By Abdulmumin Muratal Kano
Kano State government has commenced full enforcement to the law that prohibited street begging by arresting 500 beggars including women and children within the Kano metropolis.
Most of those arrested have turned some places, especially beneath the bridges and flyovers into nuisance, they sleep there and are accused of also engaging in crimes that include drugs peddling.
This development prompted the state government, through the Ministry for Women Affairs to step up to fight the menace of street begging in Kano, considered to be the second most populated state in the country.
Addressing newsmen during the operation which took off on Friday, the state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Zahra’u Muhammad Umar said the operation is to sanitize the state of immoral acts and will be in for the next three months.
According to her, the presence of the street beggars poses moral challenges that have led to criminality, noting that, taking them off the streets will be the only solution to the problem.
She explained further that as the operation commences on Friday within Kano metropolis, among the arrested beggars, 70 per cent were women and children, while only 30 per cent were men.
“Those arrested included women, children, men and Almajiris. The children don’t go to school and have no good food to eat.
“We noticed that bad behaviour is mostly found within the beggars. We will continue to arrest them to ensure sanity and rid the streets of all forms of crimes” she declared.
Disclosin that a 70-year-old woman was also arrested with cigarette and matches found in her possession, she said “this kind of woman could spoil our children’s behaviour and the society at large.
“Street begging affects the lives of our children, especially when you employ Almajiris to work in your house,” she added.
More so, she disclosed that during the operation, the taskforce had found a 7-year-old boy who was sent to Kano from Niger state for Almajiri school, adding that the boy narrated to her that he spends nights without eating food.
“We have taken down their names, local governments, phone numbers and repatriated them back to their various homes and states, while they will be empowered.
“For those beggars repatriated, an agreement letter will be written by their Ward heads and any one arrested for the second time would be charged to court,” she said.
The commissioner said the ministry would soon begin the evacuation of street hawkers, especially school age girls hawking on the streets.
She urged the people of the state, especially women, to take care of their children to be good citizens.
“As long as I remain the commissioner, I will make sure Kano is free from street begging,” she said.
“The government has since met with Tsangaya teachers not to let their pupils roam the streets in order to address the lingering problems of begging,” she said.