Six Months After, Osun Govt Fails To Address Menace Of Street Begging - Report

Author: Bright Olorungbotemi

photo of a young lady involved in begging around Olonkoro, UBA Osogbo (source: VAM news gallery)

The rate of Street begging has drastically spread across other local government areas in the state of Osun.

Almost six months after this Newspaper has notified the state government under the ministry of commissioner for women affairs, Bukola Olaboopo.

Towards end-June last year, our reporter tour round Osogbo, Osun state capital amidst the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria and the state after observing the surface of street begging.

The report titled ‘Coronavirus: Street begging increases in Osun amid fresh lockdown warning' was published on this newspaper. However, the report, which contains the details, the specific time and locations that make up the tour. 

Similarly, recent findings revealed that there is a spike and increased of street begging across the state resulting from businesses and jobs facing hard times as a result of recession and increase in prices of goods and commodities. 

Reporter discovered that, in Osogbo, Ikirun, Iwo, Ede, Ile-Ife, Ilesa, and some other notable towns, there had been an alarming increase in the numbers of street begging.

Apart from the northern children popularly known as the Almajiri, who are known for begging, findings further revealed that, the majority of the street beggars in the state are Yoruba men and women.

Yoruba people who are known for pride, dignity and who always shy away from dirty jobs have now seen begging as a lucrative job.

Recalled the commissioner for women affairs, Bukola Olaboopo, told VAM News correspondent in the state that her office is "not aware but the government will sensitize the parents and currently the government is planning to embark on street rading."

Again, our Correspondent who visited different locations of beggars around UBA Bank along Obafemi Awolowo Road Olonkoro Area, MDS station road, Olaiya junction, Old Garage and Ayetoro/Igbona, all in the Osogbo metropolis, observed that children between the ages of 5, 7 and 10 years, including some adults, particularly women, were moving around these locations begging for alms.

Similarly, some teenage girls and middle aged women, between the hours of 9am to 5pm, go round areas where most banks are located in Osogbo to beg for alms.

Some residents who spoke with VAM News Correspondent said, the development is as a result of hardship faced by the people, lack of proper orientation and bad governance. 

Mr Tunji, a staff Of Osun mall, attributed the rampant street begging to the present hardship being faced in the state and particularly in Nigeria.

”In our state here, the situation is getting worrisome due to the hike in prices of goods"

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

“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 Contractor said street begging is much in Osogbo, especially around Olonkoro Area, MDS station road, Old Garage and the opposite side of Osun Mall where you see adults begging for money. Saying. “no amount is too small, any money you give them, they will be happy.”

He, however, called on the State governments to do something quickly to end the menace.

Another resident, urged the state government to empower youths and ensure free counselling across the nooks and crannies of the state.

"Religious centres and Non governmental organizations' should increase their hands of stewardship and service to humanity to people and should increase the volume of their lecture on the consequences of lie or being deceitful to get money for a living" resident said.

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

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