Enugu Government Rids State Of Street Beggars

The Enugu State government has pledged wellbeing of street beggars evacuated from various parts of the state.

This is pledge is coming after some beggars were arrested on Monday in various locations by the state government officials.

The action according to the Commissioner for Gender and Social Development Peace Nnaji is aimed at stamping out beggars from the streets in Enugu State, part of the vision of the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of empowering them.

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She said further that the state government will provide those evacuated with necessary facilities that will ensure their improved living standards.

“We are taking them out of the street to make them learn again. It will interest you to know that the state Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi trained 10 blind people who were able to make arts and crafts using their hands. If blind people can do this, then, any one with challenge can achieve something,” she said

Those evacuated include more of children, people who are physically challenged and some adults, who Nnaji said will be taken to the state rehabilitation facility where they will be properly taken care of.

The children according to her will be catered for under the existing child rights law in the state and treatment plan effected for those with bad health conditions, but those healthy will be encouraged to acquire different vocational skills.

Police Begin Arrest Of Street Beggars In Maiduguri

Street Beggars, Police, MaiduguriOperatives 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.

Political Will Needed To Restructure Almajiri System

An estimated 8 million Northern children are engaged in the Almajiri system, an Islamic school system common in northern Nigeria, Chad, and Niger republic.

The idea behind the Almajiri system is to inculcate in the young children the culture of memorizing and reciting the Koran at an early stage.

Children as young as four are sent by their parents in search of knowledge and some of the children in this system usually sleep in their guardian’ houses, often in very unpleasant conditions without parental visitation.

Many Almajiris end up on the streets begging for alms, hawking and other forms of child labour.

The situation is closely linked with high rate of poverty and poor literacy level in the region.

The Secretary General of an umbrella body of Muslims in Nigeria, Jamaltru Nasril Islam (JNI) said he is concerned about the future of the children in the Almajiri system.

He said it is un-Islamic to treat children in a manner that will jeopardize their collective wellbeing.

In a move to integrate the Almajiri school system into basic education system, the federal government embarked on construction of Almajiri model schools in some states in the north.

This is in addition to integrating the curriculum of the Almajiri system with that of the conventional one in other to add value and empower the children.

speaking to channels television at a one day education summit in Kaduna, the state commissioner of education Mohammed Usman, said the model Almajiri schools will bridge the gaps that currently exist between the Koranic schools and the mainstream education structure.

But in spite of the challenges, these young children face, they still have dreams of a brighter future.

As government intensifies efforts towards transforming the Almajiri system in line with contemporary realities, observers are of the view that the authorities concerned must have the political will and genuine desire to address the underlying challenges associated with the Almajiri system.