Ogun community laments harassment by child beggars, demands relocation
Residents of Arepo have lamented the security threat posed by the influx of child beggars around the Arepo Bridge, in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the children and their family members usually begged for alms from motorists and residents navigating the area to various destinations.
During a recent visit to the community, our correspondent observed that the beggars were children, adults and physically challenged persons, some of whom had been living in shanties created around and beneath the bridge for over 10 years.
The beggars were said to have mostly migrated to the community from Jigawa, Katsina, Nasarawa, Kwara and Kano states due to insurgency, poverty and a search for better means of livelihood.
They were seen cooking and eating in their shade, as our correspondent also observed that the beggars lacked toilet facilities and reportedly bathed and defecated in the open.
A member of the Oodua People’s Congress in the community, Ogunsola Olayiwola, said the beggars also sometimes got married under the Arepo Bridge.
He said, “The beggars have been here for a long time; we try to warn them to appear clean to look pleasant for almsgiving, but they are deviant. I drove them away from a point beneath the bridge because they made it dirty.
“Officials of the Ministry of Environment came last year to observe the place and gave them a notice to clean the place where they live or it will be demolished, but they are not obeying. If the government can drive them away, the place will look better.
“We installed halogen lights for security so that anyone in danger can be rescued as we have observed that some of the beggars commit atrocities, including robbery.
“I want the government to take the beggars to a virgin land in Kara where they can get shelter.”
A resident, who identified herself as Mrs Subomi, called on the government to provide education to the children of the beggars, adding that the presence of the beggars was risky to residents and business owners in the vicinity.
A businesswoman, Sherifah Tobiloye, noted that the child beggars harassed residents as she appealed to the government to relocate them to a home built for beggars in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos State.
She said, “The beggars harass people to give them money and when you do, they are not satisfied. Just recently, I gave some of them corn instead of money, but they abused me.”
Traders in the area also noted that the child beggars ran after vehicles and passersby in desperate bids to get money.
One of the beggars, Hassan Abdullahi, said his family migrated to Arepo from a community in Kano State in 2014 to seek a better life.
Another beggar, Hassan Shaibu, said he had been living around the bridge since he came from Jigawa State seven months ago.
“I came to Ogun State because I did not have any source of livelihood in Jigawa. I have been begging for alms so I can gather cash and deliver it to my family. I live under Arepo Bridge,” he said.
The Leader of the Hausa community in Mowe-Ibafo, Shehu Usman, sought the understanding of residents, adding that most of the beggars relied on charity to survive.
“Can’t we provide shelter and social amenities for them to survive? Live and let live. You cannot condemn these people without reporting the crimes they commit.
“There is no section of the constitution where begging is a crime; if there are bad eggs among them, fish them out, prosecute them and leave the innocent ones alone,” he added.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Waheed Odusile, said there was no law in the state permitting the destitute to live under a bridge.
He said, “I am not aware that there are beggars living at Arepo and if it is so, the government will look into it and take appropriate measures.”
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the beggars had the right to live wherever they chose.
He said, “The beggars are citizens of Nigeria and they have the right to live anywhere they want. If they are committing atrocities, people should report the cases to the nearest police station.”
PUNCH Metro reported in February 2022 that the Ogun State Government served a notice to quit to mendicants under the bridge, saying the site was to be redesigned as a recreational centre.
You may like
Tinubu Hangout: Again, Tosin Adeyanju, Mai Agogo bag awards of excellence
The All Progressive Congress (APC) Women under the aegis of Capacity women presented awards of excellence to the Convener of the pre-inaugural Hangout, Tosin Adeyanju and the co-Convener, Dr. Mai Agogo.
The award was presented on Monday at the Day 57 of pre-inauguration hangout of the supporters of Bola Tinubu, the president-elect.
The award according to the leader of the group, Hajia Zainab Arome Ibrahim, is in recognition of their undaunted efforts and Continuous Contributions to the Successes of the APC.
“For all your effort in ensuring Tinubu/Shettima mandate emerged at the 2023 presidential election.
We also want to thank you for your sacrifices, the sleepless nights, under the sun, and in rain and also in putting Pre-Inauguarantion hangout together with it’s beautiful results.
“Most importantly we want to thank you for protecting the APC mandate even After the 2023 election, as we are fully aware of all your efforts.” She said.
Ooni unveils latest wife, Olori Akinmuda
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has unveiled his latest wife, Opeoluwa Elizabeth Akinmuda.
The king reportedly took his sixth wife sometime in May and is set to officially welcome her into his Royal Palace of Oodua in Ile-Ife.
Invitations for the Thanksgiving service and reception of the new queen have all reportedly been sent out. Major dignitaries in the country are expected to attend this grand event. The event is scheduled to hold on Saturday 20th May 2023.
The event will be preceded by the traditional entry of the Queen into the ancient Ife Oodua Palace of Ile-Ife this Thursday.
The couple reportedly tied the knot on May 10th, 2023.
Recall Oba Enitan Adeyeye, is already married to five other women namely; Olori Mariam, Olori Tobi Phillips Ogunwusi, Princess Ashley Adegoke, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi and Temitope Adesegun.
BREAKING: Police arraign Seun Kuti for assault in Lagos court
The Lagos State Police Command has arraigned Afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti, before Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun of a Magistrate’s court sitting in Yaba, Lagos State.
The defendant was charged with assault on a police officer, an offense contrary to Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act.
The police prosecutor, S. A Adebese, prayed the court to remand the defendant for 21 days pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
However, the counsel led by Femi Falana, SAN, begged the court to not remand his client, stating that he was not aware of the remand application.
The PUNCH had reported that a viral video of Seun Kuti assaulting a police officer on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State emerged on Saturday.
Kuti had turned himself in at the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja on Monday, following an order for his arrest by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba.
He was later transferred to the state’s Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos.
3 years ago
12 CNN Lekki Posers (For critical thinkers)
3 years ago
The message behind Carpe diem by Olamide
3 years ago
US Based Entertainment Magnate, Deji Bello Hosts IwoLand Top Men At His Nashville Home
2 years ago
How Fulani herdsmen ruined my farm in Osun State – Babatunde
3 years ago
Oluwo Of Iwo’s Vehicle Stolen in Lagos Hotel
3 years ago
RE: The truth behind Sanwo-Olu’s proposed cancellation of pension pay to Tinubu, Fashola and Ambode
3 years ago
Itel Debuts its Latest “More stylish than ever” S Series Smartphones S16 and S16 Pro in Nigerian Market
3 years ago
Martify Celebrates Grand Opening of Second Outlet in Alimosho