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Ibadan residents fume as street begging increases

Residents of Ibadan have raised the alarm over the rate at which beggars are taking over major roads in the city, disrupting free flow of…

Residents of Ibadan have raised the alarm over the rate at which beggars are taking over major roads in the city, disrupting free flow of traffic and traumatizing road users.

Some of the residents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Tuesday, accused the state government of not doing enough to rid the city of the beggars.

NAN reports that aside the usual sight of the physically-challenged beggars, diseased and able-bodied persons are now joining the beggars’ trade.

 Dr Mofoluwaso Olajide, a Consultant and Senior Lecturer in Oral Pathology, Lagos State University College of Medicine, said that the society should not encourage diseased individuals-turned-beggars.

 According to Olajide, this category of beggars, whom she described as exploiters, have seen their ailments as meal tickets and will, therefore, refuse help to have them cured or treated.

 She recounted her experience with a couple of people in this category and how they had declined help to be cured when such an offer was handed out to them.

 Olajide described the trauma being created by such people in the minds of the residents of the metropolis, especially children, as they parade themselves on major roads.

 “This is in most of our cities like Lagos and Ibadan. It is quite common and this is a wake-up call to the state government, through the Social Welfare Department, to pick up people like that and put them in institutions that could determine who actually needed medical help.

 “The economic situation in the country is not helping matters, as lots of people are living below the poverty line and they are using everything, including disabilities, to keep their body and soul together,” she said.

 According to the dentist, a false impression to want to get out of the condition is created, but what people need is money to feed, which is the basic need of life.

 “The way to go about it is not to use this condition to harass people on the road,” she said.

 She emphasised the need to save the children from being psychologically affected when suddenly exposed to this set of beggars.

 In his view, a teacher, Mr Akintomiwa Fadeyi, described street begging, particularly in the 21st century, as an eyesore which had made Ibadan city more ancient. (NAN)


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