Coronavirus: Street begging increases in Osun amid fresh lockdown warning

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Recent findings revealed that there is an increased poverty rate resulting from businesses and jobs facing hard times through this period of a pandemic  and also laziness of persons;  lack of proper orientation are the major causes for the increase in the rate of street begging in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

On a community tour around February, 2020 before the arrival of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic in Osun state and Nigeria, our correspondent who visited Olonkoro street, around UBA bank and MDS around station road in Osogbo metropolis, observed some children between 5, 7 and 10 years, including some adults, particularly women, where moving around, where the UBA bank is located, begging for alms.

Similarly, VOICEAIRMEDIA gathered that between the hours of 9am to 5pm, some teenage girls and middle age women are been found on the street in Osogbo, where most banks are located.

It was learnt that the  beggars wander the streets of the banks, waiting for customers going in and out and at the ATM centres, to beg for money.

Reports indicated that some of these teenage girls use hausa dialect to beg for money to ‘chop’.   However, few individuals going in and out of the bank either to withdraw or pay in money extend alms to them why some others ignored them.

Following the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic which has propelled both the Federal and Osun state Government to lockdown many places including markets in some weeks back has spread those beggers away to unknown destinations loitering around the state.

Meanwhile, in our recent findings, we discovered that the alarming rate of street begging has increased in the community of Osogbo due to the hardship brought by the virus.

Speaking to a correspondent of VOICEAIRMEDIA, Mr Tunji, a cocacola staff, attributed the rampant street begging to the present hardship being faced in Osun, across the globe and particularly in Nigeria.

”In our state here, the situation is getting worrisome, because our children are at home due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, while economic, social and commercial activities are paralysed.

” Many parents cannot cater for their children anymore and most children have resorted to begging as a means to feed themselves.

“I must tell you that if we return the state or country back to lockdown without the government cushioning the effects, begging will become worst to the extent that it would constitute, nuisance “he stated.

Also speaking, Mr David Johnson, a business man said street begging is much in Osogbo, especially around Odi-olowo where you see adults begging for money. Saying. “no amount is too small, any money you give them, they will be happy.”

A Human right activist,
Comrade Tunde Olorungbotemi One Class, said street begging is a fall-out of the compulsory lockdown.

According to him, businesses are not moving, nothing is working in the state and country for now, so people chose the alternative means of looking for food to eat, which is begging, adding that some of the beggars are ‘Corporate beggars’.’

He, however, called on the Federal and State governments to come to the aids of the citizen by taking the Welfarism of people as their first priority and work towards putting an end to the community transmission of COVID-19 and relax the curfew placed in the community.

However, Osun State is one of the top states in the country currently experiencing increased rates of the Coronavirus infection.

While speaking with the commissioner for women affairs, Bukola Olaboopo, said, her office is not aware but the government will sensitize the parents and currently the government is planning to embark on street rading.

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