all avenues to take them off the road adding that they have tried to make some of them learn a trade but they don’t want to work.

Some people believe that if they are unlucky in certain cases, what they need to do is to give alms to beggars so that their fortune can change. A lot of beggars now prey on these people’s superstitious beliefs to get money from them. Many of them pretend to be blind or crippled. They make more money than many employed people.”

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

15 Comments

  1. JESS

    February 5, 2013 at 6:54 am

    they should just let these people be for God’s own sake. Haven’t they got a conscience? civilized societies cater for their disabled wt tips such as disability allowance. Nigerians will always do otherwise. Looking for avenues to extort the poor beggars

  2. HABBA

    February 5, 2013 at 7:53 am

    so we have no care for disabled people yet we want to stop them from begging? wow Nigeria is just messed uo mehn. all people care about is the high life and going to lekki, standing on some red carpet. they dont want to deal with the real reality of Nigerian life!

  3. Olufunmi

    February 5, 2013 at 8:05 am

    lol! they’r working too 😀 makin moni dia own way

  4. ify

    February 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

    This is annoying!

  5. femi

    February 5, 2013 at 8:43 am

    this is really unfair… God save us in this country

  6. whumey

    February 5, 2013 at 9:12 am

    me i support this initiative of the lagos state govt…some of this beggars have constituted nuisance in some areas of lagos, littering the streets, practically harassing you to give them money. if the govt can put up a formal structure that will cater for them, all well and good. its only in nigeria that disability is the end of the world. these people can still acquire skills and make meaning from their lives. some of this people are not even disabled sef..just too lazy to work, after begging during the day, they rob innocent citizens on the streets at night.

  7. Princess

    February 5, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I support their removal off the streets but putting them in jail is an absolute No No!! I mean find something for them to do cos these pple wud just end up being armed robbers, kidnappers etc. Btw i support their removal because some of them disguise as beggars but are thieves, when u hv been shown a gun while on traffic by one of these so called beggars, u wud never drive in peace again..! Pls Fashola wake up!!!

  8. Cy

    February 5, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I’m sorry to say this but I fully support the govt. These guy really refuse to work. There are times my mum tried getting beggars off the street and offered them jobs and they said they rather beg than work. They prey on hard working people and never do anything important with the money they get from begging. Instead they give birth to more children to join in the begging trade. People need to stop acting ignorant. There are lot of govt institutions in Nigeria for the disabled. The “really” disabled ones either don’t know or just prefer begging. Please if you want to give money go to the orphanage and give to an organization that will make sure that they don’t become a liability to economy.

  9. bittertruth

    February 5, 2013 at 10:17 am

    stupidity at its best again, what a clueless govt. when would dis pple wake up from their slumber. is dis d norm in other civilised and democratic nations, i tort BRF is 4 d masses, who are d masses outside this helpless fellow (beggars). instead of providing them basic necessities, you chose to arrest them. if you want them off the street, when was d announcement made, was debated publicly?, to what extent was the orientation carried out? it’s obvious that u 2nd term of BRF is an illusion of his 1st, oh ACN i pity u o come 2015

  10. oyinkan

    February 5, 2013 at 10:24 am

    ….”illegal collection of dues in public places”…. didnt know this was a law, so what has the Babatunde fashola administration done about ‘agbero’ operaion in our motorparks and bus stops???just wondering since the administration seem like they are enforcing the rule of law.

    • camo

      February 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Ah! Agberos are legal.. Check them out in their white green uniform licensed by the govt… hahahahahahahahaha And Yes they account to Fashola, they also pay tax

  11. CHINNY

    February 5, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I don’t support them littering on the street, if the government can find a means of engaging them to learn a trade and be useful, very good. after church service every sunday, i see a lot of beggars outside the church, sometimes the children will hold your cloths begging you for money and wouldn’t leave you until you give them money or maybe drove off, this is really embarrassing.

  12. melzy

    February 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    ‘AGBEROS’ nko

  13. NNENNE

    February 6, 2013 at 5:30 am

    But most of them are not even Nigerians.They come from our northern bothers. Some of them can still work, instead of begging.

  14. Ruud

    February 8, 2013 at 2:05 am

    guys are just vexing about income that cant be taxed

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