Again, Kaduna beggars storm govt house over anti-begging law
//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna//
In what could be best described as continuation of struggle that started last week in Kaduna, beggars under the auspices of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) yesterday stormed the Kaduna government house in their numbers, demanding the withdrawal of the anti-begging law recent passed by the State Assembly.
They insist that the law be made null and void until the governor fulfill his campaign promises to them.
Security operatives on spotting the beggars quickly mobilized and blocked them from gaining entrance into the governors premises, with Amoured Personnel Carrier (APC) stationed at the entrance a few meters away from the main gate.
While all that was ongoing, men of the Nigerian Police Force arrived in eight Hilux pickup vans, with guns and tier gas apparently to forestalling likely breakdown of law and order.
Muntari Sale, who spoke on behalf of the group expressed dismay over the governors nonchallant attitude towards people living with disability, vowing not to relent in their struggles until something tangible is fine about their plight.
“We demand that the governor of the state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and members of the State House of Assembly to fulfill the promises they made to us during their campaign while seeking for votes from us. The Governor promised us that he will not ban street begging until he makes adequate arrangement for our upkeep and welfare.
“He promised that 30 per cent of our members would be giving employment anytime the state government has a programme running which has not been met, he also promised to provide for the sick, educate our children and employ those in different skills with a view to easing the suffering of the people living with disability.
“This law was passed in Kano, Edo and Lagos states as well as the FCT and they did not succeed, the government has not made adequate arrangements for us and yet it wants to ban us from our only source of livelihood. We are human beings like everyone, the way everybody is delivering children, that is the same way we are, the way people marry is the way we marry and the way parents try to eduactate thier children is the same way we try to educate ours
“He promised to employ our children, unfortunately, he has employed people in the Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency (KASTELEA), but none of our children were employed, he also employed street sweepers, and none of our children were employed that they employed women to cook food for state schools the the school feeding programme, yet none of our wives or children have benefited, they way every individual used thier tumb to voted for El-Rufai, that is the way people living with disability also voted for him including the deaf, dumb, blind and cripples,” explained Sale.
He also called for the removal of the present Special Assistant to the governor on Disability, saying he is the cause of most of their predicaments and accused him of not fighting for the cause of the people living with disability but himself.
Representative of the governor and Special Assistant to the Governor on State Holders, Abdullahi Bayero explained that the governor was in a meeting and appealed to the protesting beggars to be patinent.
He further asked them to select five representatives that will table their demands to the state governor as all of them could not be allowed into the government house for security reasons.
As at the press time, the beggars were still at the government house waiting to hear the outcome of the meeting with the governor.
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