Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Beggars disrupt activities in Alausa, as they dare Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola in his new law outlined new regulations restricting the movement and activities of beggars within the Lagos metropolis, but this his rather harsh decisions obviously didn’t go down well with the beggars.
The embittered handicapped didn’t hide their opposition to the restrictions yesterday as they took to the streets, walking in their hundreds to the governor’s office in Alausa, protesting alleged maltreatment and extortion they receive at the hands of law enforcement agents in the state.
In a statement a copy of their protest the beggars under the auspices of Beggars Association of Nigeria (BAN), accused law enforcement agents of incessant arrest, maltreatment and extortion.

According to them: “We , the people with disabilities in Lagos state adopt this medium to express our displeasure and unhappiness towards the actions taken and the one to be taken by the Lagos state government administration.
“First, our movement within Lagos has been restricted such that anyone caught roaming and begging for alms on the road will be taken to Majidun prison in Ikorudu.

“At the prison, all our belongings will be seized from us and we are also maltreated by the management. The condition of the prison is so appalling and devastating that it causes more harm to our health and among other things, there is no religious freedom, privacy or conveniences as the case may be.”

The spokesman for the beggars, Mallam Zakariya Hassan also accused the state of collecting a large sum of money from them to aid their release from the prison.

According to him: “When they take you to the prison and you want to be released, they ask for around N45, 000.00 to N50, 000.00 which they tell you to go and pay into a Zenith Bank account.

“After that, they collect the teller from us and give us receipt which we take to Majidun Prison before one is released.

“I was just released from the prison after some people who love me contributed the amount which they asked from me and paid to Alausa people.

“Right now, more than 50 of our people are being detained in Majidun Prison and that is why we have decided to cry out to media houses, nongovernmental organizations, human rights activists and individuals to come to our aide.”

The beggars also appealed to the state government to make better provisions that will bring an end to their present hardship by calling those agents that maltreat and extort money from them to order.
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