“Incongruous, self-centred, elitist, and heartless”: Activists flay Lagos gov’t over imprisonment of street beggars

by Rachel Ogbu


Yesterday we reported how the Lagos State government sentenced 39 beggars to help clear the streets but its move has come under attack from the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders who condemned the government for prosecuting the beggars.

The Executive Chairman of the group, Debo Adeniran, in his reaction described the prosecution and the incarceration of the beggars as “incongruous and heartless”.

“If the governments have not failed in their duties at federal, state and local levels, we should not have beggars on our streets in the first instance. It is failure of our government at all levels to make life conducive that plunged many into begging business. It is absurd for a government to arraign beggars and sentence them to jail.

“Before the Lagos government could arrest beggars, they should have done their homework well. They should provide vocational centres and rehabilitation homes for the beggars with allowances for these beggars to deter them from going back to the street. The Lagos government has shown that it is more interested in the elite and the rich in the state than the mass of Lagos people,” he said.

Adeniran said instead of chasing down beggars, the government to get on on projects that would reduce the suffering of the people. “The apathetic attitude of the present government in Lagos State to issues that pertain to the Lagos masses has caused much havoc in the state resulting in the dwindling popularity of Fashola government, and care must be taken so as not to engender the anger of the masses.

“That is another show of self-centredness and elitist governance. You can never make a city mega until you have made the welfare of its people mega,” he said.

Adeniran added that the use of force would however, not stop street-begging.


One comment

  1. I think that our Government is not being fair to this beggars, imagine them making life hellish for this set of people when they are actually supposed to be placed on monthly allowances as they "beggars" also have right to the societal revenue. Chances are that our government are aware that they ought to pay stipends to the people in the society who aren't working or can't work but because most Nigerians scavenge to survive or even to know what is their due right so the government use this weapon of ignorance to make life more misserable for the down trodden; too bad I loved fashola but this particular incidence to me is a sign of a leader without a conciensce

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