(From Joy Mbachi, NAN)
The Commissioner For Women and Children Affairs in Anambra, Mrs Ndidi Mezue, says the ministry has initiated steps to rid Awka, the capital city, and other major towns, of street beggars.
Mezue said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Tuesday.
She said that already, the ministry had arrested eight women and their children allegedly engaging in alms begging on major roads.
“We have to apprehend them in keeping with Gov. Willie Obiano’s directive that government must rid the streets of beggars and hoodlums,” she said.
She claimed that most of the beggars were non-indigenes, who allegedly came from other states to deface the cities and towns in Anambra.
“It is regrettable that some individuals have continued to deface the streets, while begging for alms, in spite of the esthetics and friendly environment created by the government,” Mezue said.
She warned that “enough is enough”, saying “we are not pursuing people from the state but any beggar found on our roads would be picked up.”
“We want to ensure that the life of the children they use to beg is safe,” she said while warning the female beggars to desist from using children to beg.
The commissioner also decried the attitude of young women, who resorted to alms begging rather than engage in meaningful ventures.
She said that a close examination of the dialects of the beggars showed that most of them came from Izzi in Ebonyi.
She said that she would open up a discussion with her Ebonyi counterpart to see how to take the beggars back to their homes.
“We will take steps to ensure that they are taken back home and engaged in meaningful ventures, in order to end the migration into Anambra.
“We have seen major streets and junctions in the state, where many of them cluster for begging and other illegal activities, it is no more acceptable here,” Mezue said.