Operatives of the Borno State Police Command have begun to arrest street beggars in Maiduguri, the state’s capital.
The action follows a directive by the Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, that beggars be kept off major streets across Borno State in northeast Nigeria.
The influx of beggars and hawkers, who are mostly women and children, has been a major concern to motorists as the beggars accost them at stop lights, especially around the popular CP junction.
The CP junction is one of the busiest in Maiduguri at any time of the day, as it links Damboa road, GRA, Open Air Theatre and Post Office areas to other parts of the city.
Target For Suicide Attacks
The spokesman for the police, Mr Victor Isuku, disclosed that more men have been deployed to the area from the GRA division to enforce the CP’s order.
“The Commissioner of Police envisage that the beggars are not only a nuisance but also constitute risk as suicide bombers can easily pose as beggars and blow up in the traffic.” Isuku stated.
Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps have also been deployed to the area in addition to the traffic wardens originally on the beat.
Independent investigations revealed that the increased security presence was as a result of recent intelligence information which indicated that the CP junction was a target for suicide attacks.
Security operatives arrested a suicide bomber on December 26, 2016 after a foiled mission in a cattle market in Maiduguri.
The suspect confessed that other suicide bombers had already infiltrated the town.