Beggars are all over the world, even in highbrow areas though its exact form vary. Beggars in Lagos are often seen in high density area like markets, railway line, transport routes, mosques as well as churches.
Recent events have shown that beggars have returned to the streets in large numbers despite the fact that the Lagos State government had tried sending them off the street by rehabilitating them. You can’t move an inch in Lagos without sighting beggars.
Begging has become a lucrative business in Lagos as both those physically and non-physically challenged are seen on the streets. ENCOMIUM Weekly visited some beggars at their usual spot and sampled their opinion on why they beg.
MALLAM ABDULAHI ISSA
It isn’t my wish to beg but that us what the situation of this country warrants. When I got to Lagos, I tried getting a job but the money I earn from the job isn’t enough to cater for my family and the only means for me to survive is through begging.
MALLAM MUSA HUSSAN
As a physically challenged man, I find it difficult to work as no one is willing to employ me. What else can I do, if not begging? With the money I make, I am able to cater for myself and my family. Lagosians are really nice because they help the less privileged.
MALLAM AUDU DANJUMA
I beg because of my family. My parents do not have work and I can’t work too because o f my condition.
MALLAM MUSA BARUBA
I beg because I am very poor, no money to eat. My wife and children are at home and my parents are also in the village expecting money. There’s no work to do. If I don’t beg, I can’t survive.
My father gave birth to me begging. It is only work my dad did till he died. I have no option than to continue. Alhamduliah I have been feeding well with it.
I am begging because of my twins. When I gave birth to them, they fell very sick, so when we consulted knowledgeable people, we were told that their destiny demands begging and that’s why I am here. They have stopped falling sick since I started begging.
I beg because there’s no money and nobody is willing to employ a handicapped. I have parents who want to eat the fruit of their labour.
I beg because I am poor and there’s no money to eat.
I use to be a bag repairer in my village in Sokoto. I relocated to Lagos to expand my business but when I get here, things were not as expected. So, I had to drop the business and started begging. I have two wives and eight children at home that I have to feed.
Please, help us beg the state government not to send us out of the street because begging is our only hope of survival.
I beg because of poverty. I am the only child of my parents. My father can’t work because he’s old and my mother is blind.
I beg because I am a widow. There is no work in the country and there is no means to cater for my 4 children. I beg Lagos State government not to send us away because beggars will die of hunger.
I was born into the family of beggars and I grew up knowing how to beg lone. This is what I know how to do best. Let Lagos State government leave us alone.
I have no other job than this. Lagos state government should please leave us alone. How do they want us to survive in this hard economic situation? I believe this is all I can do to survive.
I have a vocation which I know how to do well. I sew bags but the situation of this country makes everything bad for me. I am a family man with a wife and five kids. I need to cater for their well being.
If the government can give me job that will fetch me more than what I get from begging, then I can leave this job. It is from what I get here that I use in catering for my family. The government should please leave us alone on the street.
Ever since I started begging, I never lacked. I get a lot of things from begging like clothes, food, money among others. Let the government leave us on the street, that is where we get our living.
MALLAM ABDULRAHEEM HAKEEM
This is like a family business to me. I was born into the family where my parents are beggars and I grew up with them. I join them every day when I am back from Islamic school. This is what I know how to do best. The government should please consider us and not send us away from Lagos.