-As Lagos sacks beggars from metropolis
The Lagos State government has ordered beggars to leave the metropolis in their own interest. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, the street beggars and Lagosians.
What informed the decision to take beggars off the street?
To have a better Lagos, to have a cleaner Lagos, to have a well regulated Lagos.
How do you intend to take them off the streets?
We have our rescue team that go after any beggar found on the street.
What plans does the government have for them after taking them off the streets?
The government is ready to rehabilitate them and reintegrate them to the society.
We are aware that most of these beggars come from the north, what plans do you have to stop them from coming to Lagos?
There is no way to stop anybody from coming to Lagos as long as you’re within Nigeria, but if you’re in Lagos, you do as the government of Lagos asks you to do. You have to be law abiding.
What is Lagos state government doing about the corporate beggars?
There is no way we can identify the corporate beggars but if we find you begging on the street, then you’re going to face the law because there is a law in Lagos State that prohibits public begging.
What are the challenges you’ve been facing ever since you started this?
We just want to encourage the people not to patronize them. If they don’t have patronage, they will find something else to do. But we Lagosian, we have a large heart and instead of channeling our aims giving to the real beggars, we give it to those on the streets without realizing that those on the streets are not the real beggars, they are doing that as their own daily business activities.
All the people who are living with disabilities are not the ones you see on the streets. Living with disabilities does not make you to be a beggar, there are a lot of abilities in disabilities. We urge Lagosians to stop giving aims to those people on the street.
What is your advice for Lagosians on how to give aims?
We need to give aims to the less privileged but we should channels it through the right corridor. There are specific places through which you can give the less privileged anything you feel like giving them, like the orphanages. This ministry, social proction is social services, if you bring your aim, we will tell you where to channel aims to.
Our aims and objective as a social worker is to ensure the social protection of Lagosians in paramount violates your rights as a child and as Lagosian, to ensure we have a better youths that can take upon the leadership of the state when it is their time.
Can we meet you?
My name is Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development.
Beggars plead with Ambode – ‘Let us be’
It is not true. If he promise that he will find a place for us, he will not do it. He should live us alone, if they catch anybody that disguise like a beggars, they should charge him or her to court.
I am not a corporate beggar. It is true I am having this problem. If we go to the government house for help, they will not help us. So, this is what we can do to solve our problems.
I have been in Lagos since all this while. I am cripple and have been here on street, this where I seat and people pass and give anything they like. Government should not send us away.
I can’t say anything, what I know is that they should pity us and they should help us, we are suffering.
I am begging the government that he should not evacuate us from the street because this is what we do to feed ourselves. If they now evacuate us, how does he expect us to live?
Yes, it is a better idea, because there are some people lying, pretend as a beggars but they are not a beggars. If he said we should not be working on street, he should provide a place for us, so that people will come and assist us.
Even before he said we should not work on street. We don’t work on street this is where we sit at Agege train line and people pass and give us something. He should live us here, anybody that he discover working on street to beg, they should charge him to court.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to drive beggars out of the street. The government can just look for a place instead, to keep them and whoever wants to give us something should go there. If they are driven out, most of them don’t have any source of income other than street begging or is it somebody that is blind, dumb, cripple or deaf that would work. The government should just be considerate.
I am fully in support of what government has planned to do. Some of these beggars are not beggars, some of them are kidnappers who disguise in order to kidnap innocent people. They should drive them out of Lagos State.