The police in Borno have outlawed street begging in Maiduguri, the state capital. Aside, a mobile court was also established to prosecute violators.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Borno State Command, Usman Usmobik, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in a press statement on Saturday in Maiduguri warned street beggars within the capital city to stop “forthwith or face the wrath of the law.”
“The Borno State Police Command wishes to inform the public especially beggars and idle youths who solicit for money on the road, that a mobile court has been established by the Borno State government to prosecute anyone caught in the act of street begging and sundry vices within the metropolis especially at roundabouts and traffic light stands,” the police spokesman said.
He said the Commissioner of Police has warned those involved in the “brazen acts of public nuisance” which contravened the relevant provisions of the penal code and other extant laws of Borno State, to desist from such acts or face prosecution.
He disclosed that the ban on street begging takes effect from Monday 6th August, adding that any person or persons found engaging in the act will be “arrested and prosecuted accordingly.”
The police said they would not fold their arms and allow “unscrupulous elements” to jeopardise the relative peace and security experienced in the state. They warned parents and guardians to monitor and control their children or “face the anger of law.”
The command said the decision to outlaw street begging was taken following the empowerment scheme of N30, 000 to each of unemployed youths launched last week by Borno State government.
Meanwhile, some residents have described the ban as “rash.” They said the police and government should have embarked on wide consultations and sensitization of the people before announcing the ban and even establishing mobile court.
“Street begging is fueled by economic challenges. Government has just started the empowerment programme, a week ago. More time should have been given to the people with a lot of sensitization and reorientation,” Musa Zarami, a resident told our correspondent.