Beggars, on Monday, returned to the streets of Kaduna, in defiance of a ban against street begging issued by the state government last Tuesday.
The state government issued a ban against street hawking and begging on major streets in the state capital and surrounding local government areas.
In a statement, the spokesperson to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, had said, “All beggars and hawkers are to stay off the streets until further notice. Any beggar or hawker found on the streets will be arrested until these measures are relaxed.
“The governor also reiterated that the ban on motorcycle taxis (achaba) remains in force, and that the law would be strictly enforced in this regard.”
Mr. El-Rufai announced this after a bomb blast that killed 35 people and injured many in Sabon Gari local government secretariat in Zaria.
In response to the governor’s order, the beggars on Saturday staged a protest at the National Union of Journalist secretariat in Kaduna challenging the state government over the ban. The beggars also threatened legal action against the government for alleged defamation of character and violation of their right to life.
Their leader, Abdullahi Jugunu, said, “Apart from feeling insulted, we will be seeking legal redress against the government, first for defamation of character.”
Meanwhile, a visit to major road junctions in the state on Monday showed none compliance with the order. Along Isa Kaita Road, Ahmadu Bello Way and the popular Kawo Motor Park, PREMIUM TIMES spotted beggars, hawkers and even Okada riders.
In Kawo, beggars and hawkers were carrying out their activities in full control.
One of the beggars at Kawo junction told PREMIUM TIMES that although he heard about the pronouncement by the state government, he does not intend to comply.
“I do not care about what they say,” he said. “All I know is I have to find something to eat and this is the only business I can do, begging.”
Okada riders, who had also been banned, were seen plying Unguwan Dosa, Kawo, Malali and Badarawa without fear of getting arrested or otherwise.
However, the residents of Kaduna metropolis are in full support of the government’s ban.
A community leader, Mohammed Garba, a resident of Unguwan Dosa, Kaduna insisted that the government should not hesitate in making sure that the ban is fully complied with.
“Street hawking, street begging should be stopped by all means,” Mr. Garba said. “If you want to buy anything you can go to the markets and or shops located all over the streets.
“This little children that rom around the street begging are same people that criminals use to perpetrate their bad acts. Even the old beggars and handy capped are not to be trusted because many are caught with peddling hard drugs and banned substances.”